SJSU Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research Updated

The SJSU Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research has been significantly revised to accommodate updated federal regulations which have gone into effect this year.

A summary of the changes is provided on the SJSU IRB website:

The most significant change to the regulations is the expansion and clarification of exemption categories.  A list of the exemption categories, how they apply to vulnerable groups, and the SJSU-specific consent requirements for each category are provided in the following Table of Exemption Categories (pdf).

The SJSU IRB has updated IRB forms and documents to reflect the policy changes and to improve the clarity of human subjects research proposals. Please make sure to use the most current forms posted on the Office of Research website when submitting a proposal to the IRB.  Outdated IRB forms will no longer be accepted beginning this spring semester.  A submission checklist is also available on the IRB website. Complete IRB proposal should now be submitted to We have discontinued the requirement for paper submission.


November Newsletter 2017: Provost Update – Countless Reasons to be Thankful

As we return from Thanksgiving break – refreshed and ready for the final weeks of the fall term – I want to take a moment to express gratitude for our students, staff, faculty and alumni. One of my favorite duties as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs is working with inspirational colleagues who are dedicated, hardworking and generous.

Provost Andy Feinstein and the Academic Affairs Leadership team host an appreciation breakfast to say thanks to the 500+ staff members who support faculty and students in the division. (Photo: James Tensuan, '15 Journalism)

Provost Andy Feinstein and the Academic Affairs Leadership team host an appreciation breakfast to say thanks to the 500+ staff members who support faculty and students in the division. (Photo: James Tensuan, ’15 Journalism)

Earlier this month, I hosted the Academic Affairs Staff Appreciation Breakfast with the division’s leadership team – a great opportunity to see our staff members come together and to hear from their supervisors about the great work they do each day. This year, we invited peers to share positive stories about their colleagues. The shout-outs, as we called them, highlighted the many great things I see in our hardworking staff – greeting students with grace and enthusiasm; going the extra mile; acting with patience and good humor; seeking ways to help colleagues.

I also had the honor of recognizing some of our longest-serving employees at the 50th Spartan Service Celebration, where 116 Spartan staff members were recognized for service milestones. I was moved by videos during which honorees shared personal memories.

An especially poignant story was Jack Harding’s. Jack began working as a lab technician 35 years ago in the aeronautics department (now Aviation and Technology) and since has moved on to become a telecommunications network analyst in IT.

Jack’s two sons grew up on our campus, regularly attending football games and campus events. Both eventually enrolled here as college students. His oldest son, Jack Jr., joined the Marines after graduation, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. He was welcomed back to the campus in 2011 when Jack Sr. and his wife were invited to present his lieutenant stripes in a stirring ceremony.

All of our staff – whether they have served SJSU for months, or decades – deserve our support. That includes professional development opportunities; I am pleased that we have the resources this year to again offer the Staff Professional Development Grant Program. These stipends allow staff members to develop skills that can enhance their capacity to serve our students. We have approved 229 proposals to date, and hope to issue another call for applications in early spring.

Many members of our campus community “pay it forward” by helping those following in their path. This includes our Emeritus and Retired Faculty Association (ERFA), which created a research, scholarship and creative activities (RSCA) grant program to help current faculty members advance their professional growth. Last year’s recipients included Anthropology Department Assistant Professor AJ Faas and School of Social Work Assistant Professor Nicole Dubus.

Another reason for gratitude is the many alumni whose financial support helps current and future students achieve their goals. A generous gift from Marion Cilker, ’39, established a scholarship for students interested in infusing arts into education and funded an annual conference. While Ms. Cilker passed away in 2012, her generosity lives on, supporting current and aspiring teachers seeking ways to incorporate art into diverse curricula for K-12 students.

Students also are benefiting from strategic collaborations. A partnership with nonprofit Braven Bay Area fueled a program for first-generation, underrepresented minority students that connects them with community mentors at high-tech companies and nonprofits and develops personal skills for future career searches.

These are just some of the people, programs and connections that are empowering us to power student success. In this season of gratitude, I’m especially mindful of your remarkable contributions. Thank you!

Facutly News & Notes November 2017

Department of Music and Dance Associate Professor and Director of Choral Activities Jeffrey Benson directed a Prince William County high school choir at a concert held at Osbourn Park High School in Manassas, Virginia, in October. Benson also serves as artistic director of Peninsula Cantare, a community chorus in Palo Alto.

The Mercury News interviewed Assistant Professor Caroline Chen, Department of Accounting and Finance, about whether the GOP tax plan could lead Silicon Valley companies bringing “overseas cash home” during a proposed tax “holiday.” According to Moody’s report, U.S. companies held $1.3 trillion overseas at the end of 2016. “If the company isn’t in need of the cash to, say, build a new plant, I don’t see them wanting to pay even 12 percent on their cash,” Chen said. “Just because you lower the repatriation rates doesn’t mean we’ll see barges of cash from offshore coming into the Port of Oakland.”

Department of Political Science Assistant Professor Mary Currin-Percival, Associate Professor Garrick Percival and Professor and Chair Melinda Jackson collaborated on an op-ed article for the Mercury News: “Opinion: Hold elections for San José mayor, county DA, sheriff only in presidential years.” Since “low voter participation weakens…core tenets of democracy” and contributes to policies that are “often unrepresentative,” one solution would be moving key elections to coincide with presidential elections when voter turnout rates are higher, the trio proposed. Read more at:

iSchool Associate Professor Christine Hagar was among an international group of presenters at the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience: Dealing with Disasters conference held at England’s Durham University in September. Hagar’s paper, “Strengthening Community Engagement and Resilience Efforts in Climate Change: Public Program Strategies,” discussed the crises informatics model she created for the Public Libraries Advancing Community Engagement (PLACE) project. “Disasters are often essentially local events and local organizations, such as public libraries, are critical in responding to them,” she said.

Associate Professor Roxana Marachi, Department of Elementary Education, delivered a keynote address at the Network for Public Education’s national conference in Oakland last month. In her presentation, Marachi, whose research encompasses students’ social and emotional wellbeing and the effects of technology on students’ health, criticized the “headlong dash to adopt devices and software without fully understanding their potential and limitation.” Read more at:

The Mercury News consulted Department of Economics Professor and Chair Lydia Ortega for an article about delayed insurance reimbursements in the wake of tens of thousands of claims filed as a result of wildfires in California and hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. Ortega warned that this year’s series of natural disasters “may pinch the reserves of even major insurers. No insurance company could have imagined something of this magnitude…they might not be able to pay fully.” Read more at:

Upcoming are staged readings of two of Department of Film and Theatre Professor Scott Sublett’s new plays. The Repeating Arms of Sarah Winchester, which explores Winchester’s response to spiritualism as a young widow in Connecticut, will be presented in the Hammer Theatre Center’s black box space, the Hammer 4, on December 4. “This is not the fictional, kooky Sarah of the tourist attraction house,” Sublett clarified. Charleston Harbor, a musical about Civil War hero and slave Robert Smalls, will be presented at Manhattan’s Amas Musical Theatre on November 30 and December 1. “Smalls was forgotten by history,” Sublett said. “It’s my hope that the play revives interest in Smalls by other artists, by scholars and particularly by historians.”

SJSU Faculty, Staff and Students Participate in the Academic Technology Expo (ATXpo) at Stanford University

On Oct. 2, San Jose State University faculty, staff and students joined colleagues from Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, UC San Francisco, University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, Santa Clara University and Saint Mary’s College of California at the Academic Technology Expo. The event provided a forum to share, discuss and promote effective practices for teaching and learning with technology. The Expo included a series of IdeaLab sessions and a student panel. The IdeaLab is a unique interactive session where presenters showcase practices, projects and technologies that are improving teaching and learning at participating institutions. Each presentation focused on a central teaching and learning challenge and how their solution might be adopted by other participants.

IdeaLab sessions included topics such as virtual reality, open education resources, writing activities, and student-centered approaches to communication, metacognition, and assessment that are enhanced by technology with eight teams of SJSU affiliates presenting throughout the day.

List of SJSU Presentations:

Presenters: David W. Parent

Presenters: Resa Kelly, Yingjie Liu

Presenters: Debra Caires, Isadora McCullough, Andrea Ulloa

Presenters: Marilyn Easter, Prabha Chandrasekar, Bobbi Makani

Presenters: Bryan Dang, Jeland Palicte, Colleen O’Leary-Kelley, Minh Tran

Presenters: Tianqin Shi, Jennifer Redd, Yingjie Liu

Presenters: Karin Jeffery, Ph.D., Emily Wughalter, Ed.D., Bethany Winslow

Presenters: Linda M. Dunn-Jensen, Prabha Chandrasekar

Additionally, Alora Frederick, Marketing ’18 with a minor in advertising, joined students from other participating campuses on a student panel. The discussion focused on teaching methods and tools used in courses. The panel provided an opportunity for students to share their experiences, thoughts and opinions on using different methods and tools.

For additional information about the event, visit the ATXpo website. For questions or for those interested in participating next year, please contact Jennifer Redd.


Faculty News & Notes October 2017

The Mercury News interviewed Lecturer Fred Foldvary, Department of Economics, about the advantageous effects President Donald Trump’s proposed tax cuts would have for Apple and other Silicon Valley tech companies. Read more at:

iSchool Director Sandra Hirsh participated in a “Collaborators of the Future: Libraries, Communities and Information” forum sponsored by Friends of the Palo Alto Library. She was joined by Dan Russell, a research scientists at Google, and Miguel Figueroa, director of the American Library Association’s Center for the Future of Libraries.

In the wake of the devastating Santa Rosa and wine country fires, Assistant Professor Neil Lareau and Lecturer Jan Null, Department of Meteorology and Climate Science, were interviewed by several news outlets, including the Mercury News, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. “October is always a tough month for fires in California,” Null told the Los Angeles Times. “We get these dry, desiccating, downslope winds.”

Professor Essam Marouf, College of Engineering, joined his Cassini Radio Science Team colleagues at Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to witness the “flatlining” of the space probe named after 17th century Italian astronomer Giovanni Cassini. The Cassini probe has spun around Saturn for the past 13 years and provided invaluable information to NASA scientists. Marouf has been a member of the Cassini team for more than two decades. “I am at peace with the fact that the mission has to end,” Marouf told the Mercury News. “But I feel very emotional.” Read more at:

Professor Tom Means, Department of Economics, authored a September report, “An Analysis of the Pacifica Community Reservation, Rent Stabilization and Renter’s Rights Act,” also known as Measure C, for the Coalition for Housing Equality. Means also serves on Mountain View’s Rental Housing Committee. Read the full report at:

Governor Jerry Brown appointed Professor Romey Sabalius, Department of World Languages and Literatures, to the California State University Board of Trustees. A member of SJSU’s Academic Senate and the CSU Academic Senate, Sabalius holds a doctorate in German literature from USC and joined SJSU’s faculty in 1995. The position does not require Senate confirmation.

Despite the stereotype, liberal arts majors make excellent employees, argues Professor Randall Stross, School of Management, in A Practical Education (Stanford University Press). Published last month, the book examines the successes of “multi-capable” humanities graduates in “engineering-centric” Silicon Valley. Stross is the author of numerous books about Silicon Valley companies and culture, including The Launch Pad (Portfolio, 2012).

The Mercury News interviewed Professor Kate Sullivan, Department of Hospitality Management, regarding the need for hotel security overhauls in the aftermath of the Las Vegas concert shooting. “It’s a new awakening for this industry,” Sullivan said. Read more at:

Last month, KQED’s “California Report” ran a feature on political activism in San Jose during the Vietnam War years, profiling former School of Social Work Lecturer Gil Villagran and Department of Sociology Professor Emeritus Robert (Bob) Gliner. “Some people say, ‘Oh, (the activists) grew up.’ But if we want to have a vibrant democracy, it’s not something you grow out of,” Gliner said. “It’s something you integrate into your day to day life, to be conscious of world events and to do something about problems that really bother you.”