University Communications Regarding Spartan Foundation

Editor’s Note: The following statement was issued to the media on May 17, 2019.

I want to assure the SJSU community that I take very seriously the recent allegations that the university misused donor funds. We hold ourselves to the highest values of honesty, integrity, and transparency. First, I want to state that between 2013 and 2016, every student who was eligible and selected for a scholarship received one, and no student scholarship was denied or withdrawn based on the availability of funds. I am looking closely into questions about whether the university’s use of funds honored donors’ intent. I will be asking an independent auditor to do a financial review relating to Athletics donations and will address any unknown problems that surface. If we discover that we have not fulfilled the intent of donors who gave to the Spartan Foundation, we will identify other resources to fulfill donors’ intent or we will return the gift.

Dr. Mary A. Papazian
President


Editor’s Note: The following statement was issued to the media on May 15, 2019.

San Jose State University remains deeply committed to conducting its fundraising and accounting practices in all areas with the highest levels of honesty, integrity, and transparency.

Any donation that is received which is specified for scholarships is directed to scholarships. Student-athletes who were selected for a scholarship received one.
In the past, the Spartan Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, raised funds to support Spartan Athletics in conjunction with University Advancement (UA).

Several years ago, SJSU leadership learned that some of the Spartan Foundation’s marketing and communications did not adequately convey how financial gifts were being used. The university responded in multiple ways. The university changed its marketing and communications to clearly state how donor gifts would be used. In addition, in early 2017, the university began the process of moving the athletics fundraising operation solely to the division of University Advancement to improve management and stewardship of financial gifts to SJSU Athletics.

University Advancement now houses all of SJSU fundraising operations, including Athletics Advancement, with experienced fundraising professionals and improved processes to better support management and stewardship of financial gifts to SJSU.

Dr. Mary A. Papazian
President


Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on May 15, 2019.

Dear Campus Community,

Many of you may have read today’s Spartan Daily article alleging the mishandling of donor funds from the Spartan Foundation during the 2013 to 2016 timeframe.

For many years, the Spartan Foundation, a 501(c)(3) entity, raised money to support our athletics program. In July 2013, accounts were opened in the Tower Foundation for the express purpose of depositing Spartan Foundation funds. The Tower Foundation is SJSU’s auxiliary organization dedicated solely to philanthropy.

Following this transition, and soon after I arrived in 2016, I was made aware that communication to Spartan Foundation donors was not consistently clear regarding use of donor funds to support student athlete scholarships. I understand that from 2013 to 2016, money specifically designated for student scholarships was in fact used for that purpose and that every student selected to receive a scholarship received one. However, I realized that we needed to review our communications with donors and pay closer attention to our internal processes. We have done just that.

Specifically, we began a systematic process of examining our athletic fundraising with respect to accounting, marketing, and communications. We took the following important steps:

The university changed its marketing and communications with donors to clearly state how donor gifts would be used.

In early 2017, the university began the process of moving the athletics fundraising operation solely to the division of University Advancement to improve management and stewardship of gifts to SJSU Athletics.

University Advancement now houses all of SJSU fundraising operations, including Athletics Advancement, with experienced fundraising professionals and improved processes to better support management and stewardship of financial gifts to SJSU.

While there remains some work to be done, our transition to a more streamlined, effective system of fundraising and stewardship is well underway.

We remain deeply committed to conducting our fundraising and accounting practices in all areas with the highest levels of honesty, integrity, and transparency.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mary A. Papazian
President


Read SJSU Media Relations Submits List of 22 Corrections to Spartan Daily’s May 15, 2019 Published Stories.

 

CSU Trustees Appoint Mary A. Papazian as President of SJSU

Mary A. Papazian

Mary A. Papazian

Media Contacts:
Laurie Weidner, lweidner@calstate.edu (562) 951-4800
Pat Harris, pat.harris@sjsu.edu (408) 924-1748

(January 27, 2016) – The California State University Board of Trustees has appointed Mary A. Papazian, Ph.D., as president of San José State University effective July 1. A seasoned higher education leader with more than 25 years of teaching and administrative experience, Papazian is currently serving as the president of Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) in New Haven, Connecticut. She replaces Susan Martin, Ph.D., who was appointed as the interim president in August 2015. Papazian will be the university’s third female president in its 159-year history. Read more.