San José State University and the City of San José Extend Operating Agreement of Hammer Theatre Center for 35-Year Period

Editors note: This media advisory was distributed on June 25, 2020.

Corner view of the Hammer Theatre Center Box Office entrance.

Hammer Theatre Center. Photo: Christina Olivas.

Media Contacts:
Robin McElhatton, San José State University
O: 408-924-1749

Steph Keay, Carla Befera & Co
O: 650-327-1200

SAN JOSÉ, CA – June 25, 2020– The city of San José and San José State University have agreed to a new contract that allows the university to continue operating the Hammer Theatre Center for up to 35 years. The theatre, which is owned by the city of San José, is a state-of-the-art performance venue located in the heart of downtown San José at 101 Paseo De San Antonio.

In March, San City Council voted unanimously to proceed with the contract, which builds on a successful partnership initiated in 2016. San José Director of Cultural Affairs Kerry Adams Hapner told the council, “This has been such a successful model in so many ways.” She says, “We are looking forward to continuing a fruitful partnership that increases the cultural vibrancy of the downtown and brings long-lasting benefits to the city and SJSU.”

San José State has signed the agreement, which allows SJSU to operate the Hammer for the next fifteen years with additional options to renew through the year 2055. “This contract allows the Hammer Theatre to bring high-quality arts programming to San José for decades to come,” said College of Humanities and the Arts Dean Shannon Miller. “It also gives our music, theater, and dance students the opportunity to perform on the Hammer’s professional stage, and connects our campus community to the cultural and economic corridors throughout the downtown area.”

Formerly the home of San José Repertory Theatre, the architecturally striking, bright blue building sat vacant from June 2014 until SJSU took the helm in early 2016, investing approximately $2 million to renovate the facilities. “One of the hallmarks of the Hammer has been the diversity of our programming,” said Hammer Executive Director Christopher Burrill. “We have been attracting new audiences with a wide range of interests—not only theatre lovers, but also fans of dance, music, film, live talks, and much more, with programs that speak to all sectors of our multicultural community.”

For the past four years, the 528-seat theatre has presented an array of offerings including outstanding professional productions, community-based works, SJSU shows, and concerts, as well as dance, music, talks, film screenings—even live aerial performances with dancers suspended outside, scaling the sides of the iconic blue building. In addition to a complete renovation of the stage, and updated audio and lighting equipment to reflect the latest technology, an upstairs rehearsal space was transformed into Hammer 4, a black box theatre space designed for intimate productions such as Hammer’s “Black Cab Jazz” collaboration with San José Jazz.

In the last season, the Hammer presented nearly 200 events, drawing more than 57,000 audience members. From jazz performances to mariachi extravaganzas, the popular National Geographic Live! speaker series to the acclaimed National Theatre Live film screenings, Cinequest film festival presentations, ballet and modern dance shows, kid-friendly performances, live art and more, the Hammer’s mission is to serve the community through artistic and educational programming that express the unique characteristics and diverse cultures of Silicon Valley. The Mercury News raved, “It’s safe to say San José State has exceeded anyone’s expectations for the reactivation of the theater and have kept it as a vital community asset. That is certainly worth applauding.”

On June 15, 2020, the Hammer announced its plan to invest in additional technology to create a studio-quality, high-definition, multi-camera video environment that will allow the theatre to offer its audiences live stream events to view from home. These tech upgrades provide the Hammer the opportunity to offer high-quality alternatives for the short term—while large public gatherings are prohibited by COVID-19—and long term—for those who may not be able to attend a live event in person for accessibility reasons. To help with the effort, the Hammer has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $30,000 to pay for the refit of the theatre and to offer live stream content from its stage. For more information visit:

About San José State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations—offered through its nine colleges.

With approximately 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural, and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 280,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

San Jose State University, Mayor Liccardo and Bill Wilson Center Launch Partnership with Airbnb to Address Student Homelessness

Editor’s Note:  This news release was sent to the media on November 13, 2019

Media Contacts

Robin McElhatton, San Jose State University, (408) 799-3373 or
Chloe Meyere, Office of Mayor Sam Liccardo, (408) 535-4833 or
Mattie Zazueta, Airbnb, (323) 448-6974 or
Robin Reynolds, Bill Wilson Center, (408) 850-6156 or

San Jose State University, Mayor Liccardo and Bill Wilson Center Launch Partnership with Airbnb to Address Student Homelessness

First-of-its-kind pilot program will provide short-term housing solutions for homeless and housing-insecure college students in San Jose ahead of the holiday season

San Jose, Calif. — Today, San Jose State University, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Bill Wilson Center joined Airbnb to announce a first-of-its-kind partnership-in-the-country to provide a community-based solution that will offer free, temporary housing to college students experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity. San Jose is the first city in the country to pilot Airbnb for Work’s third-party booking tool — where an administrator can book and manage stays on behalf of others — to address student homelessness. 

The partnership was borne out of initial conversations with Mayor Liccardo, Airbnb, Bill Wilson Center, and San Jose State University over the summer, and will pay additional focus to ensure students have housing over the holiday season.

“College students should worry about final exams, not about where they’ll sleep each night,” said Mayor Liccardo. “We are proud to forge this partnership with Airbnb, Bill Wilson Center, and San Jose State to do better for our next generation of leaders.” 

Leveraging Airbnb for Work’s third-party booking tool, Bill Wilson Center will book temporary accommodations on behalf of participating students. Airbnb will refund its host and guest booking fees to Bill Wilson Center for the pilot program. 

“We need to work together in Silicon Valley to assure vulnerable college students have a place to stay when they face homelessness,” said Sparky Harlan, Bill Wilson Center CEO. “Thanks to Airbnb, Bill Wilson Center will have access to rooms in hosted homes where we can temporarily place a student while we work to find them longer-term, stable housing.”

Students’ short-term stays will range between a few days to a few weeks and up to several months — as determined by individual need — while Bill Wilson Center works to identify a long-term, stable housing solution for participating students. The center will use existing federal, state, and local funding sources to cover the short-term rents.

“Across the country, too many students are going to bed every night without a roof over their heads,” said Chris Lehane, Airbnb’s Senior Vice President of Global Policy and Communications. “We are honored that Mayor Liccardo is leading this work and grateful for the opportunity to bring public, private and nonprofit resources together to support local students in need. We look forward to working with the Bill Wilson Center in the coming months to leverage our host community and place students in a safe place they can call home.”

Mayor Liccardo hopes partners can leverage and grow this partnership to help homeless and housing insecure students at other higher education institutions in San Jose, and the region. 

“San Jose State, particularly students who may need support during the upcoming winter recess when the campus is closed, will find the funds earmarked for this initiative to be a welcome and timely gift as we approach the holiday season,” said Patrick Day, San Jose State University Vice President of Student Affairs. “We know that a comforting and supportive environment for our students—including housing—is an important building block for meeting their basic needs. Partnerships like this are a must when tackling such an urgent and critical issue, so this collaborative effort is a step in the right direction.”

The pilot program follows City of San Jose’s declaration of November as National Homeless Youth Awareness Month and will launch ahead of the holidays when on-campus housing and services become less accessible. It also aligns with Bill Wilson Center’s recently-announced 100-Day Challenge to Prevent and End Youth Homelessness, launched in partnership with Santa Clara County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg. 

About San Jose State University 

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations — offered through its eight colleges. With approximately 36,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce. The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

About the City of San Jose

With more than one million residents, San José is one of the most diverse large cities in the United States and is Northern California’s largest city and the 10th largest city in the nation. San José’s transformation into a global innovation center has resulted in one of the largest concentrations of technology companies and expertise in the world. In 2011, the City adopted Envision San José 2040, a long-term growth plan that sets forth a vision and a comprehensive road map to guide the City’s anticipated growth through the year 2040.

About Airbnb

Airbnb is one of the world’s largest marketplaces for unique, authentic places to stay and things to do, offering over 7 million accommodations and 40,000 handcrafted activities, all powered by local hosts. An economic empowerment engine, Airbnb has helped millions of hospitality entrepreneurs monetize their spaces and their passions while keeping the financial benefits of tourism in their own communities. With more than half a billion guest arrivals to date, and accessible in 62 languages across 191 countries and regions, Airbnb promotes people-to-people connection, community, and trust around the world. Airbnb For Work provides a suite of tools for travelers and travel managers to make it easier to travel for work without sacrificing the comforts of home. 

About Bill Wilson Center

The Bill Wilson Center is a non-profit that provides housing, education and counseling services to more than 4,100 children, young adults, and families in Santa Clara County. The organization is committed to working with the community to ensure that every youth has access to the range of services needed to grow to be healthy and self-sufficient adults. Bill Wilson Center has been providing services to runaway and homeless youth since 1973.


Public, Private Partners Vow to House 100 Homeless College Students in 100 Days

Editor’s Note:  This news release was sent to the media on November 4, 2019


Mayra Flores, Communications Director
408-963-1373 c |

Robin Reynolds, Communications Manager
408-313-3269 c |

Public, Private Partners Vow to House 100 Homeless College Students in 100 Days

San Jose, Calif. –Santa Clara County stakeholders join the national call to action as leaders from Bill Wilson Center, San Jose State University, West Valley-Mission Community College District, and County of Santa Clara Supervisor Susan Ellenberg come together to tackle college student homelessness through the 100-Day Challenge.

“The 100-Day Challenge focuses our community to step up and house the increasing number of homeless college students in Silicon Valley,” said Sparky Harland, Bill Wilson Center CEO.

The goal of this effort is to house 100 college students experiencing homelessness in 100 days by working with a multitude of stakeholders and service providers to connect students with available resources.

Along with Bill Wilson Center, the County of Santa Clara’s District 4, West Valley-Mission Community College District, San Jose State University, County Office of Supportive Housing, Community Solutions, and Foothill College will also be collaborating to house these college students.

“No student should live in a car, on someone’s couch, or under an overpass, especially when they’re working toward their dreams and careers,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Susan Ellenberg. “I am proud to see all these stakeholders step up and come together to put these students first and find them stable housing.”

“Homelessness is a regional challenge shared by the entire Bay Area, one that cries out for meaningful solutions,” said Mary A. Papazian, President of San Jose State University. “Long-term answers can only emerge through joint efforts between government, civic organization and the broader community, and the 100 Day Challenge checks all the right boxes. At SJSU, addressing student housing is a critical part of meeting our students’ overall basic needs, so we are pleased to be part of this important initiative.”

Along with the kick-off of the 100-Day Challenge, the County is proclaiming the month of November as “National Homeless Youth Awareness Month” in the County of Santa Clara and Bill Wilson Center is unveiling a new report focused on homeless youth in Santa Clara County.

According to the 2019 Homeless Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, 22% of the homeless respondents (ages 18-25) are currently enrolled in college. Of those currently experiencing homelessness, 14% of respondents noted they are living outside and 10% are living in their car.

“For a growing number of students in Santa Clara County, housing insecurity presents the largest obstacle to higher education,” said Brad Davis, West Valley-Mission Community College District Chancellor. “Our county is blessed with outstanding educators across the entire continuum of public and private education, but as rents climb to an all-time high our students are increasingly priced out of higher education, not by tuition and fees, but because they must choose between a roof over their head today or career tomorrow.”

About Santa Clara County

The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, the sixth-largest county in California. With more than 70 agencies/departments and nearly 22,000 employees, the County of Santa Clara plans for the needs of a dynamic community, offers quality services, and promotes a healthy, safe and prosperous community for all. The County provides essential services including public health and environmental protection, medical services through Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) hospitals and clinics, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, parks, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and scores of other services, particularly for those members of our community in the greatest need. Visit us at: http://www​

About Bill Wilson Center

Bill Wilson Center is a nationally and regionally recognized leader for providing services to at-risk, homeless youth and families. More than 4,100 children, youth, young adults and families in Santa Clara County are directly serviced with another 30,000 clients assisted by BWC’s street outreach and crisis line programs. BWC provides services that meet the cultural and linguistic needs of our whole community. We value our unique ethnic diversity as well as the LGBTQ community and non-able community.  BWC is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA).


San Jose State University Joins Amicus Brief in Support of DACA

Media Contacts:
Christine Hutchins, 408-924-1141, 650-644-9329,
Robin McElhatton, 408-924-1749, 408-799-3373,

San Jose State University joined over 164 colleges and universities from across the country in signing an amicus brief supporting the approximately 700,000 young immigrants who came to the United States as children and who hold Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This “friend of the court” brief in the case before the Supreme Court can be viewed and downloaded at this link:

Two years ago, on September 5, 2017, the administration rescinded DACA, an initiative that provides work permits and protection from deportation for undocumented students, often known as “Dreamers.” Oral arguments on this rescission will be held at the Supreme Court on November 12. The court could hand down a ruling as soon as February 2020, determining if Dreamers will lose the ability to live, study and work in the United States.

SJSU joined this “friend of the court” brief because the university believes that it is important to publicly show its unwavering support for DACA and immigrant students. 

“San Jose State is proud to be one of the most diverse campus communities in the nation, and it is a distinction that sets us apart from other public universities,” said SJSU President Mary A. Papazian. “We will continue to invest in the success of all of our students. The continued existence of DACA is essential, and this support affirms our values of inclusion, equity, respect and diversity of all cultures and people.”

SJSU encourages all eligible students and employees who have less than one year left of their DACA to submit their renewal application immediately. SJSU and CSU have many support services for DACA recipients, undocumented students and alumni in the campus community.

Support Services:

Diversity and inclusion are core values of San Jose State University and the California State University system. SJSU will continue to support DACA students and employees. The university will make every effort to provide a safe and welcoming campus environment for all students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the campus community.


SJSU and IBM Announce New Collaboration—First of its Kind on the West Coast

Preparing Students for high tech jobs of the future

Photo by Francisco Mendoza, ’21 Photography/San Jose State University

On October 18, 2019, San Jose State University and IBM announced a strategic collaboration designed to provide today’s students with advanced skills needed for high tech jobs of the future.

The use of emerging technologies such as the Internet of things, cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), data science, security, and blockchain are growing. AI is expected to contribute $15.7T to the global economy by 2030* as the U.S. skills gap widens. Over 11.5 million workers in the United States alone may need to be retrained or reskilled as a result of AI and intelligent automation alone in the next three years.**

“It makes perfect sense for Silicon Valley’s public university to collaborate with IBM, a giant in the tech world,” said San Jose State University President Mary A. Papazian. “Growing our research and scholarship is a priority of ours and ties directly to our student success goals. This collaboration will help San Jose State students gain the skills they need to compete in tomorrow’s workforce, and it will solidify SJSU as the top provider of talent to Silicon Valley companies.”    

The strategic skills-based collaboration, the first of its kind on the west coast, will feature three key components on campus: IBM Academic Initiative, SJSU Technology Office, and IBM Skills Academy.  

  • IBM Academic Initiative. IBM will provide a unique, customized portal for SJSU students, staff, and faculty to access IBM Academic Initiatives resources for teaching and research purposes. The Academic Initiative also provides faculty and researchers with IBM’s cloud technology and software in fast-growing fields such as AI, blockchain, cybersecurity, data science, high-performance computing, and quantum computing. 
  • SJSU Technology Office. IBM will help SJSU establish a technology office to support faculty research, student growth, and campus-wide innovation through regular workshops and training. A cybersecurity training center will also be developed and located on the SJSU campus in the future.
  • IBM Skills Academy. This Skills Academy will offer practical curriculum, learning tools, and labs created by IBM subject experts. Courses will cover a variety of advanced skills, and SJSU’s Information Technology department will evaluate pilot programs in data science, AI, data engineering and cybersecurity. IBM’s new AI tools and related education initiatives are drawn from methods and technologies IBM developed in-house to drive its own workforce transformation. The IBM Skills Academy transforms how cultures and people will operate with digital technology including ethics and human bias in coding.

“Skills are the most important issue of our time and we need to fully equip students with the right skills to participate in the digital economy,” said Naguib Attia, vice president, IBM Global University Programs. “Through this new collaboration, we will work closely with San Jose State University to ensure curricula aligns with industry needs and trends so both students and faculty can earn digital badges and develop the skills they need today, for the jobs of tomorrow.”

The collaboration between San Jose State University and IBM takes effect immediately.

**PwC’s Global Artificial Intelligence Study: Exploiting the AI Revolution

**IBM Institute of Business Value, “The Enterprise Guide to Closing the Skills Gap”, September 2019.






SJSU Cares Housing and Homeless Resources Explained

Photo: Brandon Chew, ’18 Photojournalism/ San Jose State University

Media Contacts:
Christine Hutchins, 408-924-1141, 650-644-9329,
Robin McElhatton, 408-924-1749, 408-799-3373,

SJSU Cares Housing and Homeless Resources Explained

100 Percent of SJSU Students Who Requested Housing and Homeless Resources and Remained Engaged with SJSU Cares Received Assistance

SAN JOSE, CA–Housing insecurity is a nationwide crisis affecting too many college students. A complex issue that is often interconnected with other concerns, including economic hardship, it can range from short-term to ongoing need.

To add to this complex issue, “housing insecurity” can be described as a spectrum. Housing insecurity could mean a student sleeps on her friend’s couch before the semester starts, a family that has been displaced by a landlord selling its property, or a person with longer-term needs related to job loss, divorce or separation, illness, addiction or mental health issues.

At San Jose State University, SJSU Cares was established as a resource and service to assist students who are confronted with situations and issues outside of the classroom that may negatively impact their academic success. Some of those services include housing/homeless resources, food insecurity, mentoring, counseling, health and wellness, and public safety assistance. There is a range of housing/homeless resources, including temporary emergency housing, financial assistance for housing, assistance with landlord issues and help to search for an apartment.

Not every student who is in need of temporary emergency housing wants or seeks on-campus living assistance. Temporary emergency housing assistance is not approached as a “one size fits all” service model. Every student matters and each student has unique housing needs. SJSU Cares begins services by assessing each student’s unique needs to understand the best approach toward sustainable housing and a comprehensive solution—rather than providing just “a bed.” It’s important to note that not all students facing housing insecurity utilize SJSU Cares. Many seek other resources outside of the university.

During the 2018-19 academic year, SJSU Cares received requests for various types of assistance from 189 students. Forty-four percent of the 189 SJSU Cares requests were for housing/homeless resources.

In each of these cases, SJSU Cares responses were aligned with the unique needs of students, as there is no single, uniform response to housing assistance needs. In cases when a student has revealed historical and ongoing financial hardships that affect their housing needs, SJSU Cares has provided solutions that involve more comprehensive interventions. The goal is to ensure students gain the necessary skills and resources to develop financial self-sufficiency and resilience.

By the Numbers

Among the actual services provided to the 189 students who contacted SJSU Cares during the 2018-19 academic year:

  • 53 students were granted additional financial aid grants through SJSU Cares with an average award amount of $1,107.
  • 21 students were awarded financial aid loans through SJSU Cares and 12 students accepted an average loan amount of $3,329.
  • 18 students were granted emergency assistance funds with an average award amount of $789.
  • 6 students received temporary emergency housing on campus with an average stay of 17.8 days.

In spring 2019, President Papazian stated that any student who is in need of temporary housing will not be turned away.

However, not every student who contacted SJSU Cares accepted services or resources. SJSU Cares strives for housing stability based on each student’s unique needs and their personal decision to utilize the services or resources offered. While SJSU Cares delivered temporary housing to some students based on immediate, short-term needs, they worked with other students to arrange loans or grants in an effort to facilitate long-term financial and housing stability.

Going Forward

As SJSU comes to understand the emergent challenges of student housing insecurity, the university is continually scaling its services and housing resources and is working to deliver those services as quickly as possible. The university also is expanding promotion of SJSU Cares so students are aware of it.

Anyone affiliated with SJSU who recognizes that a student is experiencing housing insecurity or other forms of economic crisis is encouraged to contact SJSU Cares directly by email at or by filling out the Request for Assistance online form. The SJSU Cares team is committed to taking a comprehensive approach to resolving students’ economic crises while building their financial efficacy and resilience.

About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations — offered through its eight colleges.

With approximately 36,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

Computer Science Receives $1.6 Million Gift

A student is working on a laptop.

Photo: Robert C. Bain

Media contact:
Robin McElhatton, SJSU media relations specialist, 408-924-1749,

San Jose, Calif. — San Jose State University is pleased to announce that it has received a $1.6 million planned gift from an anonymous donor. The gift will endow a lectureship in the computer science department, establishing a teaching position upon the donor’s death and expanding opportunities for computer science majors to hear from experts, and explore research, career and internship programs in the field.

“Gifts like this one allow us to provide students with co-curricular experiences that expand their horizons, allow them to encounter diverse viewpoints, and hear from leaders in their future industries,” said Michael Kaufman, dean of the College of Science. “All departments would benefit from such programs.”

San Jose State’s computer science program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, a nonprofit organization that accredits competitive programs across the nation. In addition to undergraduate and master’s degrees, the department offers a Computer Science Certificate in Cybersecurity, and a bachelor’s of science in software engineering offered in partnership with the computer engineering department. Computer science, jointly with the biological sciences and mathematics and statistics departments, will offer a master of science in bioinformatics, starting later this year.

Connecting San Jose State to Silicon Valley Industry

Although the donor is not originally from this area, after moving here the donor has been able to take advantage of the many opportunities that the Silicon Valley offers in the tech industry. However, over the years, the donor noticed that many local students who grow up surrounded by these great companies don’t have a clear idea how to tap into the opportunities that surround them.

“San Jose State is full of local students. They have a lot they can contribute and they just need a little guidance,” said the donor. “While there are many great ways to help students accomplish their educational goals, this gift helps to get more great faculty to help students prepare for the many local opportunities for computer science majors.”

By endowing a teaching position in computer science, the donor is hoping to ensure that Spartans interested in the field continue to receive an excellent education.

“I have found so much gratification in computer science, and I want to make sure that students who are interested have that opportunity too,” the donor said. “Teachers have been a great influence on me, so I really want students who come here to have great people to learn from.”

“It is so exciting to see a member of our community investing in our future students and faculty members with a commitment like this,” said Paul Lanning, vice president for University Advancement and CEO of the Tower Foundation. “I hope this gift serves as an inspiration to others to think about how they might provide for future generations at San Jose State.”

To learn how you can support the College of Science, please contact Emily Lane, director of development, at 408-924-1145 or

About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study—offered through its eight colleges. With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley, the state and the world, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce. The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 270,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.


SJSU Student William “Billy” Nguyen

Editor’s note: This message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on Sept. 19, 2016.

Dear Campus Community,

I am writing with a heavy heart to let you know that second-year kinesiology major William “Billy” Nguyen, a San Jose native, passed away Saturday while hiking in Sequoia National Park with a group of fellow SJSU students and staff members as part of SJSU’s Outdoor Adventures recreation program (read the National Park Service release).

Members of the traveling party were swimming in a lake when Billy reportedly struggled and sank beneath the water’s surface. The group tried unsuccessfully to rescue him. A search and rescue team has recovered his body; the Tulare County Medical Examiner is determining the cause of death.

Along with counseling and other university staff, I was on campus to meet the traveling party when their bus returned Sunday evening. As one would imagine, they have been badly shaken by this tragedy. I assured them that the SJSU community is and will continue to be here for them.

Our students and staff acted with remarkable courage, composure and thoughtfulness. On behalf of the entire university community, I want them to know how proud we are of them.

Billy was an Outdoor Adventures student assistant who completed a training course last year so that he could serve as a student leader this year. He was among five staff members on this trip.

He has been described to me as someone who, while sometimes reserved, loved group activities and wanted to inspire others to join in and be active. His interests included fitness and outdoors activities. He enjoyed working out and getting others to do the same.

Earlier today I spoke personally with Billy’s mother. As your president and as a parent, I am heartbroken for the Nguyen family and for all who knew and loved their son. Please keep Billy, his family and friends in your thoughts and your hearts during this difficult time. Counseling services are available if you need them.

Mary A. Papazian

U.S. News Rankings: SJSU Sixth Overall

(Photo: David Schmitz)

(Photo: David Schmitz)

(Photo: David Schmitz).

“Every day, our faculty, staff, and administrators do everything we can to create a valuable experience for our students.”—Ping Hsu, interim dean of the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering (Photo: David Schmitz).

SJSU Media Relations contact:
Pat Harris, 408-924-1748,

SAN JOSE, CA – The 2017 edition of the U.S. News & World Report college rankings, available now online, ranks San Jose State University at sixth overall among the West’s top public universities offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Last year, SJSU was ranked eighth.

“I am delighted but not surprised to see San Jose State University rising in these rankings,” President Mary Papazian said. “SJSU offers students a top-quality education and unrivaled access to diverse cultural experiences and career opportunities in the heart of San Jose and Silicon Valley.”


San Jose State’s Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering received high marks, ranking third in the nation among public engineering programs offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees, excluding service academies. Last year, SJSU was ranked fourth.

“We are honored to be recognized by U.S. News and World Report in this manner,” said Ping Hsu, interim dean of the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering. “Every day, our faculty, staff, and administrators do everything we can to create a valuable experience for our students. We are very pleased to see their efforts again recognized by top rankings.”


In addition, SJSU’s Lucas College and Graduate School of Business was ranked third in the Bay Area among accredited bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, the same as last year.

“We are honored that the Donald and Sally Lucas College and Graduate School of Business has yet again earned this ranking, underscoring our commitment to student success and to providing students with an education that prepares them to make significant contributions to Silicon Valley and beyond,” said Marlene Turner, interim dean of the College of Business.

About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 8,900 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 250,000 alumni, 65 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.


Oscar Award Winning Actress Rita Moreno to Speak at SJSU EOP Gala

Rita Moreno 2015 Austin Hargrave Photographer

Rita Moreno (photo by Austin Hargrave)

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

SAN JOSE, CA – Rita Moreno, the Puerto Rico native who defied ethnic stereotypes while earning all of America’s highest awards for entertainers, will be the guest of honor and keynote speaker at San Jose State University’s first-ever Educational Opportunity Program Gala.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. Sept. 15 in the Student Union Ballroom. Tickets start at $125 and are available now for purchase. Proceeds will support EOP students in many ways, including emergency food and housing, as well as study abroad experiences.

“Rita Moreno is an excellent student of life,” said Debra Griffith, SJSU Associate Vice President for Transition and Retention Services. “Ms. Moreno worked hard to achieve her dreams. She continues to grow and lead the way. We’re thrilled she accepted our offer to speak at the EOP Gala, and believe her life story will inspire the entire San Jose State University community.”

Oscar, Grammy, Tony and Emmy Recipient

Raised in New York and residing in Berkeley, Calif., Moreno has maintained a leading presence on American stage and screen since securing her first role as a dancer at the age of 11 in the early 1940s. She went on to excel as an actress, singer and dancer, turning in performances that riveted the nation.

Known today among younger Latino performers as “La Pionera,” she starred in two Academy Award winning films, “The King and I” and “West Side Story.” She received an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the second film, which explores the rivalry between two street gangs. Yet she refused to succumb to stereotypes.

“The movie studios saw Moreno as only a Latina and pigeonholed her as an ‘ethnic,’” The Washington Post said. “At every stage, she has required fortitude, a fierce desire to create opportunities for herself and a willingness to take on just about anything.”

When a revolution in children’s programming produced “The Electric Company,” she joined the cast partly because she thought being on a show conveying a love of reading would help her daughter do the same. Viewers may recall her screaming the show’s opening line, “Hey you guys!”

Moreno received a Grammy for “The Electric Company Album,” a Tony for her performance in the groundbreaking Broadway musical “The Ritz,” and two Emmys for a guest appearance on “The Muppet Show” and the following year for a dramatic turn on “The Rockford Files.”

As cable emerged as a dramatic production powerhouse, Moreno accepted a role playing Sister Pete on the HBO prison series “Oz.” At the top of her industry through seven decades of change, Moreno has received our nation’s highest accolades: the Kennedy Center Honors Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.

EOP: Providing Opportunity

Founded in 1969, the Educational Opportunity Program at SJSU serves more than 2,000 students who are first in their families to attend college, including many from low-income and underserved communities. Recent initiatives include a five-week Summer Bridge program, which has helped push retention rates from the freshman to sophomore year, a critical predictor for college success, to over 95 percent.

About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 31,200 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.


President Papazian Delivers First Formal Speech to SJSU Community

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

SAN JOSE, CA – President Mary Papazian introduced herself to the SJSU community, reflected on the university’s legacy, and shared her optimism about its future at the Fall Welcome Address, held noon Aug. 25 in the Student Union Ballroom.

This was President Papazian’s first formal speech to the campus community since taking office July 1. Academic Senate Chair Michael Kimbarow opened the event and welcome attendees. The speech is an annual tradition marking the start of the academic year.

All students, faculty, staff, community members and the news media were invited to attend. The event was streamed live.

Read the president’s prepared remarks.

About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 31,200 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.


Update: University Housing

SJSU Campus Village 2 window view, courtesy of University Housing Services

SJSU Campus Village 2 window view, courtesy of University Housing Services

This morning, the Office of the President emailed the following message on Campus Village 2 to all faculty, staff and students.

Dear Campus Community,

This weekend, thousands of Spartans will move into our residence halls. This includes 820 frosh assigned to be the first residents of Campus Village 2, our newest tower.

SJSU Campus Village 2 desk view, courtesy of University Housing Services

SJSU Campus Village 2 desk view, courtesy of University Housing Services

While this building was scheduled for completion this month, we have determined that it is not yet suitable for housing our students. Campus Village 2 residents will be housed temporarily in available spaces in other residence halls.

You can read more about this on the Housing Services website.


Office of the President

SJSU and CEFCU Announce Partnership Agreement For Spartan Stadium

Media contacts:
• Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU Media Relations Director, 408-924-1748,
• Lawrence Fan, SJSU Athletics Media Relations Director, 408-924-1217,
• Janā Stevens, CEFCU Community Relations Manager, 309-633-3675,

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University and the Citizens Equity First Credit Union (CEFCU) have forged an $8.7 million, 15-year partnership agreement to rename the football stadium.

“CEFCU Stadium — Home of the Spartans” will host its first football game Sept. 10 against Portland State. The California State University Board of Trustees approved the stadium renaming and broader agreement at its July 19 meeting.

“We are very pleased to extend and enhance our relationship with CEFCU to include the naming of the stadium. Since 2011, CEFCU has been a loyal partner with San Jose State Athletics and we’ve valued its presence in Spartan Stadium. Today’s announcement is a long-term extension of our ongoing relationship with CEFCU,” Athletics Director Gene Bleymaier said about the renaming of the 30,456-seat venue built in 1933.

This is the only such agreement for a football stadium in the California State University system and one of three in the Mountain West Conference.

“There are many opportunities to invest in student success here at San Jose State,” University Advancement Vice President Paul Lanning said. “We hope this partnership motivates other Silicon Valley institutions—public and private—to join with us.”

The agreement will help with the funding of scholarship commitments for student-athletes, support and strengthen athletics operations, and improve the stadium and other facilities.

“CEFCU has been proud to support San Jose State University for many years. Since community involvement is extremely important to CEFCU, this new opportunity allows us to continue to support San Jose State through an even stronger partnership while furthering our commitment to the San Jose community. CEFCU is honored to be associated with an institution that excels in both academics and athletics,” CEFCU Community President Mark Hoffmire said.


As a community credit union, CEFCU is pleased to serve anyone living, working, or worshipping in Alameda, Contra Costa or Santa Clara counties in California. CEFCU was founded on the idea of savers helping borrowers and borrowers helping savers. With assets of nearly $5.5 billion, CEFCU serves over 314,000 members through four Member Centers in Santa Clara County and 20 central Illinois Member Centers; the surcharge-free CO-OP ATM Network; the CU Service Center Shared Branch Network; the Money Center 24 ATM Network; CEFCU’s website,; and CEFCU Mobile Banking.

About San Jose State University Athletics

San Jose State University’s athletics program sponsors 20 NCAA Division I sports (7 men’s and 13 women’s) and offers an intercollegiate athletics experience to at least 470 student-athletes annually. The Spartans compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the highest level of college football. San Jose State is a member of the Mountain West — a conference of 12 football-playing schools in the Pacific, Mountain and Hawaiian time zones.

About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations — offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 32,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

FAQs: SJSU’s Tech Upgrade

Two years ago, San Jose State University launched a five-year, $28 million technology initiative. A detailed progress report is summarized in this quick reference guide.

What is the “Next Generation Technology” initiative?

A five-year plan, launched in 2012, to upgrade SJSU’s technology infrastructure to a level necessary to meet the basic needs of students, faculty and staff members, and the campus community.

Why is it needed?

SJSU’s technology infrastructure had become outdated, inadequate and inefficient. This was not a sudden revelation; numerous campus committees had studied the issue for years. While there was a general understanding that the campus’s technology assets were inadequate, there was no strategy or plan to address this deficiency.

Define “inadequate.”

Students, faculty and staff complained about the lack of basic technology for classrooms, meeting spaces and computer labs. The campus relied on five telephone systems, two nearing obsolescence. WiFi access was slow, unreliable and unavailable in many parts of campus.

NEW! What are the educational benefits of the new technology?

  • Fourteen classrooms have been upgraded, including six classrooms featuring video lecture-capture and video conferencing technology. These tools allow faculty to record lectures for students and to bring guest lecturers and other experts “into” the classroom. More than 30 faculty members and their students are now using these rooms.
  • Additional equipment has been purchased and is on site, ready to upgrade more classrooms.  Academic Affairs is working with faculty members to identify needs for specific rooms.
  • TelePresence helps instructors bring the world to their students by connecting the class to industry experts. WebEx helps faculty members and students collaborate. Both of these collaboration tools help instructors to record teachable moments for students, moments students can revisit later online. These tools also expand our notion of what it means to be in class to include a classroom on campus, a virtual classroom, or a hybrid of the two.
  • See what SJSU professors are saying about the new technology.

UPDATED! What is the status of the 51 new classrooms?

  • SJSU set the goal of 51 new classrooms based on the number of codec devices (video streaming devices) the network could support for video conferences and lecture-capture recordings. Fifty-one codec devices were purchased and are on site at SJSU, installed or ready for installation. The codec devices can be used in classrooms and meeting rooms. New software means SJSU’s network can now support more than 51 codec devices simultaneously, if the need arises.
  • Codecs have been installed in 14 classrooms and 11 conference rooms and offices. More will be installed after Academic Affairs surveys learning spaces and creates priorities. Three mobile units are available for short-term use on campus. To request a conference room update, classroom update, or mobile unit, contact the IT Help Desk (408-924-1530,
  • Faculty members are using classrooms and conference rooms outfitted with the new tech tools. Based on their experiences, these instructors will provide critical input that will be incorporated into plans for additional rooms over the next three years.
  • In the end, more than 51 classrooms may well be enhanced with varying degrees of technology. Plans will evolve to meet needs and available solutions.

NEW! What are the benefits of the new telephone system?

  • The new telephone system replaces five independent, aging systems with an Internet-based (so-called voice-over-IP, or VoIP) unified communication system.
  • The new system integrates with mobile devices and desktop computers.
  • “Reach-me-anywhere” features give each faculty and staff member the freedom to select the device that best meets his or her needs.
  • Faculty and staff members have three choices: a telephone handset with video; a telephone handset without video, and/or telephone software (Jabber).
  • No one is required to have a video telephone. Everyone has the option of skipping the telephone handset altogether and using software instead to access a work telephone line through a cell phone, desktop or laptop computer.
  • The IT Help Desk (408-924-1530, offers telephone system training and helps employees switch handsets.
  • The new telephone system will allow SJSU to integrate emergency communications through all campus, classroom and office telephones as well as digital signage.
  • It should be noted that many SJSU departments now have lower telephone bills. You’ll find more information on this below.

NEW! How do students, faculty and staff tap into all these resources?

  • The Division of Academic Affairs offers faculty members many opportunities to learn about technology and technology-enhanced pedagogy through the Academic Technology office, the Center for Faculty Development, and college-level initiatives. Faculty members can also access a variety of online resources through Academic Technology, the Center for Faculty Development, and IT Services. King Library supplements these activities.
  • Web conferencing (WebEx) services via most devices is available to all faculty, staff and students anywhere the Internet is accessible, including all classrooms, meeting rooms and offices.
  • IT Services hosts annual expos. This year, planning began in March. The expo was held in October. The event showcased technology solutions designed to help the entire university community. Faculty members learned about opportunities to enhance the instructional environment. Staff members and students learned about collaboration technologies that can raise productivity and help students better manage the learning process.
  • Everyone can check this ITS website for a list of rooms equipped with Next Generation technology for classes and meetings. These spaces offer current, reliable infrastructure, including state-of-the-art video conferencing (TelePresence) as well as audio, visual and lecture-capture technology to enhance collaboration and communication between students and instructors. Recorded sessions are available for review almost immediately.

What more has been accomplished?

  • In the past two years, the campus network capacity has tripled. During the first week of fall term 2014, the number of devices connecting to SJSU’s network was more than double that of the previous year. Total wireless traffic the same week nearly tripled from 1,239 GB to 3,400 GB. The average daily number of concurrent computing devices connected to WiFi at SJSU increased from 4,626 devices in 2013 to 14,500 devices in 2014.
  • Even with over 14,000 devices connected simultaneously to WiFi, the SJSU network is not at maximum capacity. SJSU believes the concurrent connectivity for any other CSU campus is 12,000 devices. In addition, SJSU is expanding the network to cover outdoor common areas.
  • After years of complaints, students, faculty, staff, and visitors are now able to access the Internet wirelessly from almost anywhere on campus.  This is especially significant in SJSU’s residence halls, home to 3,600 people who previously had very limited Internet access. WiFi is now available in all University Housing student rooms. Students report seeing Internet speeds over 100 megabits.
  • Since fall 2012, over 100 computer labs on campus have been refreshed with 1,600 new computers and laptops as well as 1,500 new monitors. IT Services is now replacing outdated faculty and staff computers.
  • Data security and support services have been enhanced. This is less noticeable to the naked eye, but critically important in an age of increased data security threats.

UPDATED! How was the Next Generation technology strategy developed?  Did faculty members play a role in developing this strategy?

Representatives from Academic Affairs were involved in the decision-making process from the start. However, this method did not result in consultation with the full faculty. Academic Affairs is now surveying all classrooms to determine all needs including technology.

SJSU is collecting information on how the Next Generation classrooms are being used. Examples of pedagogy, student testimonials and assessment will be shared with the entire campus community at the end of fall term.

Here is how SJSU developed the Next Generation initiative:

In fall 2011, SJSU held 49 town hall meetings to discuss its future. Technology was a recurring theme. Input from these sessions became the basis for a five-year campus strategic plan. One of its five priorities was “agility through technology.”

The town hall meetings were widely publicized and open to anyone. Faculty members participated. Faculty members were also involved in the development of SJSU’s Academic Plan, which further refined our thinking about technology needs.

From 2012 to 2014, a series of meetings provided participants with the opportunity to discuss the Next Generation strategy and technologies:

  • The Academic Affairs leadership team participated in 10 planning meetings in 2012.
  • The provost hosted three open forums that included tech updates and Q&A sessions.
  • Academic Affairs representatives participated in six meetings of the Vision 2017 Agility Through Technology Committee.
  • IT staff participated in more than 20 planning meetings in 2012 and 2013.

IT open forums, college meetings and faculty committee meetings continue to offer updates and Q&A sessions as well as opportunities to provide input.

UPDATED! Why was Cisco chosen?

In 2012, all CSU campuses, including SJSU were using Cisco networking products including routers and switches.

Shortly after President Qayoumi’s arrival in summer 2011, the SJSU IT Governing Board identified its top 10 IT priorities to enable improved teaching, learning and process efficiencies for SJSU within three to five years. The campus then began to identify possible approaches to deliver effective solutions.

SJSU began by studying options available through the Chancellor’s Office. At meetings on and off-campus, chancellor’s representatives worked closely with San Jose State officials to explore conditions at SJSU, review options available through the Chancellor’s Office, and discover other ways to meet the needs of SJSU students, faculty and staff. SJSU determined options offered by the Chancellor’s Office would not meet its needs within the prescribed time frame.

SJSU then looked at the feasibility of utilizing external vendors. The feasibility of a single-vendor approach and a best-of-breed (putting together our own system by choosing components from different vendors) approach were evaluated.

Single-vendor approach

  • integrated technology solutions proven at many organizations
  • coordinated deployment and upgrade paths established by the vendor
  • single point of escalation for technology support problems
  • reduced risk in terms of depending on available SJSU staff knowledge for support
  • may not deliver latest technology features in every infrastructure area

Best-of-breed approach

  • optimized technology solutions for each infrastructure area
  • reduced risk in terms of single vendor going out of business
  • required campus integration between different vendor solutions
  • multiple points of escalation for problem resolution
  • higher reliance on SJSU staff to resolve configuration and compatibility issues
  • typically, more time needed to deploy technology solutions

SJSU selected a single-vendor approach providing Cisco products and services for the following reasons: Cisco was a recognized leader in the wired and wireless networking space; Cisco offered an integrated solution; the single-vendor approach meshed well with available campus staffing and skill sets; and the single-vendor approach met SJSU’s delivery timeline.

To move the campus forward deliberately and quickly, SJSU formed the Next Generation Technology Project, with the goal of creating a pathway to a robust and vibrant IT environment that aligned with the “agility through technology” goal in SJSU’s Strategic Plan and the infrastructure technology needs outlined in the university’s Academic Plan.

It is worth noting that products and services for this project are not purchased directly from Cisco. Cisco sells its products and services through authorized distributors. The CSU had contracted with AT&T to buy Cisco products and services for many years, including products installed at SJSU. SJSU has contracted with Nexus to buy Cisco products and services.  Most, but not all, of the components of SJSU’s network infrastructure are from Cisco.

Did Cisco make donations to SJSU?

Cisco made donations totaling $839,951 from 2006 to 2013.  The majority of these gifts went to the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, supporting the MESA Engineering Program, student scholarships, peer advisors and many student organizations including the Society of Latino Engineers and Scientists, the Black Alliance of Scientists and Engineers, and the Society of Women Engineers.

In addition, Cisco made a $2,000 gift to SJSU to sponsor a table at the Inauguration Banquet for President Qayoumi. Cisco was one of six entities that sponsored tables at the event.

On a related note, Cisco invited President Qayoumi to speak at a technology conference in Australia and therefore paid for the president’s airfare. This was not a vacation; it was a three-day business trip.

Why wasn’t there a competitive bidding process?

Cisco was chosen through an approved no-bid process because extensive research showed SJSU was entering into a contract for pricing that was 60 percent below market rates and because SJSU wanted to move quickly given the campus was in dire need, particularly with respect to WiFi, computer labs, and data security.

State law permits public agencies to work with single vendors as long as the agencies demonstrate good-faith efforts to secure a fair price. SJSU negotiated deeper discounts for Cisco products and services than other public agencies that had used competitive bidding for similar services. This was well documented in project plans.

The Chancellor’s Office reviewed and approved SJSU’s solicitation plan, in compliance with state law and CSU policy. With these safeguards in place, and given the many years SJSU’s technology needs had been neglected, it made sense to proceed.

UPDATED! Why isn’t SJSU working with the CSU’s networking provider, Alcatel-Lucent?

There was no CSU agreement in place with Alcatel-Lucent when SJSU’s tech project commenced. In a December 2013 memorandum from the Chancellor’s Office to all CSU campuses, Executive Vice Chancellor Quillian wrote “San Jose State is exempted from adopting [Alcatel-Lucent as its network provider]. The campus’ significant, recent investment with a different provider took place prior to the agreement with Alcatel-Lucent.”

The chancellor’s Common Network Initiative (CNI) is focused on the replacement of end-of-life routers, switches, and firewalls. SJSU required far more than replacement parts. The network needed to be expanded, wireless access improved and expanded, the phone system replaced, and academic technology modernized.

If SJSU waited for the Chancellor’s Office’s CNI solution, SJSU would have been required to purchase these items separately (including significant costs to expand the campus wireless network), would not have had the benefit of network upgrades for an additional year, and would not have received the benefits of a unified technology network. SJSU was also concerned about timing. As of fall 2014, it appears CNI has assisted with replacements at just five campuses.

UPDATED! How much has SJSU spent on this? What is SJSU getting for such a big investment?

As of Oct. 1, 2014, SJSU has spent $25.2 million. The project has many concurrent initiatives:

  • security, $1,222,111
  • telephone systems, $3,329,405
  • network, $11,570,862 (This is greater than the original estimate of $9.5 million. The difference covered the replacement of a large number of autonomous networks discovered later on campus.)
  • classroom and video technology, $6,883,230 (This includes both classroom hardware and software licenses for services such as WebEx, Jabber and TelePresence. These tools are available to all students, faculty and staff.)
  • laptop and desktop computers, $346,240
  • servers, web, and professional development, $1,804,209
  • total, $25,156,058

It should be noted that many SJSU departments now have lower telephone bills. Prior to July 2013, SJSU’s IT unit recovered costs for telecommunications by charging campus units a monthly telephone line fee and actual toll charges (local and long distance).

In addition, campus units were charged for moves, adds, and changes to existing services. All telephone lines bore fees, regardless of fund source. General Fund units paid a $5 per month line fee and self-support/auxiliary units paid a $25 per month line fee.

The university funded the differential line fees. Network fees were determined on a case-by-case basis. With the new phone system, state-support campus units will no longer be billed for telecom or network services that are identified as baseline services.

How was the tech upgrade funded?

Through equal contributions from three sources: the Continuing Education Reserve Fund (CERF); the lease and eventual sale of campus broadband capacity; and campus operating funds.

What about student fees?

A portion of the Student Success, Excellence and Technology Fee (SSETF) is set aside for ongoing technology investments.

There are rumors of missing technology equipment. Is that true?

On Oct. 1, the University Police Department arrested Jose Javier Farias on suspicion of burglary and embezzlement of university property. Farias, a university employee, was booked into Santa Clara County jail. He later posted bail and was released.  The police investigation that began in March is continuing. University police encourages anyone with potentially relevant information to contact UPD at 408-924-2222. The university is pursuing recovery of the missing equipment.


Delacruz's class

Creating a New Paradigm: SJSU’s Tech Upgrade

By Information Technology Services and the Division of Academic Affairs

Two years ago, San Jose State University launched a five-year, $28 million initiative to support faculty members in using and applying next generation collaboration technologies to student learning. This series of investments is addressing specific information technology infrastructure areas deemed essential to realizing the “Unbounded Learning” capabilities envisioned in SJSU’s Strategic Plan: Vision 2017. Although the roll out will continue for several more years, SJSU is already experiencing tangible, positive results detailed below and in these frequently asked questions.


SJSU’s Wi-Fi service now spans nearly six million square feet of indoor space (Steve Proehl photo).

SJSU’s Wi-Fi service now spans nearly six million square feet of indoor space (Steve Proehl photo).

In fall 2012, Wi-Fi coverage was spotty and unreliable. It was impossible to teach a class or conduct an exam with materials on the web. Students drifted around campus, searching for a signal. There was no Wi-Fi access for guests and students living in our residence halls. All this has changed.

Over the past two years, SJSU has expanded its free, secure, wireless Internet service to serve all students, faculty, staff and guests, including prospective students and family members. Wi-Fi is reliable and available in all classrooms, campus buildings and student residences. The number of concurrent Wi-Fi connections during the day is more than 11,000 devices, double what was possible two years ago. Students have reported seeing Internet speeds over 100 megabytes.

Two years ago, students living in SJSU’s residence halls had to bring their own Internet routers to campus if they wanted to access the web. Today, SJSU provides Internet access to students living on campus, allowing them to connect with the content they need from the desks in their rooms.

Collaboration Technologies

Essential to realizing SJSU’s Strategic Plan are several key technologies that support robust, ubiquitous connectivity and unfettered video and audio communications among students, faculty, staff and experts worldwide.

For example, WebEx web conferencing allows professors to mix traditional and virtual class sessions throughout the semester, adding flexibility to their curricula and making the classroom an unbounded space for collaboration, anytime and anywhere.

Next Generation Classrooms

In the past two years, SJSU outfitted five classrooms and one auditorium with high-definition, interactive video conferencing that includes recording, indexing and word-search capabilities for all classroom exercises including lectures. Additionally, 17 conference rooms and offices were upgraded with similar functionalities.

In these rooms, students, faculty and staff can access interactive lectures by professors or industry experts worldwide. Students can even see exhibits shared by those speaking from remote locations.

Before this technology was installed, the best we could do was a few people sitting around a speaker phone. Now, classrooms feature high-speed, interactive video streaming.

Instructors have found the technology productive and useful. Based on faculty experience and feedback, additional classroom configurations will be developed and implemented.

Here are specific examples of how Next Gen classrooms are being used today.

Delacruz's class

An advertising class uses new tech tools to collaborate with industry experts (Wes Dorman photo).

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication 

  • Student groups present advertising projects to industry experts including a New York ad agency.
  • Previously, presentations were filmed and sent to New York. Feedback came days or weeks later.
  • Now, a classroom connection is made with the ad agency using Telepresence.
  • Recordings are available for playback later. This demonstrates how IT supports the academic mission.
  • The results include enhanced experiential learning capabilities; real-time feedback from industry experts; and the ability to review feedback from industry experts.

Public health students gain real-world and global experience by connecting with an Alebrije artisan community in Mexico (CASA Blog image).

The Master’s in Public Health Program

  • From admissions to graduation, the program has been redesigned to incorporate new technology.
  • For example, virtual classes are conducted via WebEx and multimedia course content is provided online.
  • In addition, the program connects with an Alebrije artisan community in Mexico to provide real-world experiences to students. Video conferencing with the artisan families enables more frequent and personal contact.
  • Results include enhanced experiential learning capabilities; a new social responsibility program for high school students interested in the Alebrije project; reduced costs for students traveling to and from campus; and flexibility for students seeking to meet personal and job responsibilities.
college of education

The Connie L. Lurie College of Education established a research effort to evaluate 21st century classrooms (Carl Best photo).

The Connie L. Lurie College of Education

  • The college seeks to develop tomorrow’s leading educators.
  • Instructors teach a program demonstrating how to bring tech innovations into today’s schools.
  • The SJSU classroom solution includes SmartBoards, mobile and flexible furniture, room archetypes, Wi-Fi, and Mediascape video booths.
  • The college instituted collaborative applications such as Skype, WebEx and Canvas to extend the classroom and support a flipped-classroom approach.
  • Results include the establishment of a research effort to evaluate the qualitative and quantitative impacts of the 21st century classroom program.

Computer Labs

Outdated computer labs were once all too common at SJSU. In the past two years, more than 1,600 computers have been refreshed including the replacement of hundreds of machines that were eight or more years old. Next steps include virtualizing the labs to allow students the freedom to use any Internet device to access the computer labs and up-to-date software.

Unified Communication

Before infrastructure improvements began in 2012, SJSU had five distinct phone systems of various ages and capabilities. SJSU’s commitment to agility through technology strongly suggested the need for a modern campus communication system. This resulted in plans to replace all the antiquated phone systems in favor of a single solution with capabilities beyond anything previously experienced on campus.

Four of the five systems have been replaced. New phone instruments utilizing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) are being distributed to faculty, staff, and classrooms. These phones support advanced services including audio and video communication from hardwired, wireless and mobile devices.

Now, faculty and staff phone numbers can “go mobile.” This means all phone features, including video, forwarding and voicemail, can be accessed on laptops, desktops and mobile phones. Additional unified communication functions include instant messaging with SJSU employees and instant WebEx meetings, allowing faculty and staff to better support students and each other.

U.S. Cyber Challenge and SJSU to Host Cyber Security Executive Roundtable

SJSU Hosts U.S. Cyber Challenge Camp and Cyber Security Executive Roundtable

 U.S. Cyber Challenge and SJSU to Host Cyber Security Executive Roundtable

Attendees to the invitation-only camps were selected based in part on their scores from Cyber Quests, an online competition offered through the U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC) in April that drew over a thousand participants from approximately 400 schools nationwide.

Media Contact: Kathryn Hanson Sherman Worldwide, 847-337-1818,

SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 6, 2012 — Keith Tresh, California director and chief information security officer, and Karen Evans, national director of the U.S. Cyber Challenge, will host a roundtable discussion featuring national experts from government, technology and academia on Aug. 7 at noon at the SJSU Student Union.

The event, “2012 California Regional Cyber Security Boot Camp Executive Roundtable Discussion” will examine the critical gap in the cyber security workforce and identify opportunities for closing the gap through creative partnerships and increased focus on education.

The executive roundtable will include Dr. Ernest McDuffie, lead for the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); Sean Catlett, COO, iSight Partners (National Technology Partner); David Melnick, board director, ISC2; Craig Spohn, Safegov and executive director/president of the Cyber Innovation Center; Harry Herington, CEO, NIC Inc.; Tony Summerlin, founder & CEO, Kickstand; and Gary Warzala, chief information security 0fficer, Visa.

Less than 10 percent of the estimated necessary 30,000 skilled security professionals are in the workplace; It is clear that addressing the gap has never been greater. Through candid discussion and interaction with the audience, the roundtable will assess where skills are most needed, by whom and how best to teach them.  Questions to be examined will include: Should a minimum set of qualifications of technical skills be taught and tested in cyber security programs?  Should colleges be incentivized to transform their programming courses to make security an integral part of the teaching and grading? The roundtable will provide follow-up to the Human Capital Crisis in Cyber Security report, issued by the Center for Strategic and International Studies last fall to assess what has been accomplished and what needs to be done.

2012 U.S. Cyber Challenge Summer Camp

The event is held in conjunction with the 2012 U.S. Cyber Challenge Summer Camp, taking place at San Jose State University Aug. 6-10.  The camp is designed to provide attendees with intensive training and other opportunities to enhance their skills and become the nation’s next generation of cyber security professionals.

The camp curriculum includes in-depth workshops on a range of topics, including penetration testing, reverse engineering, and forensics, all taught by college faculty, SANS Institute senior instructors and other cyber security experts.  The week will be capped off by a virtual “capture the flag” competition and awards ceremony on Fri., Aug. 10, at the university.  ISC2 will present $1,000 scholarships to the winning capture-the-flag team.

The camp is supported in part through sponsorships with Juniper, Avue Technologies, and partnerships with SANS Institute, Booz Allen Hamilton, and San Jose State University.  Local sponsors include Facebook, McAfee, nCircle, Symantec, Veracode and Visa.

More than 50 individuals will be attending the San Jose State University camp and the Executive Roundtable.

Attendees to the invitation-only camps were selected based in part on their scores from Cyber Quests, an online competition offered through the U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC) in April that drew over a thousand participants from approximately 400 schools nationwide.  Cyber Camp invitations were also extended to individuals who demonstrated proficiency in other U.S. Cyber Challenge competitions, such as the Cyber Foundations, CyberPatriot, NetWars, and the DC3 Digital Forensics Challenge.

The camp participants will gain an understanding of the dimensions of the workforce shortage — and see how critical their technical skills are to the solution. They will also learn about opportunities available to them through USCC and its partners.

The 2012 Cyber Summer Camp Series features two national week-long camps and two statewide camps. The camps are part of several initiatives underway through USCC, a national campaign focused on identifying and developing cyber security talent to meet the country’s critical cyber security workforce needs.

For more information about the Cyber Camp program and each of the specific camps, visit U.S. Cyber Challenge online at

About U.S. Cyber Challenge:

The mission of the US Cyber Challenge (USCC) is to significantly reduce the shortage in the cyber workforce by serving as the premier program to identify, attract, recruit and place the next generation of cyber security professionals.

USCC’s goal is to find 10,000 of America’s best and brightest to fill the ranks of cyber security professionals where their skills can be of the greatest value to the nation.


Spartans Remembered with image of Tower Hall in the background.

Scholarship Funds Established in Memory of Shooting Victims

Degrees to be Conferred Posthumously at Commencement May 28

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

Give to the Scholarship Funds:
(click “Give: Your Support Counts”)

SAN JOSE, CA –The San Jose State University Department of Accounting and Finance has established scholarship funds in memory of Marcory “Cindy” Tarlit Caliguiran and Thomas Kyle Williams, honors students who died May 10 in a campus shooting three weeks prior to their graduation. Bachelor’s degrees in business administration with a concentration in accounting will be conferred posthumously at Commencement on May 28 at Spartan Stadium.

“During this very difficult time for the friends and loved ones affected by this tragedy, I am heartened by efforts to celebrate the lives and achievements of two of our best and brightest,” Interim President Don W. Kassing said. “Our memories of Cindy and Kyle remind us that life is fragile and precious, and it is up to each of us to live the best life we can in the time that we have.”

Making a Gift

Please give online at the following website. Donors will be asked to select the scholarship fund for Cindy or the scholarship fund for Kyle. To give to both funds, complete the online form for one honoree, click on “Make a Gift,” then click on “Add Another Donation” at the bottom of the screen.  The website address is: (click “Give: Your Support Counts”)

Please send checks to the Tower Foundation of San Jose State University, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA, 95192-0183. In the memo section of the check, write “in memory of Cindy” or “in memory of Kyle.” If both names are included, then the total amount will be divided evenly between the two funds. To give varying amounts, please submit separate checks.

Remembering Marcory Tarlit Caliguiran

Marcory "Cindy" Tarlit Caliguiran

Marcory Tarlit Caliguiran (courtesy of Beta Alpha Psi)

Friends, classmates and professors at San Jose State have described Cindy’s kindness, resourcefulness and the way she motivated others. Cindy grew up in Pasay, Philippines, one of the cities that makes up Metro Manila, but most recently she lived in San Jose, less than 10 miles from campus. She studied accounting at the Technological Institute of the Philippines and at DeAnza College before transferring to San Jose State in 2009.

The 25-year-old could often be found studying on the fifth floor of SJSU’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library with fellow members of Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), an honors organization for accounting students. Howard Turetsky, professor and BAP faculty advisor, recalled that Cindy sat in the center of the front row in his class and “always had a sense of wonder about new material.” Cindy was a Gary J. Sbona Honors Program participant.

Cindy’s friend and classmate Emma Lu said that Cindy visited her family in the Philippines over the winter break. “She loved her father and siblings, and she talked about them often. After graduation, Cindy planned to study for the CPA exam and get her license with the hope of working at one of the “big four” accounting firms in San Jose: Ernst & Young, KPMG, Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Remembering Thomas Kyle Williams

Thomas Kyle Williams

Thomas Kyle Williams (courtesy of Beta Alpha Psi)

Thomas Kyle Williams was known among the San Jose State community for his engaging smile, his love of golf and baseball, and his stellar achievements in the accounting program. The 26-year-old was born in San Jose and grew up in the Bay Area. He attended Sierra College before transferring in 2009 to San Jose State, where he was an active member of Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), a close-knit honors organization for accounting students.

“Kyle was the A+++ student that every professor dreams about. He was that good,” said Howard Turetsky, professor and BAP faculty advisor. “I wish I could still debate the merits of Tiger Woods and Barry Bonds with him.” Bryan Pham, BAP chapter president, was in Kyle’s pledge class and often studied with him. “Kyle had confidence,” Pham said. “And he made you feel like you were the only person in the room.”

Another classmate, Jennifer Spino, remembers Kyle’s smile and how he took the time to talk to her about how the class was going. “He always got 100 percent on every accounting exam,” she said. “He had such a great future ahead of him.” Kyle was scheduled to begin working for PricewaterhouseCoopers in San Jose this fall.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 29,000 students and 3,190 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

A group of graduates pose with diplomas with a professor at commencement. All dressed in black cap and gowns smiling.

SJSU to Honor Three Distinguished Graduates at Commencement and Honors Convocation 2011

photo of James E. Thompson

James E. Thompson will serve as commencement speaker.

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

Commencement 2011:

Download Photos of the Honorees:

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University’s 2011 Commencement speaker will be James E. Thompson, founder and chairman of The Crown Worldwide Group, the world’s largest privately-held group of international moving companies. Also, Major General Anthony L. Jackson will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at Commencement, and Los Angeles Times Columnist Steve Lopez will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at Honors Convocation. These three gentlemen are SJSU alumni.

“All three honorees personify what we strive to nurture here at San Jose State: excellence, integrity, and service,” said Interim President Don W. Kassing. “They also exemplify the breadth and depth of our academic offerings, which evolved over our 154-year history to serve our region and beyond.”

Commencement will begin at 9:30 a.m. May 28 in Spartan Stadium. Approximately 7,000 candidates who completed their studies in August 2010, December 2010 and May 2011 will be eligible to participate. Honors Convocation will begin at 6 p.m. April 29 in the SJSU Event Center. Nearly 3,000 undergraduate students who earned a GPA of 3.65 or higher in at least two contiguous semesters of the three prior semesters will be eligible to participate.

James E. Thompson

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from SJSU in 1962, Thompson settled in Japan. Upon recognizing the need for a reputable international moving service, he established a small company in Yokohama.  Today, Hong Kong-based Crown Worldwide’s 4,000 employees operate over 250 locations in 55 countries, serving governments, corporations, diplomats and private customers. Thompson remains a U.S. citizen and permanent resident.

Thompson is a member of the SJSU College of Business Global Leadership Council. He also founded SJSU’s Thompson Global Internship Program, which offers students opportunities to live abroad while completing a project for Crown Worldwide. In Hong Kong, he serves as chairman or board member of numerous charitable organizations. His particular interests are charities related to children, cancer, education and HIV/AIDS.  Thompson has received numerous commendations including the Gold Bauhinia Star, awarded in 2003 by the Hong Kong government for distinguished service. He is married with a son and daughter.

Major General Anthony L. Jackson

Maj. Gen. Jackson has served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 35 years and is among the highest ranking African Americans in this branch of the armed forces. In his current post as Commanding General, Marine Corps Installations West, Jackson oversees Camp Pendleton, Twentynine Palms and other western bases where Marines train for advanced combat operations. While attending SJSU on a full football scholarship, Jackson played three varsity seasons and was team captain in 1970. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from SJSU in 1971 and 1973, respectively.

In 1975, Jackson enlisted in the Marines to attend Officer Candidate School and began a steady rise up through the ranks, completing assignments throughout the United States. He is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va., and the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. His many assignments have included: Assistant Chief of Staff (G-5), First Marine Force, deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II; Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Marine Forces, Central Command; and Director of Operations and Logistics, U.S. Africa Command, based in Stuttgart, Germany. Jackson is married and has two sons.

Steve Lopez

Lopez joined the staff of the Los Angeles Times in May 2001 after four years at Time Inc., where he wrote for Time, Sports Illustrated, Life and Entertainment Weekly. Prior to Time Inc., Lopez was a columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer, the San Jose Mercury News and the Oakland Tribune. His work has won numerous national journalism awards for column writing and magazine reporting. Lopez earned a bachelor’s in journalism from SJSU in 1975.

A California native, Lopez is the author of three novels and a book of non-fiction, “The Soloist: A Lost Dream, An Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music.” The book is based on columns Lopez wrote for The Los Angeles Times about his friendship with a downtown Los Angeles musician. The volume also formed the basis for the 2009 film of the same name starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx. Lopez is married and has two sons and a daughter.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 29,000 students and 3,190 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

Students participate in MESA Day events.

Wells Fargo Foundation Gift Funds MESA Schools Program Scholarships for College Bound High School Seniors

Top high school seniors who have participated in MESA will receive $1,000 scholarships funded by Wells Fargo.

Top high school seniors who have participated in MESA will receive $1,000 scholarships funded by Wells Fargo.

Media Contact:
Christina Ramos, SJSU MESA Schools Program Director, (408) 924-3837

SAN JOSE, CA – The MESA Schools Program at San Jose State University received $10,000 from the Wells Fargo Foundation – Silicon Valley to support educationally disadvantaged students who are pursuing college careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

The 2011 graduating MESA students from surrounding school districts within the Silicon Valley that have maintained a 3.0 or higher GPA, completed A-G college curriculum requirements, and participated in MESA’s rigorously academic activities throughout their pre-college careers will be honored May 10 at the Santa Clara Marriott. Thanks to the generous donation made by Wells Fargo, students will also receive $1,000 scholarships to go toward their college education.

The event begins with a welcome from MESA Schools Program Director Christina Ramos and a keynote from a distinguished speaker, Chief of Staff, NASA Ames Research Center – Moffett Field, Karen C. Bradford.  Bradford began her work with NASA as executive assistant to the director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, where she helped plan, implement, and serve as project lead for the first NAI Minority Institution Faculty Sabbatical and Secretary for the Federation of Astrobiology Organizations. She has been a civil servant for 23 years and is a member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Silicon Valley Chapter, where she currently serves as 2nd vice president and membership committee chair.

In addition to Bradford being the keynote speaker, both NASA Hispanic Advisory Council of Employees and African American Advisory Group will be supporting the top five students with educational stipends and/or summer internships to help MESA students get ahead in their career experience.

“It is so rewarding to celebrate the accomplishments of the MESA students and graduates every year” said MESA Schools Program Director Christina Ramos.  “To have these students recognized by industry, and to see our community and partners then come together support our MESA students in their journey ahead shows just how exceptional MESA student are. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Wells Fargo and NASA, so our future graduates can see that they too will be supported.”

The MESA Schools Program at San Jose State partners and supporters include: EMC², Cisco Systems, Google, Wells Fargo, General Electric, IBM, Intel, AMD, NASA, Pacific Bay Capitol Group, The Tech Museum, Santa Clara Valley Water District, the Society of Mexican American Engineers & Scientists, The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers of Silicon Valley, Applied Materials, San Jose State University, SJSU College of Science, SJSU MESA Engineering Program, SJSU campus organizations, and community partners.

The SJSU MESA Schools Program is designed to prepare and motivate educationally disadvantaged students to successfully pursue college-preparatory coursework and promote careers in math and science, while developing their pre-professional and leadership skills.

MESA, an academic preparation program that serves 20,249 California pre-college, community college and university students who are educationally disadvantaged, is an awarding winning model with a high success rate. Seventy percent of MESA high school graduates statewide went directly to college after graduation compared to 48 percent of all California graduates. Sixty percent of MESA students go on as math, science or engineering majors.