Wagner, Irma Guzman

Wagner, Irma Guzman

Date Updated



Educational Leadership

Academic Rank

Professor/Dean of Education

Year Retired from SJSU

2004 - year retired from CSU

Educational Background

Claremont Graduate University, 1976 Ph.D.

Claremont Graduate University. 1976 M.A.

San José State University, 1961 B.A.

Teaching Experience

CSU Stanislaus, 1995-2004

San José State University. 1986-1995

University of La Verne, 1975-1986

Administrative and Professional Experience

Dean, College of Education, CSU Stanislaus

Associate Dean, College of Education, San José State University

Chair, Department of School Management, University of La Verne

Selected Publications

Armstrong, W. and I. Guzman Wagner. "Leadership in Transition: The Chief School Business Official." Journal of the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (April 1992).

Guzman Wagner, I.; Armstrong W.; and Speck, M. "The Chief School Business Official: A Scarce Resource, Part I. and Part II." Journal of the California Association of School Business Officials: School Business Management 59 (March and June 1994).

Guzman Wagner, I. "The Vanishing Business Official." The American School Board Journal (January 1990).

Guzman Wagner, I. "When Cultures Clash: Managing Conflict Between Corporate Cultures and Multicultural Workforces." Published in University of Wisconsin Conference Proceedings: Building a Quality Workforce: A National Priority for the 21st Century, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1989).

Guzman Wagner, I. The California CBO: the 1987-88 Profile of Chief Business Officials in California Public Schools: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve. Sacramento: California State Department of Education (1989).

Personal Commentary

San José State College is where I earned a bachelor’s degree in Education in 1961. It’s where I had a wonderful time although I received “the worst grade ever” in a required class, “Issues in Education.” I challenged the grade with a deflating debate about what my nineteen-year-old self considered to be the truth and what my much-older professor knew to be an assumption unsupported by evidence. I remember writing that classrooms would look very different in the future because the children would be very different – they wouldn’t all look the same. I’m not sure how I arrived at that conclusion, or revelation, but I think I might have relied on a crystal ball when the term paper deadline came too close for comfort. I learned a good lesson from that humbling experience – spending more time in Clark Library might be a wise thing to do. I persevered and, eventually, my ego and GPA were redeemed in other courses.

Twenty-five years after graduating from San José State, I returned as a faculty member in the College of Education and was assigned an office in Sweeney Hall around the corner from my long-gone “Issues” instructor. I never expected to return, especially in this capacity. Of course, the years since 1961 were filled with the kinds of experiences that so many Education faculty have in moving from a first job – mine in the Milpitas Unified School District – to a tenure-track position in a university. By 1986, San José State University had become one of the largest and most respected in the CSU system and I felt honored to be recruited and hired to teach in the Program of Educational Leadership and Higher Education.

In 1991, I went downstairs to the Dean’s Office where I served as Associate Dean, working with Dean Dolores Escobar, who continues to be my mentor and friend. San José State taught me a great deal, not just as a student, but as a faculty member and administrator. The skills I gained allowed me to serve as Dean of the College of Education at CSU Stanislaus for almost ten years. Since I had kept my house in Willow Glen while working in the Central Valley, I returned to it in 2004 when I retired. Since then, I have thoroughly enjoyed re-connecting with SJSU, my alma mater.

Date Completed: 2010


Wagner, Irma Guzman