SJSU Welcomes Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson as 31st President

by | Nov 16, 2022 | Leadership

Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson will serve as San José State University's 31st president.

San José State’s University’s new president Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson will be the first Latina and fourth woman to serve in the role since the university was founded in 1857.

Interim President Steve Perez shared the news of the appointment of San José State University’s new president, Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, who was appointed by the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees earlier this morning.

He sent the following message to the campus community:

Dear Spartans,

I hope you are all doing well. Earlier today, the CSU trustees approved the appointment of Cynthia Teniente-Matson as San José State University’s next president. I spoke with her to extend my congratulations and commitment to a seamless leadership transition. The CSU’s announcement is below.

SJSU is a remarkable institution with dedicated faculty and staff and a diverse, energetic student body that seeks to achieve, innovate and change the world. It has been my honor to serve the university over the past year. I appreciate you all for welcoming me as your interim president and for all you do to support our campus community. It is truly a special place and the future for SJSU is bright.

I look forward to working across the campus throughout the remainder of my interim appointment to set the table for our new president as she prepares to join the SJSU community. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Teniente-Matson and welcoming her to San José State.


Steve Perez
Interim President

New SJSU President Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson briefly spoke with the
University Marketing and Communications team about what stood out to
her about SJSU during the interview process and what she is most excited
about as she joins the university in January.

Editor’s note: The following announcement from the California State University was published earlier this morning on

Cynthia Teniente-Matson Appointed President of San José State University

(November 16, 2022) – The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees has appointed Cynthia Teniente-Matson, Ed.D., to serve as president of San José State University (SJSU). Teniente-Matson currently serves as president of Texas A&M University-San Antonio.​

“San José State is a nexus of history, innovation, the sciences, the arts and so much more. As the founding institution of the California State University system, the university boasts an unparalleled history of service to the region and state. It also serves as an exemplar for research and discovery with graduates impacting industries and communities throughout Silicon Valley,” said Teniente-Matson.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to work alongside all of the talented and dedicated faculty, staff, administrators and friends of the university to accomplish our collective goal of providing opportunities for students to benefit from the transformative power of an SJSU education.”

“Dr. Teniente-Matson has been a forward-thinking leader who has excelled at identifying and implementing new and innovative ways to improve student achievement,” said CSU Trustee Christopher Steinhauser, chair of the SJSU search committee.

“Her experience, skill set and dedication to student success make her the ideal candidate to lead SJSU in the next exciting chapter of the university’s history.”

While president, Teniente-Matson has led Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s transformation to a comprehensive master’s university that has also achieved Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) designation from the U.S. Department of Education.

Among the strategic initiatives and partnerships the university has developed under her leadership are the creation of the Mays Center for Experiential Learning and Community Engagement, Cisneros Institute for Emerging Leaders, Institute of Water Resource Science and Technology, Cyber Engineering Technology/Cyber Security Research Center, and the university’s first Facebook CyberSecurity University Program.

She is an engaged leader focusing on the collective impact of university-community partnerships such as the ASPIRE partnership leveraging the power of collective impact for seven South Bexar County Independent School Districts, and a partnership with Workforce Solutions Alamo to advance the City of San Antonio’s 1/8-cent sales tax Ready to Work initiative to advance training and degree completion.

She has developed support from elected officials to build an economic regional hub for south Bexar County and partnerships such as the Espada Tract development with the San Antonio River Authority and the University Health expansion at its West entry on Jaguar Parkway.

Her dedication to advancing equity and inclusion led to the creation of the President’s Commission on Equity.

Her appointment as president of SJSU marks a return to the CSU for Teniente-Matson who previously served as vice president for administration and chief financial officer for California State University, Fresno from 2004 to 2015.

Teniente-Matson earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, an MBA from the University of Alaska Anchorage and is a product of the CSU having earned a doctorate in educational leadership from Fresno State.

Teniente-Matson will assume the university presidency on January 16, 2023.