Stephen Perez Steps Into Presidency at San José State University

by | Jan 3, 2022 | Leadership

Stephen Perez has been named interim president of SJSU.

Editor’s Note: Stephen Perez assumed leadership of San José State University on January 3, 2022. The following message was released by the California State University system on November 22, 2021, regarding his selection as interim president of SJSU. The following was lightly edited by the SJSU editorial team on January 3, 2022, to account for Perez beginning his tenure at SJSU. The original release is also available online.

Stephen Perez Appointed Interim President of San José State University

(November 22, 2021) – California State University (CSU) Chancellor Joseph I. Castro has appointed Stephen Perez, Ph.D., to serve as interim president of San José State University (SJSU). Perez previously served as provost and vice president of Academic Affairs and professor of economics at California State University, Sacramento. Perez assumed the leadership of the campus on January 3, 2022 after the departure of current SJSU president Dr. Mary A. Papazian, who resigned from the presidency on December 21, 2021. Current SJSU provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs Vincent J. Del Casino Jr., served as executive in charge on campus during the brief transition upon Papazian’s departure.

“Dr. Perez is a bold leader with a long-standing commitment to improving student achievement demonstrated through his many years of service at Sacramento State,” said Castro. “His passion for
increasing opportunity for all students and his track record of building collaborative relationships with
students, faculty and staff will ensure that SJSU continues on its upward trajectory during this time of

In his role as provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, Perez provides leadership and support for the Division of Academic Affairs including, faculty and staff in all colleges, the University Library, and for several offices that support students, faculty and staff, and the Sacramento region. Additionally, Perez has taught macroeconomics at all levels as well as econometrics, sports economics, labor economics and mathematics for economists.

“From providing a transformational education to tens of thousands of students to serving as a cultural
hub and an incubator for innovation, SJSU is driving the Silicon Valley and makes an impact that
reverberates throughout the state and the world,” said Perez. “I enthusiastically welcome and
appreciate the opportunity to work collaboratively with the dedicated students, faculty, staff,
president’s cabinet and community to further increase the achievement of our talented and diverse

Perez joined Sacramento State as an assistant professor in the Department of Economics in 2001. Over his two decades of service to the university he has also served as associate professor, professor,
assistant to the president for special projects, faculty athletics representative and interim provost before being appointed to his current role in the fall of 2019. His previous experience includes service as a member of the faculty at Washington State University and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Perez earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California, San Diego and his
master’s and Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Davis.

The duration of Perez’s interim appointment is expected to last for approximately one year. CSU
Trustees will soon begin a national search for a permanent president to lead the campus.

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About the California State University

The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 56,000 faculty and staff and 477,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality,
affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality,
opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards nearly than 132,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.

Editor’s Note: The following message was sent to the SJSU campus community on Monday, November 22, 2021, by former SJSU President Mary A. Papazian. 

Dear campus community,

Earlier this morning, the CSU’s Office of the Chancellor announced the selection of Stephen Perez, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at California State University, Sacramento, as the interim president of SJSU. You can find the Chancellor’s full announcement here.

Provost Perez will assume leadership of the campus on Jan. 3, 2022. As I step away from the presidency effective Dec. 21, SJSU provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, Vincent J. Del Casino Jr., will serve as executive in charge during the two-week transition period.

I have met Provost Perez previously and congratulate him on his appointment. He has my full support, and together we will work toward a seamless transition that helps ensure that the mission of SJSU will continue to move forward.


Dr. Mary A. Papazian