College of Humanities and the Arts Dean Lisa Vollendorf To Take Post as Provost at Sonoma State University

Lisa Vollendorf

Lisa Vollendorf

College of Humanities and the Arts Dean Lisa Vollendorf has been appointed Provost, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer at Sonoma State University. She will depart SJSU at the end of the spring term and start her new post on July 1, 2017.

The university soon will commence a national search for her successor; information on that process will follow. In the meantime, I want to congratulate Dean Vollendorf on her new opportunity, thank her for her outstanding service to SJSU and acknowledge her many accomplishments.

During her five years leading the College of Humanities and the Arts, Lisa has promoted collaboration, interdisciplinarity and innovative teaching and learning across campus. She led efforts to forge a partnership between SJSU and the city of San Jose that enabled the reopening of the downtown Hammer Theatre Center as a premier regional performing arts center. Since 2015, she has overseen operations of the venue, which has become a coveted space for campus and community performances and events. Lisa also has fostered individual and corporate philanthropy, raising more than $11 million during her tenure.

Through it all, Lisa has remained steadfastly focused on student success. Under her leadership, the university has prioritized writing outcomes by strengthening Writing Across the Curriculum, transitioning from developmental English to a Stretch English option that provides course credit for students in need of remediation and hiring writing faculty to support students at all levels of their education. She oversaw the creation of the college’s Student Marketing Team and Student Success Center; has championed arts, innovation, and technology collaborative projects; and helped implement a student-designed collaboration hub in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library.

In addition, Lisa founded the Deans’ Leadership Academy in 2014 to mentor and support faculty leadership development across the campus. The program has served 54 faculty members to date.

We will soon announce plans to celebrate Lisa’s service to SJSU. In the meantime, please join me in congratulating her on this exciting new career opportunity and expressing gratitude for her outstanding service.


Andy Feinstein

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

December 2015 Newsletter: Hammer Theatre Partnership Moves Forward

SJSU students and other pedestrians walk passed the Hammer Theatre on Paseo de San Antonio. SJSU has signed an agreement with the city to operate the downtown theatre space.

SJSU students and other pedestrians walk passed the Hammer Theatre on Paseo de San Antonio. SJSU has signed an agreement with the city to operate the downtown theatre space.

Education at San Jose State extends beyond the edges of the urban campus and starting in 2016, students will count the Hammer Theatre Center as a learning space and the community can once again count the Hammer among the downtown performing arts centers.

San Jose State and the City of San Jose finalized an agreement for the university to operate the Hammer Theatre for three years on Dec. 1 when council members signed an amended agreement. The space, previously managed and operated by the San Jose Rep, has been closed since June 2014 when the theater company shut down.

“Opportunities such as SJSU’s involvement in Hammer 2.0 with the City of San Jose only come along once in a generation,” said Lisa Vollendorf, the dean of the College of Humanities and the Arts. “This partnership will allow the university, the city and the community to work together to bring the Hammer Theatre Center alive again, bringing diversified, high-quality artistic, cultural, and educational programming to this distinctive venue.”

The city council authorized city staff to negotiate a contract with SJSU in June 2015, when university and city staff members began to assess infrastructure needs for the building. They are in the final stages of making improvements and purchasing equipment to get the building ready for renters. As with all of the other city-owned cultural facilities, there will be an annual city subsidy to offset operating costs.

“Thanks to San Jose State, I think we have something to offer the community that is going to be extraordinary,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo, at the Dec. 1 meeting.

Vollendorf said the university is assessing potential SJSU programming that can move into the facility in spring 2016 while also creating an inquiry process and rental agreement forms. The goal is to create a financially sustainable model that provides space for SJSU, nonprofit arts groups and professional performances in the downtown core.

“We are building this model to be responsive to university, community, and financial concerns, so we are asking everybody to be patient while we get staffing in place and build mechanisms for inquiries, rentals and scheduling,” Vollendorf said.

Learn more about Hammer 2.0, sign up for updates or fill out our rental inquiry form online.