Theresa Mendoza

Interim University Advancement VP Appointed

Theresa Mendoza

Theresa Mendoza

Contact: Pat Harris, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSE, CA – Theresa (Tere) Mendoza has been appointed interim vice president of University Advancement. The interim appointment will ensure a stable leadership transition while San Jose State commences a national search to fill this position on a permanent basis.

“Theresa Mendoza has extensive experience and expertise in all aspects of institutional advancement, foundation leadership, and campaign management,” said SJSU President Mohammad Qayoumi. “I am grateful for her availability and willingness to serve SJSU during this transition.”

Mendoza has led advancement organizations at San Diego State and California State University, Fullerton – like SJSU, among the CSU’s largest campuses – and continues to serve the Chancellor’s Office as a strategic adviser while managing three statewide advisory councils.

The Office of the President will concurrently work with Academic Senate leadership on forming a search committee for the vice president of University Advancement position. With the fall term nearing its conclusion, this committee likely will begin its work in earnest in January, with plans to announce a permanent appointment this spring.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,740 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.



Update: Presidential Message on University Advancement

President Mohammad Qayoumi emailed the following message on the Division of University Advancement to all faculty, staff and students.

Dear Campus Community,

Vice President for University Advancement Rebecca Dukes earlier today announced her resignation to the advancement division staff. Today is her final day on campus, and we wish her well.

While at San Jose State, her achievements included completing SJSU’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign and beginning planning for the next campaign; launching an integrated university brand platform; and initiating programs to deepen a culture of philanthropy on campus.

I hope to soon provide an update on plans for interim division leadership.

Mo Qayoumi

Update: Presidential Message on the Tower Foundation

President Mohammad Qayoumi emailed the following message on the Tower Foundation to all faculty, staff and students.

Dear Campus Community,

As I shared in Monday’s campus update, we recently received and have been reviewing the results of an external investigation into remarks made by a Tower Foundation board member during a February meeting on campus with several university employees including a member of my cabinet.

There are two additional developments:

  • Official notice of the outcome of the external investigation has been sent to the board member and complainant. Per CSU and SJSU protocol and in an effort to preserve the privacy rights of the parties, the university is limiting distribution of this information to these individuals.
  • Wanda Ginner, an alumna of the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business and Tower Board member since 2007, has resigned from the board.

Although many efforts are already underway, a great deal of work lies ahead as we seek to be the welcoming, inclusive community all Spartans aspire to. I will share some additional thoughts very soon.

Thank you for your patience as we work through these challenging and important issues.

Mo Qayoumi

Update: Message from the Tower Foundation Board

Tower Foundation board chair, Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and Lucas College and Graduate School of Business graduate Amir Mashkoori confirmed that the board has received and accepted the resignation of board member Wanda Ginner.

“The fact that Wanda agreed to step down reflects genuine concern for the university and her desire to avoid being a distraction,” Mashkoori said. “The comments attributed to Wanda do not reflect the Tower Foundation board’s commitment to diversity, inclusivity and mutual respect.”

A graduate of SJSU’s business school and longtime CPA, Ginner has been actively involved with numerous university initiatives including an annual business plan competition awarding cash prizes to young entrepreneurs.

The board will redouble efforts to engage with the SJSU community through its members, a diverse group of students, faculty, administrators and alumni.

“The board plans to implement new procedures and participate in training to guide our interactions with all university stakeholders,” Mashkoori said.

“Many board members are alumni, all of whom want students to receive the same opportunities provided to board members when they were in college.”

“We have worked hard to be able to give back, we should be role models for the campus community and general public, and most importantly, we should celebrate our diversity by making the university a welcoming environment for all.”

Update: Presidential Message on the Recent Student Protest

President Mohammad Qayoumi emailed the following message on today’s student protest to all faculty, staff and students.

Dear Campus Community,

Ensuring a tolerant, inclusive and welcoming environment for every SJSU community member is a campus and personal priority. A group of concerned students has announced its intent to gather today to discuss an incident of concern that occurred earlier this year.

Although confidentiality considerations limit what can be shared today, I want to do my best to clarify what has been and is being done to address this situation.

The incident itself involves remarks by a member of the Tower Foundation Board during a meeting in February with a small group of SJSU staff members, including a member of my Cabinet. These alleged remarks were the subject of some follow up discussion, and informal remedies were discussed at various levels.

In August, a formal complaint was lodged with our Human Resources office and a formal external review has been ongoing since then. A report based on that review was provided to my office just days ago, and we are now closely reviewing it to determine appropriate next steps.

We are especially sensitive to issues of tolerance and civility in the wake of the racially motivated actions against a student in our residence halls in 2013. Although I know some have been frustrated by a perceived lack of action since this incident occurred, we owe it to everyone to thoughtfully, thoroughly and factually determine what occurred before taking action.

Thank you for your patience.

Mo Qayoumi

400 prieta

Where Were You on Oct. 17, 1989?

Spartan Daily

The Spartan Daily student newspaper front page the day after the Loma Prieta earthquake (photo by Peter Caravalho, ’97 Graphic Design).

Much of San Jose State’s current student body was not born when the 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake hit the Bay Area 25 years ago on Oct. 17, 1989.

Yet the fact that San Jose State took the need to prepare for the next big one seriously is clear to anyone on campus today.

“I was serving as SJSU’s associate vice president for administration when the earthquake hit,” said President Mohammad Qayoumi.

Starting the moment the shaking stopped, SJSU has been working with the California State University system to plan, fund and complete numerous projects with the goal of improving campus safety.”

Spartan Daily quake story

This Spartan Daily story, published shortly after the Loma Prieta earthquake, made clear the need to seismically retrofit many campus buildings (photo by Peter Caravalho, ’97 Graphic Design).

Three large construction projects underway now began after structural engineers recommended SJSU retrofit 10 buildings to make them safer.

The $55 million seismic retrofit of Yoshihiro Uchida Hall and Spartan Complex spans an entire block from South Fourth Street to El Paseo de Cesar E. Chavez.

In addition, the $90 million seismic retrofit and expansion of the Student Union spans another block from El Paseo de Cesar E. Chavez to the Ninth Street Plaza.

One more project is in the works and six others have been completed as follows:

  • North Parking Garage Seismic Retrofit, 1993
  • South Parking Garage Seismic Retrofit, 1993
  • Tower Hall and Morris Dailey Auditorium, 1996
  • Duncan Hall, 1997
  • Sweeney Hall, 1998
  • Trades Building, 2009
  • North Parking Garage Stair Tower, planned

What should you do if an earthquake hit campus today?

“Although I have been a California resident for most of my life, the power of the 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake was astounding,” said SJSU Chief of Police Pete Decena.

If there is one thing I would like the campus community to remember in the event of a major earthquake, it is to Drop, Cover and Hold On. Then, when the shaking stops, leave if it is safe to do so.”

The University Police Department website offers more information including assistance for the disabled. A refresher course on how to protect yourself during an earthquake is available online.

President’s Commission on Diversity to Host Forum

The President's Commission on Diversity Fall Open Forum will take place 4-6 p.m. Oct. 8 in the Morris Dailey Auditorium.

The President’s Commission on Diversity Fall Open Forum will take place 4-6 p.m. Oct. 8 in the Morris Dailey Auditorium.

Media Contact: Pat Harris, 408-924-1748

San Jose, CA—Everyone is invited to discuss how to foster a welcoming community at San Jose State.

The President’s Commission on Diversity Fall Open Forum will take place 4-6 p.m. Oct. 8 in the Morris Dailey Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public, and will be streamed live on the SJSU home page.

Judge LaDoris Cordell (retired) will serve as moderator. Cordell was chair of the Special Task Force on Racial Discrimination, which was appointed by President Qayoumi in January to review all of the facts and make recommendations addressing an alleged hate crime that occurred last fall in a campus residence hall.

In April, the task force submitted more than 50 recommendations and in May, the President’s Commission on Diversity completed an action plan based on those recommendations.

The Oct. 8 forum, the first event of the new academic year on this topic, will bring the campus community together to discuss recent activity, including the consolidation of more than 50 recommendations into 22 action items as well as the Commission on Diversity’s role advising the president and overseeing implementation of the action plan.

Speakers will include President Qayoumi and the commission chairs: Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Renee Barnett and Provost Andrew Hale Feinstein. Representatives from Housing Services, Faculty Affairs, Human Resources, Student Academic Success Services, and the Center for Faculty Development will also be on hand to discuss work underway in specific units.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,740 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.


spartan logo

Associated Students Launches Campus-to-the-City Initiative

Have you seen the Spartan at South Ninth and East San Fernando?

Measuring 15 feet across, the large symbol was installed Sept. 15. It’s the product of the Associated Students of SJSU’s Campus-to-the-City initiative.

“The goal is to bring Spartan pride into downtown and surrounding sections of the city so that SJSU is recognizable not just on campus but in the entire area,” said Mykel Jeffrey, ’15 Political Science and A.S. director of internal affairs.

spartan logo

The Spartan logo near the Student Services Center is part of an effort to build a sense of community (photo courtesy of A.S.).

The initiative began with last year’s A.S. board, headed by then-President Nicholas Ayala, ’14 Management Information Systems, who was inspired by a similar effort at other campuses.

Cultivating community

“Cultivating Spartan pride beyond SJSU’s walls will help students feel more at home while they’re in school and help foster the everlasting memories they’ll want to come back to and revisit as alumni,” Ayala said.

More than 40 street banners will be installed this fall. The buffer zone around bike lanes will take on a gold-and-blue hue this spring. With both projects, A.S. seeks to connect the main and south campuses to foster a sense of community and safety.

Next year may bring three more Spartan symbols to intersections around campus. But first, officials would like to see how the initial Spartan stands up to wear and tear over the next six months.

Practical experience

The initiative has been a lesson in how to get things done in a complex city. The A.S. board has been working with the San Jose Department of Transportation and Office of Cultural Affairs. The group has also met with the Office of the Mayor and Councilmember and mayor candidate Sam Liccardo.

“This doesn’t feel like a college town (and) we’re trying to change that,” Liccardo told the Spartan Daily. “I know this is something folks have been trying to do in various ways…this is needed.”

dan and jaime

Alumni Association Celebrates Scholarship Recipients

Cuong Truong

Cuong Truong, ’14 Nursing, plans to work toward ensuring all elderly patients receive quality care. She is a recipient of a San Jose Woman’s Club Scholarship (photo by Brandon Chew).

Aspiring professionals preparing to contribute to every part of our community and economy are recipients of 2014-15 SJSU Alumni Association Scholarships.

“These students truly define the Spartan spirit,” said Brian Bates, associate vice president for alumni relations. “They are achievers, innovators, dreamers and leaders in their classrooms, communities and even the world.”

The more than 30 recipients were invited to gather for a reception Sept. 16  in the Student Union ballroom. The group includes a future art professor, nurse and business owner as well as multiple engineers, accountants, lawyers, doctors, teachers, social workers and fine artists.

Supporting Inspiring Students

Student recipients apply each spring through the SJSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. The specific criteria and amount for each scholarship varies. But the overall objective is the same: to provide alumni with the opportunity to give back by supporting current students.

Onette Morales-Alcazar

Onette Morales-Alcazar, ’13 English, is seeking a teaching credential so she can support students learning English as a second language. Named a Connie L. Lurie College of Education Dean’s Scholar, she received the Pat Porter Memorial Scholarship (photo by Brandon Chew).

An excellent example is Angelina Loyola, ’10 Sociology, ’15 Mexican American Studies. Recipient of a College of  Social Sciences Dean’s Scholarship, she plans to teach at the high school or community college level so that she may empower her students to advance not just themselves but the entire community.

I hold steadfast to the words of the late Maya Angelou, ‘When you get, give. When you learn, teach,’” Loyola said.  “Thank you for acknowledging me as a scholar, and an individual that will take with her into this world the teachings from some of the greatest teachers I’ve encountered.”

Joshua Cruz, ’16 Computer Engineering, has taken advantage of the many leadership opportunities available to students at SJSU. A recipient of a Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering Dean’s Scholarship, he has served as a resident assistant, orientation leader, student instructional assistant and Spartan Marching Band member.

This scholarship…is a true validation that my involvements inside and outside of the classroom have an impact on my campus community,” Cruz said. “I will take the inspiration coming from those who have supported me through this scholarship to reach my scholastic goals.”

Tristan Pulliam

Tristan Pulliam plans to go to medical school. The recipient of a College of Science Dean’s Scholarship, he said, “I hope to one day reciprocate this investment by investing in the lives of future SJSU students” (photo by Brandon Chew).

Daniel Fenstermacher, ’16 Fine Arts, expresses his aspirations and sense of community through photography. The recipient of the Hoover Langdon Scholarship has his own business, currently specializing in aerial photography, including remarkable images of downtown San Jose captured using a drone.

Receiving the Hoover Langdon Scholarship gave me a great feeling of accomplishment and pride as a member of the SJSU community,” Fenstermacher said. “I feel fortunate to be rewarded with this recognition and this scholarship motivates me to keep improving every day both in school and in life.”

The generous support of alumni and friends makes these scholarships possible. Learn more about supporting the Alumni Association scholarship program.


Remembering Jason Dahl

Honoring Alumnus and United Airlines Captain Jason Dahl

dahl 530

Below a flag signed by his family and a plaque bearing his likeness, students, faculty and staff remember Jason Dahl, alumnus and captain of UA 93 (Department of Aviation and Technology photo).

At 10:14 a.m. Sept. 11, as they have done for the past 13 years, the students, faculty and staff of San Jose State’s aviation program paused for a moment of silence in memory of Jason Dahl, ’80 Aeronautics Operations.

Dahl portrait

Capt. Jason Dahl

Dahl was the captain of United Airlines Flight 93, which terrorists crashed into the Pennsylvania countryside at 10:14 a.m. Sept. 11, 2001. He began taking flying lessons before he was old enough to drive, and was the first in his family to graduate from college.

“His entire life was about milestones…He was really proud to be a Spartan,” said Dahl’s brother-in-law, Bill Heindrich, who attended the event, held in the Industrial Sciences building, home to the Department of Aviation and Technology.

This year, in Shanksville, Pa., a Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to the 40 passengers and crew members who died aboard UA 93. Meanwhile, at SJSU, Dahl’s legacy lives on. The Captain Jason Dahl Scholarship Fund makes a gift to one San Jose State student annually.

As intimate and solemn as ever, this year’s event remembered Dahl with a traditional toast for pilots who lose their lives in the line of duty.

“In honor of all those innocents who had ‘gone west’ during that horrific day 13 years ago, including our very own Jason Dahl,” said Professor and Aviation Advisor Dan Neal, “let us stand towards the West, raise our glasses and toast ‘to all those who have gone West.’”

SJSU Breaks Ground on Residence Hall

Campus Village 2

An artist’s rendering of Campus Village 2.

Media contact: Pat Lopes Harris, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSE, CA – Seeking to modernize student housing and foster a sense of community, San Jose State has broken ground on a residence hall.

“Campus Village 2 was designed to support student learning and activities,” said Victor Culatta, director of University Housing Services. 

The building will accommodate 850 students over ten floors. Current plans call for the building to open to freshmen in fall 2016.

The 193,000-square-foot tower is under construction in the southeast corner of campus, near existing housing including the first phase of Campus Village, completed in 2005.

Fostering Community

University Housing Services worked with Facilities Development and Operations to envision living spaces that will support social interaction.

Residential units will be organized in L-shaped wings of 25 double-occupancy bedrooms, with two wings per floor. The rooms will open onto shared halls, encouraging residents to get to know each other.

Each residential floor will feature a quiet study room, an activity room and a laundry room. Offices and meetings space for student groups and the university community as a whole will be on the first two floors.

Courtyards on the east and west side of the building will be available for student activities. Decorative details will evoke a strong sense of historical continuity and campus connections.

Exterior accent walls will feature a brick facade reminiscent of the traditional, three-story dorms. Inside, plans call for décor featuring symbols of school spirit and iconic landmarks such as Tower Hall.

Overall, Campus Village 2 will achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver equivalency standards, including a good deal of natural lighting.

Promoting Student Success

“Studies have demonstrated that on-campus residential living plays a significant role in promoting student engagement and improving academic success and student retention,” SJSU said when securing approval for the project from the California State University Board of Trustees.

The architect is Solomon Cordwell Buenz and the design-build contractor is Sundt Construction.

The budget is $126.1 million, and will be financed through the CSU Systemwide Revenue Bond Program and from housing program reserves. Housing revenue will repay the bond financing.

The new residence hall’s completion will clear the way for the next step in efforts to update the southeast corner of campus. Plans call for an expanded aquatics and recreation center that will cover space currently occupied by two traditional dorms dating back to 1960.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,740 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.




Donors Give $31 Million to SJSU in 2013-14

We would like to express our gratitude to everyone who continues to take our message and mission to heart (Robert C. Bain Photo).

We would like to express our gratitude to everyone who continues to take our message and mission to heart (Robert C. Bain photo).

Media contact: Pat Lopes Harris, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSE, CA – Individuals, foundations and corporations made more than $31 million in gift commitments to the university during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014, demonstrating heightened support for philanthropic giving to San Jose State.

“This shows tremendous progress in our efforts to build a culture of philanthropy supporting students and the faculty at San Jose State,” President Mohammad Qayoumi said. “We are grateful to the university community for participating in our fundraising efforts.”

Available This Year

Approximately $22.6 million will be available this year to support student scholarships, innovative programs and facility improvements. Additional funds will supplement the university’s endowment, now valued at more than $120 million.  The endowment ensures long-term continuity and sustainability of programs funded by donors.

In 2013, San Jose State completed its first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, “Acceleration: The Campaign for San Jose State.” The university received over $208 million from individuals, corporations and foundations. Before the campaign, the university raised approximately $10 million annually. Afterward, the sum more than tripled.

Supporting Our Students and Faculty

“The campaign showed our many supporters the value of investing in our students and the faculty,” Vice President of University Advancement Rebecca Dukes said. “We would like to express our gratitude to everyone who continues to take our message and mission to heart.”

For the $31 million raised last year, individuals gave $24 million. Corporations and foundations provided $7 million. More than $19 million came through planned giving, which includes giving through financial and estate plans. The gifts benefit all of SJSU’s colleges and many programs.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,740 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city

Dwight Bentel Hall

Dwight Bentel Hall: Repairs Continue

Dwight Bentel Hall

Dwight Bentel Hall (Bruce Cramer photo)

Media contact: Pat Lopes Harris, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSE, CA – Dwight Bentel Hall will be closed through Aug. 29 due to water damage. The building is home to San Jose State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication,

University officials have temporarily relocated classes and faculty offices. In addition, officials will temporarily relocate Spartan Daily, the student newspaper. The DBH closure affects approximately 28 faculty members and 1,250 students. 

Construction crews have been renovating the 103-year-old building over the summer. The water damage, discovered Aug. 19, occurred in DBH’s east wing. The cause was a leak in a steam distribution system that runs beneath the building.

SJSU’s Environmental Health and Safety staff conducted an immediate review. Materials were removed, the affected area was sealed off, and efforts were initiated to eliminate residual moisture using industrial fans and dehumidifiers.

San Jose State University — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 32,000 students and 3,850 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.


SJSU Begins 2014-15 Academic Year


The east wing of the Student Union is open. On the first floor are eight new eateries and beautiful indoor and outdoor seating areas line the first floor (Stan Olszewski photo).

Blue skies greeted more than 32,000 students and 4,500 faculty and staff members for the start of San Jose State’s 2014-15 academic year.

The crowd included 3,500 first-time freshmen, 3,700 new undergraduate transfers, 2,000 new graduate students and 33 new tenure-track faculty members.

The arrival of so many tenure-track faculty members shows the benefit of a stable budget and signals a strong commitment to long-term planning.

Helping newcomers

In addition, SJSU is extending a special welcome to 80 transfers from National Hispanic University. Orientation events held during the summer should help everyone settle in.

If anyone needs a hand, “Ask Me” volunteers are once again stationed outdoors throughout campus. 

Do we have an app for that? Yes, we do! SJSU Guide is loaded with information including a campus map.

Downloading the guide? You’ll find campus WiFi now covers very close to all six million square feet of classroom and office space.

Perhaps the most visible change for those arriving this week–from the parking garages, Park & Ride Lot or alternative transportation–is the construction.

Facility improvements

Yes! Our 150-year-old campus is receiving a major renovation.

The east wing of the Student Union is open. On the first floor are eight new eateries and beautiful indoor and outdoor seating areas line the first floor.

A gleaming new ballroom large enough for 850 dinner guests is open on the second floor.

In addition, the Spartan Bookstore has moved into temporary digs in the east wing while the rest of the Student Union is completed.

Meanwhile, construction crews are putting finishing touches on Yoshihiro Uchida Hall. The exterior walls are up on the Student Health and Counseling Center.

Also on the way are a new dormitory and new landscaping for the Art Building, Sweeney Hall and El Paseo de Cesar Chavez (check out the beautiful new palm trees!).

Major events

Later this term, the Student Union will host two special guests speakers: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and bestselling novelist Khaled Hosseini.

Tower Lawn remains a gorgeous green, thanks to recycled water that has reduced SJSU’s potable water consumption by 45 percent annually.

So Tower Lawn will be the place to be this term for many gatherings including the Spartan Squad kick-off 6 p.m. Aug. 27 and the Student Organization Fair 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 3.

Both of these events are part of Fall Welcome Days, a series of outstanding opportunities to reach out, meet people and learn something in the process.

Also coming up this week is Spartan Football’s season opener against North Dakota. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Aug. 28. Go early, get a Bill Walsh bobble head, and then stay for the fireworks.

Admission to home football games is free for all students with a Tower ID card. The president has extended a very similar offer to all faculty and staff (check your email!).

Staying safe

Speaking of major events, there is nothing like a 6.0-magnitude trembler the day before classes begin to send the message that safety comes first.

The University Police Department keeps in touch with campus via Alert-SJSU (update your contact information now) and offers an Evening Guide Escort Program and Evening Shuttle.

UPD’s website contains lots of prevention and preparedness information. The Spartans for Safety website also consolidates many services available at SJSU.


President Mohammad Qayoumi

President Delivers Fall Welcome Address

Mohammad Qayoumi

President Mohammad Qayoumi

Media contact:  Pat Lopes Harris, 408-656-6999

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State President Mohammad Qayoumi delivered the Fall Welcome Address at noon Aug. 27 in the new Student Union ballroom. The address was open to the campus community and media. In addition, the event was streamed live on the web. A transcript is accessible from the university website.

An annual tradition, the Fall Welcome Address marks the beginning of the 158th academic year. On Aug. 27, President Qayoumi urged the SJSU community to build on its rich heritage of regional stewardship, social justice, shared mission and student success.

Specifically, the president encouraged students, faculty and staff to tackle today’s defining issues with the same persistence, grit, and self-determination exemplified by Spartans throughout SJSU’s history.

President Qayoumi also touched on campus governance, underrepresented communities, facility and technology upgrades, tenure-track faculty, and the Special Task Force for Racial Discrimination recommendations.

 SJSU map, directions.

San Jose State University — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,850 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

Dwight Bentel Hall: Important Update

Dwight Bentel Hall

Dwight Bentel Hall (Bruce Cramer photo)

Media contact: Pat Lopes Harris, 408-924-1748

SAN JOSE, CA – Dwight Bentel Hall, home to San Jose State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, will be closed to students Aug. 25 and 26.

Students in classes scheduled to meet in DBH for the first time on Monday or Tuesday should go directly to the new Student Union Ballrooms A and B (Monday) or Ballroom A (Tuesday).

Report to the table identified with your classroom number (for example, DBH 133) to receive instructions from faculty members. Staff will also be outside DBH to direct students as needed.

Water damage

On Tuesday, Aug. 19, construction crews identified water damage to corridor and restroom walls in the east wing of DBH.

Moisture was also reported in some offices and hallways. The cause was a leak in the steam distribution system that runs beneath the building.

After the damage was discovered, SJSU’s Environmental Health and Safety staff conducted an immediate review.

Materials were removed, the affected area was sealed off, and efforts were initiated to eliminate residual moisture using industrial fans and dehumidifiers.

Repairs underway

SJSU will assess repair efforts throughout the week and provide updates as needed. Initially, repairs were to be concluded in time for the first day of fall semester.

Construction crews spent the summer renovating the overall structure, originally completed in 1911, and renovated and re-opened in 1991. The temporary closure affects approximately 28 faculty members and 1,250 students.

“The good news is that we are well on our way to bringing one of our most historic buildings into the 21st century,” Provost Andrew Hale Feinstein said.

“We are doing our very best to honor the legacy of the late Dwight Bentel, founder of our top-notch journalism program.”

San Jose State University — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,850 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

Chang Kim and students

Campus Collaboration Leads to New SJSU Identity System

Chang Kim and students

Professor Chang Kim and his students collaborated with Marketing and Communications to create SJSU’s new identity system. (Rachel Poage Photo)

This month, a new San Jose State identity system will replace the current university logo. But wasn’t the logo just updated?

This time is different. Really. For the first time in SJSU’s history, the university is rolling out a brand platform that is bringing the campus community together—and the new visual identity system is just one part of the platform.

We are determined to develop SJSU’s brand identity efficiently, authentically and collaboratively,” said Barry Shiller, associate vice president for marketing and communications, who is leading the university’s branding effort.

To reimagine the university’s identity system, SJSU’s Office of Marketing and Communications sponsored a project with the Department of Graphic Design. Associate Professor Chang Kim, a team of students and other faculty members worked together to design the set of identity marks and graphic elements that capture both the tradition and spirit of the university. In addition, the new visual identity system includes a typeface that Kim created just for San Jose State.

For Spartans, by Spartans

The collaboration for SJSU’s new identity system was the brainchild of University Art Director Michelle Frey, the design lead for the Marketing and Communications team. She believes in relying on campus talent for creative projects whenever possible—which fulfills SJSU’s promise to provide hands-on experience and exposure for students.

San Jose State has an incredible graphic design program,” Frey said. “And the best way to present an authentic SJSU brand is to create it within the university.”

Among the changes to expect: a new brand platform that focuses on San Jose State’s people and a visual identity system that relies on what makes the university unique. Hint: San Jose State is the only institution with the initials “SJSU.”

Listening to campus input

“We’ve been very intentional about updating colleges and other campus units, including Associated Students and our Alumni Association board, seeking and listening to campus input,” said Shiller.

We’ve probably done more than 40 presentations, and the work reflects what we’ve heard.”

In use since 2008, the “bricks,” as people call the current logo, has been likened to a microchip or a soccer ball. The new identity system, however, is more meaningful, especially since Spartans created it. “It’s less institutional and more personal,” explained Shiller. “As one student aptly said, ‘You can’t hug a brick.’”

The first set of guides and resources is now available on the Marketing and Communications website.

Sign up to receive email updates and to participate in the development of the brand effort.

Student Success, Excellence and Technology Fee.

President’s Update: Success Fee

a protest on Tuesday focused on SJSU’s Student Success, Excellence and Technology Fee

Administrators address students April 29 at Tower Hall (Christiana Cobb photo).

On April 29, President Qayoumi emailed the following message to all students, faculty, staff and administrators.

Dear SJSU Community,

As many of you know, a protest on Tuesday focused on SJSU’s Student Success, Excellence and Technology Fee. There have been discussions here and on many other California State University campuses about success fees, which fund essential student services that would otherwise be unavailable because state budget appropriations remain below pre-Recession levels.

At San Jose State, my administration has been meeting with student leaders on this topic for several months. While the success fee funds programs and services that benefit many students, we understand that the fee is a substantial addition to the total cost of attendance.

We have been developing plans to address this concern, and we will act on two fronts:

  • This fall, we will unbundle the success fee into three components. This should make it easier to follow the allocation of these fees to courses, to other instructional activities such as library materials, and to student support services such as academic advising and technology.
  • Student leaders have suggested surveying students to research an acceptable dollar ceiling for the success fee. I agree that polling students is a good idea and we will work together to make this happen, ideally by the end of this term. Our plan is to take the poll into consideration when setting the success fee for fall 2014. Students should expect a fee reduction.

We welcome the opportunity for further discussion with the campus community, and will update you on our progress.


Mohammad Qayoumi

Judge LaDoris Cordell

President’s Update: Task Force Recommendations

Judge LaDoris Cordell

Judge LaDoris Cordell at the final task force meeting (James Tensuan photo).

President Qayoumi emailed the following statement to all faculty, staff and students regarding alleged hate crimes in SJSU’s student housing complex. A website summarizing all relevant reports, updates and messages has been established.

Last night, the Special Task Force on Racial Discrimination held its sixth and final meeting, which I attended.

In appointing this task force, I asked for recommendations that would help ensure a safe, welcoming, inclusive climate for everyone in the SJSU community. It was important to me that the task force and its work be both independent and transparent, and that its membership reflect diverse constituencies and viewpoints.

The task force met all of these objectives. All meetings were publicized and open to the public, and accessible to others via live webcast. All drafts of task force recommendations were posted and available for public review, as are the corrected final recommendations [PDF].

At Thursday’s meeting, I publicly thanked retired Judge LaDoris Cordell for serving as task force chair. She was the strong, focused leader we wanted. I also thanked each task force member for investing time and energy in this important effort. Their honest input has been crucial, and will help inform our future actions.

The task force has offered more than 50 suggestions. In the aggregate, they reflect the diverse experiences and perspectives on this committee, as well as input offered by others. These recommendations deserve and will receive careful consideration and study. We will then develop an implementation timeline.

There are no easy or quick fixes. I am committed to thoughtful, sustainable actions that will have the long-term impact we all desire. We will act in a timely manner, and we will report our progress both to our campus and the community at large.

Mohammad Qayoumi

Hillary Clinton

An Evening with a Leader

An Evening with a Leader: Hillary Clinton Talks Women's Rights and Personal History

President Qayoumi welcomes Hillary Clinton to the Event Center (Brandon Chew photo).

Women must dare to compete. Hillary Clinton faced thousands of community members and students in the San Jose State Event Center the evening of April 10, challenging women to break down the glass ceilings and messages projecting self-doubt and perfectionism that often stifle them in the workforce.

Haters and lovers

Despite crowds of more than 75 people from the Constitution party chanting “open your eyes, poor guide,” trying to bring awareness about Clinton and the Benghazi “scandal” in 2012, guests said their excitement to see one of their “favorite” politicians couldn’t be suppressed. The audience ranged from people young and old, male and female, families and singles.

In section 2 of the Event Center, where one had a clear side view of Clinton, sat a father and his son. Ian Sills, 13, said he is an aspiring politician, and he’s always admired the issues on which Clinton has worked. Eric, his father, and a Justice Studies lecturer at SJSU, said he too has always been impressed by her political stance and knew this was one event he wanted to make sure he and his son attended.  “I think she’s been through a lot, gone through a lot, but I think she’s got a lot still to do,” Eric Sills said referring to Clinton’s possible run for the presidency in 2016.

An Evening with a Leader: Hillary Clinton Talks Women's Rights and Personal History

As Clinton walked onto the stage, she greeted the standing, cheering crowd (Brandon Chew photo).

Expectancy of Clinton’s candidacy filled the room as one student, Maddy Ferrito, ‘15 European Studies, said  “it’s about time,” that America has such a promising possibility in a woman candidate for president.

Sitting next to Ferrito was Andrew Johnson, ‘14 American Studies, who said he too is a Clinton supporter and though many politicians don’t boast about their knowledge of Washington, he said he admires that Clinton has been part of the politics in Washington for many years yet doesn’t fall into the “disgusting overtone of the capital right now.” So when he heard that Clinton was speaking, he said he “definitely didn’t want to miss this.”

An intimate chat

The stage was set up in such a way as to resemble an afternoon tea with two chairs and a small table. Larry Stone, Santa Clara County assessor and good friend to the Clinton family, was the Q&A moderator. Though he joked about Clinton making the presidential announcement the audience had been waiting for, he wanted the evening to be one in which the audience would gain more than politics.  “She’s vilified a lot,” Stone said. “I wanted the audience to know Hillary like I know her. She’s a warm, interesting, nice individual.”

The evening began with university President Mohammad Qayoumi introducing Clinton. “So tonight, Madam Secretary, you are an honorary Spartan,” he said. As Clinton walked onto the stage, she greeted the standing, cheering crowd with a smile, waving her hands and saying “thank you” as the audience responded with I love yous.

Competing for your dreams

As the audience gazed at Clinton, she urged the audience to take a look at women’s rights in America and the world. She hit on an issue close to home at SJSU. Though the university has a thriving engineering program and other science and math programs, the percentage of women in those career paths is modest. “Women account for just 11 percent of directors on technology boards. That’s a problem right here in this region,” Clinton said.  As a woman in a male dominated field, she said she’s always had to compete.

An Evening with a Leader: Hillary Clinton Talks Women's Rights and Personal History

“All most women need is a fighting chance to prove themselves,” Clinton said. (Brandon Chew photo)

Recalling her own story, Clinton said “starting from the time when I was a little girl, I always was told by my parents that I had the same opportunities as my brothers. I had a responsibility to make the most of myself and that I would, if I did work hard, be able to do those things in life that were of interest to me.”

She said though women have abilities to succeed in male dominated careers, “All most women need is a fighting chance to prove themselves.”

Great women inspire great women

Stone wanted to emphasize Clinton’s inspirations to be the woman she is today. With two women in mind, Clinton shared how her mother Dorothy Rodham and Eleanor Roosevelt were her instrumental inspirations.

Clinton’s mother was orphaned as a young girl, lived a very poor life but desired to go to high school. She said her mother worked as a young girl taking care of a neighborhood woman’s children. During that time, Rodman’s neighbor told her that if she continued to watch the children, she could go to school. “Her story is not my story but it influenced who I became and it really gave me an appreciation for how important it is that we take care of each other.” Though Rodham was abandoned by her parents and grandparents, Clinton said those who stepped in to care for her mother made all the difference.

The event was no more than an hour and a half, yet audience member Erin Roby said she could’ve listened to Clinton longer and she was “more than impressed by what she said.”

Kelly Patterson, a senior at Palo Alto High School, said she received tickets as a birthday present and Clinton’s speech was “really motivating because she’s such a good role model. I’ve heard her speak before, but in person, it’s so different. It gives you chills.”