College of Science Dean Appointment

Editor’s Note: This message was emailed to faculty and staff on April 9, 2018

Dear SJSU Community,

Following a comprehensive national search, I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Michael Kaufman has accepted the position of dean of the College of Science, effective April 16.

Michael has provided enthusiastic interim leadership to the college since July 1, 2017. During his brief tenure, he expanded support for research-active faculty by increasing assigned time; collaborated with internal and external stakeholders to move forward progress on the Interdisciplinary Science Building; worked to highlight the many ways that faculty and staff contribute to student success; and facilitated the Deans’ Leadership Academy, a year-long program focused on developing future university leaders. He has proven himself to be a skilled leader who will remain focused on supporting student success as he continues to grow the thriving research enterprise in the College of Science through collaboration with the Research Foundation, Tower Foundation and external partners.

In addition to his time as interim dean, Michael has more than 20 years of experience at SJSU and has served in multiple leadership roles, including a term as Academic Senate chair and six years as chair for the Department of Physics and Astronomy. As department chair, he coordinated the hiring of eight tenure-track faculty members, worked collaboratively on redesigning of introductory physics courses to increase student success, and garnered internal and external funds to facilitate space upgrades.

Michael joined SJSU as a lecturer in 1997 while completing a post-doctoral fellowship at NASA Ames Research Center and became a tenure-track faculty member in 1998. Through the years, he has been actively involved in supporting student research opportunities and has received more than $3 million in external funding to pursue the study of young stars and their natal environments, achieving the distinction of President’s Scholar in 2012.

He received his bachelor’s in physics from Middlebury College before attending Johns Hopkins University, where he completed a master’s in physics and a doctorate in astrophysics. Michael also completed the Management Development Program in Higher Education Leadership at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education in 2016.

I am confident that students, faculty, staff, alumni and other university stakeholders will be as enthusiastic as I am to have Michael at the helm of the College of Science and will find him to be a dedicated leader.


Andy Feinstein

Support for Undocumented Students

Editor’s Note: The following message was emailed to all students April 5, 2018.

Dear SJSU Community,

We hope you had a restful spring break and are looking forward to these last few weeks of the semester. We want to make sure all of our students complete the term successfully, and we know that some of our undocumented students continue to face uncertainty about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation as well as reported increases in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in the Bay Area. We are aware that many in our Spartan community have been and continue to be seriously impacted. SJSU remains committed to ensuring access to a quality education for all our students.

This spring semester we hired the first program coordinator for our UndocuSpartan Resource Center (USRC), Ana Navarrete Avina. The resource center is now open and located on the second floor of the Student Union, room 2450. We have held workshops about DACA renewals, and Associated Students has offered funding for renewal fees. We have partnered with local non-profit immigration rights organizations including Asian Law Alliance and SIREN to bring legal experts to campus for undocumented students, and the Counseling and Psychological Services department has facilitated a support group for undocumented students.

We have also communicated to our employees that any inquiries from ICE or any federal, state or local official requesting information about a student’s immigration status should be directed to the University Police Department at 408-924-2222.

To answer questions about DACA and related matters, and how the campus can support our undocumented students, we will be engaging in outreach to students. If you are interested in learning more information about these efforts, please contact the USRC at 408-924-2762 or

Later in April, we will be providing an UndocuAlly training program that will provide information on how to be prepared for an ICE raid. While unlikely to occur on campus, we want to ensure students have the information needed to be prepared. If you are not able to attend but have questions, please reach out to USRC at 408-924-2762 or via email at

SJSU stands with the leadership of the California State University (CSU) in its unwavering commitment to our undocumented students. The CSU Office of the Chancellor recently revised its CSU Resources for Undocumented Students website that is also a useful tool for students.

Each of our students deserves an educational environment that is welcoming and safe. We are committed to every student’s success on our campus. Look for more information soon about future workshops and outreach opportunities. Thank you.


Andy Feinstein, Provost

Sharon Willey, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs

Kathy Wong(Lau), Chief Diversity Officer


Connie L. Lurie College of Education Dean Appointment

Editor’s Note: This message was emailed to all faculty and staff March 22, 2018.

Dear SJSU Community,

I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Heather Lattimer as the dean of the Connie L. Lurie College of Education, effective August 1.

Dr. Lattimer joins us from the University of San Diego (USD), where she is a professor of education and the executive director of the Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education at the School of Leadership and Education Sciences. Her areas of expertise include disciplinary literacy, teacher education, action research, learning design and international education.

Dr. Lattimer brings with her a breadth of knowledge about teaching and learning through her time as a faculty member and in various administrative roles. She is an inclusive and collaborative leader who has experience with new program development, establishing strong ties with community partners and working closely with industry leaders to create innovative teaching techniques. At USD, she helped to create an on-campus Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) lab in partnership with HP and developed an open source learning management system in partnership with Qualcomm. In addition to her higher education experience, Dr. Lattimer also taught at the middle school and high school level for nearly 10 years.

Dr. Lattimer completed a bachelor’s in Social Studies magna cum laude with a certificate in African Studies from Harvard College; a master’s in Social Studies Education from Stanford University as well as her California Teaching Credential in the subjects of history, mathematics and English; and a doctorate of education with a focus on teaching and learning from the University of California, San Diego.

I look forward to working closely with Dr. Lattimer to enhance K-12 and higher education at SJSU. I am confident the university community, alumni, K-12 partners and supporters of the Connie L. Lurie College of Education will find Dr. Lattimer to be a dynamic and innovative leader.

As we prepare to welcome our new dean, please also join me in thanking Interim Dean Paul Cascella for his ongoing leadership, service, and dedication to the college and SJSU.


Andy Feinstein

March 2018 Newsletter: Provost Update – Diversity Drives Creativity and Innovation

I hope everyone is finding some time during spring break to reenergize before we head into the final months of the semester. March was especially busy, and I was fortunate enough to be involved in events that highlight the diversity of our university as well as our work to create a more inclusive campus and community.

On March 1, I welcomed nearly two-dozen doctoral students from Stanford University’s Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence (DARE) Doctoral Fellowship Program. The program aims to build a pipeline for faculty from underrepresented groups. For the past 10 years, fellows have visited our university to learn about SJSU’s commitment to diversifying the faculty and to hear from some of our own faculty members about their experiences. I shared with the visitors that this year, Faculty Affairs and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion implemented newdiversity training for search committees involved in faculty recruitment.

During their visit, the DARE Fellows also engaged with student researchers and scholars from our Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program. The McNair students engage in undergraduate research, prepare for the GRE and learn how to choose a graduate school, among other activities that will help them on the path to a doctoral degree. The newsletter this month shares more about these programs along with other efforts to support diversity and inclusion such as our African American College Readiness Summit, the Women in Engineering Conference, and the Chicanx/Latinx and African American/Black Student Success Center internships.

As many of you know, we have one of the most diverse student populations in the nation. On March 15, we hosted the inaugural SJSU Student Success Symposium attended by more than 230 faculty, staff and students. Many of our guest speakers discussed ways to engage students from underrepresented groups, especially Dr. Sylvia Hurtado, from the University of California, Los Angeles, whose talk was entitled “Campus Climate and Institutional Change: Advancing Diversity and Institutional Practice.” Visit the Student Success Website to learn how to participate in a follow-up session after spring break to help us identify the next steps in promoting academic excellence.

While we strive to be inclusive of people from many backgrounds and experiences, it is also important for us to have a diversity of perspectives, disciplines and ideas. Our university has many interdisciplinary programs and centers, such as the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change, the Mineta Transportation Institute, the Humanities Honors Program, among others. We are also in a prime position to expand opportunities for our students to engage in multi-faceted projects that cross discipline lines.

Just this week, the Biomedical Engineering Society of San Jose State hosted its 9th Annual Bay Area Biomedical Device Conference. As part of the conference, 34 student teams presented ideas for devices to help medical professionals and patients. These teams included students from many engineering, business, health professions and other majors, working together to find a solution to a medical problem. The industry leaders who spoke at the conference reiterated how diverse perspectives affect product and process innovation.

As we head into April, we will have more opportunities celebrate our diversity and academic excellence. Some upcoming events include theCelebration of Research April 4, the Faculty Service Recognition and Awards Luncheon April 5Legacy of Poetry Day April 12, the Inclusive Innovation Summit April 13, Admitted Spartan Day April 14Honors Convocation April 20 and the Fifth Annual SJSU Cultural Showcase April 25.

I hope to see you at these and other events next month as we continue to work together to improve student success while creating an inclusive and welcoming university community.

February 2018 Newsletter: Provost Update – RSCA is Central to SJSU Mission

We are only in the second month of the spring semester, but this term has already proven to be busy! On February 9, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee provided an update on our process to date and presented draft goals that were developed from your input during the fall semester. Following our presentation, we held a campus conversation and lunch to discuss our next steps. I encourage you to view the draft goals at the Strategic Planning website. On the site, you can also provide input to the task forces that will be working to define our desired outcomes for each focus area and create strategies for accomplishing them.

Several of the goals focus on our mission of providing excellent educational and academic opportunities. We already have a thriving research, scholarship and creative activities (RSCA) enterprise. According to the most recent SJSU Research Foundation Annual Report, we received $58 million in revenues from RSCA endeavors, with an active grants portfolio of $259 million. In fact, the Chancellor’s Office recently selected SJSU and the Mineta Transportation Institute to lead a CSU research consortium focused on solving transit issues in the state.

We also have many more faculty and students working together on numerous scholarly and creative activities – just take a look at the list of recent publications from our Annual Author and Artist Awards or the list of upcoming events at the Hammer Theatre.

Our RSCA activities rival that of many nationally ranked universities. However, faculty can feel challenged when seeking a balance between their teaching load and their RSCA agendas. We are working with colleagues to develop a sustainable model that will allow us to balance teaching and RSCA pursuits. We have a consultant who has already visited and will be working with us throughout the spring. Joan Ficke, the former dean of the Graduate School at Montclair State University, will provide guidance as we develop a plan. She was instrumentally involved in transitioning her institution to providing a better alignment between RSCA, teaching and service.

Providing an atmosphere where faculty and students can readily engage in RSCA also means celebrating our achievements. I am pleased to support the University Scholar Series that offers an opportunity to learn about the unique and inspiring RSCA conducted by SJSU faculty. This month, we kick off the spring lectures on Feb. 21. Professor Anand Vaidya, director of the Humanities and the Arts Center for Comparative Philosophy, will use his talk to share recent research into Eastern philosophies and critical thinking. Learn more about the upcoming series in a story below. Join us for the lecture and lunch, from noon to 1 p.m. in MLK 225/229. For more details, visit the event page.

Later this semester on April 4, the Celebration of Research offers an opportunity to acknowledge student researchers along with our Early Career Investigator Award winners for 2017-18, Ehsan Khatami and Dave Schuster, whose accomplishments are described in a story below. As you will learn in this month’s newsletter, our RSCA endeavors are innovative and relevant. A few recent projects run the gamut from understanding Silicon Valley culture to studying how sports can lead to social change to determining just how the flu virus is spread.

I would also like to remind staff members that we are accepting applications for the second round of staff professional development grants, with proposals due March 19. The application is open to any staff members who did not receive a grant during the first round of proposals last fall. Find more details online.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Andy Feinstein, Athletics Director Marie Tuite,  Director of Strategy, Planning and Business Services for IT Kara Lee, President Mary Papazian and Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Sharon Willey show their Spartan spirit February 10 at a women's basketball game.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Andy Feinstein, Athletics Director Marie Tuite, Director of Strategy, Planning and Business Services for IT Kara Lee, President Mary Papazian and Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Sharon Willey show their Spartan spirit February 10 at a women’s basketball game.

Before we move onto this month’s stories, I want to thank everyone who attended the Third Annual Interdivisional Competition on Feb. 10. Academic Affairs had more than 270 RSVPs from faculty, staff members and their families with our section of the stands full on game day. We cheered on the Spartans Women’s Basketball team while also competing in some fun activities such as a free throw competition, a relay race and the VP tricycle race. I am especially proud that Academic Affairs brought home the trophy again!