Dear Faculty and Staff,
As you have recently read, I will be departing San Jose State University at the end of this academic year and will be taking on the role of president of the University of Northern Colorado. While I am excited for the new opportunities this appointment will provide for myself and my family, I am also saddened to be leaving the university and community I have called home for the past five years. I love this university and our students, staff and faculty!
I joined SJSU as deputy provost in 2013 because I saw tremendous potential in every student, every faculty and staff member, and the university as a whole. I hold dear the relationships I have built since my arrival. I have learned so much from all of you, and I am honored to have been part of your journey.
I arrived at a challenging time when our campus was dealing with issues of shared governance and a deep budget deficit. I was pleased to find a community of faculty and staff members who were willing to tackle these trying times head on while remaining focused on our mission of supporting students. We have accomplished so much in the past five years through collaborations with the Academic Affairs Leadership Team, the President’s Cabinet, faculty and staff, and, of course, our students. Under President Papazian’s leadership, I know that we are heading in the right direction and the university will continue its forward progress on top priorities.
As I think about leaving, there are many people who I wish to thank in person, and we will find some time later in the spring to come together and celebrate.
I would particularly like to thank the Academic Senate Executive Committee members, who have become not just colleagues, but friends. I can’t count the number of times I walked down the hall in the Administration Building into the Academic Senate chair’s office to ask for insight and advice—Lynda Heiden, Michael Kimbarow and Stefan Frazier have all offered an open door to me and I’ve offered the same to them. I am also grateful for the dedication of the Academic Affairs Leadership Team, the deans and members of the President’s Cabinet with whom I have worked so closely.
My fondest memories of San Jose State will always be my interactions with students. In my first semester as provost, I visited many classrooms to learn more about our students. Most recently, I have had the pleasure of working with Ariadna Manzo, our Associated Student president, who demonstrated tremendous courage in terms of sharing her personal story as an undocumented student in an effort to advocate for others. Students like Ariadna led to the creation of the African American/Black and Chicanx/Latinx student success centers and the UndocuSpartan Resource Center. I am also pleased to see the progress our campus has made on diversity and inclusion. Through the creation of an Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity and other initiatives, I know San Jose State will continue to honor its social justice legacy.
I will miss having my Sparta salad at In the Mix, soup at New Tung Kee Noodle House, and breakfast at Peanut’s, where I always knew I would run into someone from campus. Thank you very much for the opportunity to serve this wonderful institution. Go Spartans!