Join Your Colleagues to Begin the Next Steps in Our Strategic Planning Process on Feb. 9

Editor’s Note: This message was sent to all faculty and staff on Jan. 22, 2019.

Dear Colleagues,

Last fall, SJSU began a strategic planning initiative that will culminate in a strategic blueprint to guide us in our journey through the next decade. Students, faculty and staff joined together in this critical work by participating in a series of Campus Conversations last fall.

We will be launching the next phase of strategic planning on February 9 at 11:30am with a campus forum in the Diaz-Compean Student Union Ballroom.

At the February 9 event, the campus community will hear from President Papazian and the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, who will outline the steps we have taken so far and present five draft goals.

Immediately after this presentation, we will be hosting lunch and a Campus Conversation.  All attendees will discuss what ideas might be added or better explained in the draft goals and what action items might arise from the goals. Click here to RSVP for the lunch and visit for updates on the process.

Thank you,

Andy Feinstein
Co-Chair, Strategic Planning Steering Committee
Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Stefan Frazier
Co-Chair, Strategic Planning Advisory Committee
Chair of the Academic Senate

Rajnesh (Raj) Prasad Named Permanent Exec Director of Research Foundation

Mr. Rajnesh (Raj) Prasad has accepted the permanent position as executive director of the SJSU Research Foundation (SJSURF), effective December 18, 2017.

As the interim director since June, Raj has implemented a number of strategic initiatives to transform the Research Foundation with a focus on creating effective communication and a team-oriented work environment. He has effectively provided leadership and oversight for research-related activities while also building relationships with the campus community, the Board of Directors, and government, nonprofit and industry partners.

Raj first started with the Research Foundation in February 2016 as the senior director of sponsored programs. In that position, he managed more than $50 million in sponsored grants and contracts while also developing strategic policies to support the university’s mission of increasing research opportunities for faculty and students.

In his most recent position prior to joining SJSU, he served as vice president for Research Operations at University of California, San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital and Research Center. He has nearly 20 years of experience developing and managing sponsored grants and contracts from federal, state, local, foundation and industry sponsors. He has an advanced understanding of government and nonprofit funding regulations.

Raj holds a bachelor’s in Chemistry from California State University, East Bay and an MBA from the DeVry University Keller School of Management. He is a member of the Association of Independent Research Institutes (AIRI) and the Society of Research Administrators (SRA).

Shannon Miller Appointed Permanent Dean of H&A

Dr. Shannon Miller has accepted the position of dean of the College of Humanities and the Arts, effective December 1.

Shannon has provided dynamic interim leadership to the college since July 1, 2017. Among her accomplishments, she has expanded Hammer Theatre programming, further fostering our collaboration with the City of San Jose. She has overseen centers of excellence, bringing engaging speakers and artists to San Jose and enhancing our contribution to the local arts scene.

Shannon joined SJSU as a professor and chair in the Department of English and Comparative Literature in 2014. She previously served as professor and chair of the Department of English at Temple University for six years.  Since joining SJSU, she has instituted an innovative curriculum redesign in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. In addition, Shannon has supported the First-Year Writing program in implementing a Stretch English curriculum and a Directed Self-Placement process for all entering freshman that allowed us to eliminate no-credit remediation courses in English.

She received a bachelor’s in English magna cum laude from Dartmouth College, along with a master’s and a doctorate in literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is a scholar of Renaissance literature and the author of two books, Invested with Meaning: The Raleigh Circle in the New World and Engendering the Fall: John Milton and Seventeenth-Century Women Writers.

October 2017 Newsletter: Provost Update – Greatness Happens When Disciplines Intersect

While Halloween is still a day away, I had the pleasure of celebrating early this month at McKinley Elementary School during the 10th Annual Safe and Green Halloween Festival. The yearly event hosted by SJSU’s CommUniverCity and the city of San Jose brings together neighborhood children and families for an afternoon of fun while also teaching them about sustainability and healthy living. SJSU students and faculty from the health science, business and environmental studies programs worked with dozens of officials to make the event a success.

As economist Robert J. Shiller once said, “In the longer run and for wide-reaching issues, more creative solutions tend to come from imaginative interdisciplinary collaboration.” We take this to heart at our university. The October event is just one example of the multi-disciplinary learning opportunities we provide for our students. Through these experiences, they are prepared for a world that increasingly requires collaboration on interdisciplinary teams. Whether our students pursue careers in the arts, sciences, technology, business, healthcare, the public sector or nonprofits, they will be prepared for the kind of thoughtful interactions that can lead to groundbreaking developments.

We have a long history of taking an interdisciplinary approach to education, as with our Humanities Honors Program founded in 1954. The program appeals to students from a variety of majors who understand that a strong foundation in communication and critical thinking will benefit them – in engineering, business, psychology or any one of a multitude of majors. In another unique course, students enrolled in a Global Climate Change benefit from natural science, environmental studies and communications perspectives in a team-taught course that highlights how climate scientists and advocates need to find an effective way to communicate to the public.

Our university is a rich environment for people with different skill sets and interests to connect, and sometimes this intersection of passions happen within one individual. This is surely the case for Chemistry Professor Bradley Stone who recently won an award for a weekly jazz music program and for Professor Gordon Douglas whose teaching and research explores the connection between urban political-economy, community studies and the cultures of planning and design.

As we continue to focus on student success, I am excited to explore more ways we can foster interdisciplinary learning, teaching and research on our campus.

Happy Halloween!