December 2015 Newsletter: Provost Update: Fostering Community Collaboration

San Jose State is the oldest public institution in California. Our first campus buildings were constructed at a time when much of the valley was still covered in orchards. The city and the university have grown up alongside each other so it’s no surprise that we often find ourselves working together for the betterment of our community.

The partnerships we form are mutually beneficial as CommUniverCity has proven for the last 10 years. CommUniverCity provides research, scholarship and creative activity opportunities for faculty while providing students with engaged learning experiences. Their programs such as College Day and the Records Clearance Project offer our students an opportunity to gain hands-on skills while also benefitting the neighborhoods surrounding SJSU.

The unique CommUniverCity partnership received national accolades in November. I was fortunate to travel to Indianapolis with the program’s Assistant Director Katherine Cushing to receive the
C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award. The award gives merit to the importance of university-community partnerships in providing educational opportunities for students as well as long-lasting, positive support to our campus neighbors. Thank you to Dayana Salazar, the executive director of CommUniverCity, along with her team, for their vision and leadership.
We have many more community collaborations, some that are well established and others that are just getting started. It has been 15 years since we broke ground on the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library at the corner of Fourth and San Fernando streets. The joint city-university library was the first of its kind and it is truly an example where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Just this month, we finalized an agreement with the city for SJSU to operate the Hammer Theatre Performing Arts Center and I look forward to watching this new connection develop.
As Provost, I always keep an eye out for potential partnerships with city, business and community leaders. As a member of the San Jose Rotary, I and other campus leaders share information about the university while fostering relationships that we hope will lead to even more opportunities to grow together in the future.

In addition to our community partnerships, campus collaborations are also important. As President Sue Martin announced last week, Information Technology Services (ITS) has joined the Academic Affairs Division. ITS managers and employees have long been strong partners in supporting student success. Join me in welcoming them to our division.

I wish you all a wonderful winter break and look forward to seeing you at the start of the spring semester.


Andy Feinstein
Provost and VP for Academic Affairs