October newsletter: New deans and AVPs learn Spartan culture

New deans and administrators in the Academic Affairs Division have been participating in an on-boarding program developed to provide them with information about San Jose State and the surrounding area, gain familiarity with campus units and resources, and introduce them to the culture of the university.

Lynda Heiden, former chair of the Academic Senate, helped create topics and led each session to which the new managers were invited, along with the new vice presidents for Student Affairs and University Advancement.

The administrators met weekly starting in July, then bi-weekly once Fall classes began. In early sessions, the group learned about the often-confusing acronyms used on campus, the physical layout of the campus and downtown San Jose, and enjoyed a campus tour led by Annette Nellen on the history of the university. Over the course of the semester, representatives from a range of divisions and units across campus met with the group to share information about their work and its interface with Academic Affairs, such as the Academic Senate, the African American and Chicano/Latino Student Success Task Forces, Student Affairs, and Campus Police/Safety, among others.

“The on-boarding process was very helpful in providing opportunities to meet a diverse group of members from the SJSU community,” said Mary Schutten, the dean of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts. “The meetings provided information about the many departments that work together to make SJSU what it is today.”

Schutten, who joined SJSU in July, said the sessions so far have provided a perspective of the campus, information on who to contact for various needs, and information about the culture of the university. She said she found presentations by UPD, the Behavioral Intervention Team, finance and athletics especially helpful in her role as dean.

“My experience with onboarding has been great and made me feel very welcome,” said Sandeep Muju, the executive director of the Research Foundation. “(It) has been a great experience and an efficient way to get acclimated to SJSU.”