Update: Presidential Message on University Advancement

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

Dear Campus Community,

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

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

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

Mo Qayoumi
President

Update: Presidential Message on the Tower Foundation

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

Dear Campus Community,

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

There are two additional developments:

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

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

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

Mo Qayoumi
President

Update: Message from the Tower Foundation Board

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update: Presidential Message on the Recent Student Protest

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

Dear Campus Community,

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for your patience.

Mo Qayoumi
President