Interim President Don Kassing speaking to the congregation at Maranatha Christian Center.

CSU Super Sunday: Kassing Supports Investing in Young People

Interim President Don Kassing speaking to the congregation at Maranatha Christian Center.

Interim President Don Kassing speaking to the congregation at Maranatha Christian Center.

By Keith Bryant, Digital Communications Assistant
Photo By Irving Perez, Public Affairs Volunteer

SJSU Interim President Don W. Kassing visited Maranatha Christian Center Feb. 13 for CSU Super Sunday, an outreach program seeking to connect the CSU with African American churches to open a dialogue about what it takes to get into college. Kassing was welcomed with open arms, and enjoyed a lively and energetic service. He also spoke to the congregation about the importance of investing in our youth.

“Our offer is to create opportunities for young people to go to college to work their way out of the recession, as it is going require education, and in this region, innovation,” Kassing said. “We want these young people to have a chance.”

Kassing also attended Emmanuel Baptist Church, while Vice President for Student Affairs Jason Laker visited Bible Way Christian Center. After the services, SJSU outreach staff members spoke one-on-one with church goers to answer questions and distribute materials.

SJSU Ranked No. 1 Destination for International Students

For the second consecutive year, more international students chose SJSU than any other comparable institution nationwide, including all CSU campuses. The Institute of International Education’s “Open Doors 2010” report issued Nov. 15 placed SJSU at the top of the list for universities and colleges offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Continue reading

SJSU Breaks Ground on $90 Million Student Union Project

Expansion/Renovation to Provide Unified Location for Student Organizations, Services

Contact: Pat Lopes Harris, 408-656-6999

SAN JOSE, Calif., — San Jose State University will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion and renovation of its Student Union building at noon Nov. 17 on El Paseo de Cesar E. Chavez (the Seventh Street Plaza). This event is free and open to the public. When completed in 2013, the 235,000-square-foot structure will span from the Seventh Street Plaza to the Ninth Street Plaza. Design and construction costs will total $90 million.

“The Student Union expansion and renovation will greatly enhance our efforts to support our students and foster a sense of community, both of which are essential for success inside and outside the classroom,” Interim President Don W. Kassing said. “This project will bring vibrancy to the university’s core, building on the tremendous impact of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library and Campus Village.”

King Library, a $177.5 million high-rise completed in 2003, and Campus Village, a $244 million residential complex completed in 2005, anchor two corners of campus. The new Student Union will centralize many student organizations and services, and feature a food court, coffee house, print shop, and computer center. An existing amphitheater will be converted into an indoor theater and lecture hall.

The project will begin with construction of a new wing on the site of the old cafeteria, and conclude with the earthquake retrofit and renovation of the existing structure, a 144,000-square-foot building completed in 1969. The architect is Perkins + Will.” The general contractor is Lathrop Construction Associates. SJSU will seek LEED Gold certification for the building.

The new Student Union will be financed with bonds, repaid with revenue from various sources including Student Union events, space rentals, and annual student fees. The project will not use funds that could otherwise be spent for academic purposes. Beginning this project during an economic downturn will mean saving money on construction costs, given the drop in demand for such services.

View the Student Union expansion and renovation website.

Download a high-resolution rendering.
San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 29,000 students and 3,190 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

SJSU Art Students Produce Show Featuring 12 Local Artists

Imaginative and Witty Exhibit Explores “Soft” Through Variety of Visual Media

Contact: Marianne Lettieri, 650-328-5754

SAN JOSE, Calif., — The word “soft” seems to float off the tongue, creating a cushion to buffer against anything harsh. Yet what does “soft” really mean? Not hard, not loud, not strong, smooth, but delicate, faint, muted, curving, squishy. An imaginative and witty exhibit of art created by San Jose State University students explores “soft” through a variety of visual media and aesthetic interpretations. Continue reading

CSU Approves Two-Step Tuition Increase

On Nov. 10, the CSU Board of Trustees approved a five percent tuition increase effective spring 2011, followed by a 10 percent tuition increase effective fall 2011. This means CSU tuition for a fulltime undergraduate in 2011-2012 will be $4,884. This figure does not include campus based fees.

Get the details.

View SJSU fall 2010 campus based fees.

San Jose State Selected For National Honor Recognizing Top Citizen Diplomacy Programs

SJSU Salzburg Program to Serve as Model for Higher Education Globalization

Contact: Pat Lopes Harris, 408-656-6999

SAN JOSE, Calif., — The SJSU Salzburg Program has been named one of the nation’s top ten citizen diplomacy programs in the field of higher education by the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy, in partnership with the U. S. State Department and the NAFSA Association of International Educators. Continue reading

SJSU Launches First-Ever Comprehensive Campaign

“Acceleration” Begins With $5 Million Gift Commitment From The Valley Foundation

Contact: Pat Lopes Harris, 408-656-6999

SAN JOSE, Calif., — At an evening event Oct. 21, Interim President Don W. Kassing launched “Acceleration: The Campaign for San Jose State University” by announcing The Valley Foundation has made a $5 million gift commitment to the School of Nursing. In gratitude for this gift and over $3.5 million in past donations, the school will be named the San Jose State University Valley Foundation School of Nursing, pending approval from the California State University Board of Trustees in November. The dinner, for over 300 SJSU supporters at the Event Center, opened the public phase of SJSU’s first-ever comprehensive campaign with a $200 million goal by 2014. SJSU raised over $129 million during the private phase, beginning in 2006.

“Our nursing program is a perfect example of San Jose State University’s direct impact on our community’s quality of life,” Interim President Kassing said. “The Valley Foundation appreciates the critical role our corporate and community partners must play when it comes to providing students with access to the very best academic and professional programs. This gift, and our entire comprehensive fundraising campaign, is about securing a better future not just for our students and our university, but our community and our region.”

The gift will be used for two purposes: to invest in an endowment providing long-term support for the nursing school, and to provide current support for a state-of-the-art nursing simulation lab. In a broader sense, the gift will also allow San Jose State to take a more prominent role in addressing our nation’s nursing shortage. The United States faces a shortfall of up to one million nurses over the next decade. California’s share will be more than 40,000 full-time-equivalent nurses. The Valley Foundation, based in Los Gatos, serves Santa Clara County by funding non-profits in the health care and medical services fields, including educational institutions.

“When most aspiring students from our community set out to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing, there is just one place to go and that is San Jose State,” The Valley Foundation Chairman Phillip R. Boyce, who graduated from SJSU in 1966 with a business degree. “The Valley Foundation is proud to support these students and the university because we know our gift will impact the quality of care in doctor’s offices, hospitals, and health care facilities of all kinds in our region and beyond.”

Founded in 1955, the SJSU School of Nursing is the only public institution granting bachelor’s and master’s nursing degrees in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey counties. Current enrollment exceeds 1,400 nursing and pre-nursing students, instructed by over 50 faculty members. The clinical simulation lab features hi-fidelity mannequins including adult, child, toddler, infant, and birthing mother units. Programmed scenarios expose students to common and uncommon treatment decisions, team and family-member communication practice, and the debriefing and reflection that follow.

“Acceleration” marks the first time in SJSU’s 153-year history that the university will launch a highly organized, resourced and targeted effort to raise millions of dollars. The campaign encompasses all seven colleges, the University Library, Student Affairs and Intercollegiate Athletics. SJSU will seek gifts from private individuals, corporations and foundations in support of four areas: Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Scholarship ($75 million), An Investment in Students ($67 million), The Gateway to Silicon Valley and Beyond ($24 million), and Support for Existing Programs ($34 million).

Learn more about “Acceleration: The Campaign for San Jose State University.”

Learn more about the SJSU School of Nursing.

San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 27,400 students and 3,190 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.

Clinton urges students to vote at San Jose State

By: Joe Garofoli/Chronicle Staff Writer

At a Sunday night rally for the California Democratic ticket at San Jose State University,former President Bill Clinton urged young people to vote or risk paying more to repay their student loans.

While Clinton was there to stump for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown and lieutenant governor hopeful Gavin Newsom,he aimed much of his 30-minute message at a national audience, particularly young people and people of color. Insiders are worried about low turnout for both groups, which were a major part of the 1.1 million Californians who voted for the first time in the 2008 presidential election for President Obama.

Clinton said if Republicans take Congress in the Nov. 2 midterm elections, their priorities will include a move that could increase the cost of federal student loans by rescinding a provision in the program.

But Republicans won’t take the House if “you show up,” Clinton told the audience in the two-thirds-filled 6,000-capacity Event Center at San Jose State. He urged students to get on their social networks to contact friends around the country and tell them to vote for Democrats. “And if they don’t, ask them,’What planet are you living on?’ ”

It was the last lap on a three-day barnstorming tour through California for Clinton, which started with an outdoor rally Friday in Los Angeles with Brown and Newsom. It concluded Sunday with an afternoon rally in Napa for Democratic Rep. Mike Thompson and the 8:15 p.m. appearance in San Jose.

Clinton, Brown and Newsom all talked up how Democrats would be the ones to keep California at the forefront of green jobs growth domestically. And Brown took digs at his GOP opponent,Meg Whitman,the billionaire former eBay CEO,who has invested more than $141 million of her own money in the race.

“We’ve found out a billion is not enough if that’s all you got,” Brown said.

Sunday’s event could have made for one of the more awkward onstage political hugs in recent memory as Newsom,Brown and Clinton haven’t always been on the best of terms. Clinton and Brown exchanged caustic barbs when they ran against each other for the 1992 Democratic presidential nomination.

That feud resurfaced several weeks ago when Whitman’s campaign began running a commercial showing Clinton tearing into Brown during a 1992 debate – an ad that contained erroneous information about Brown’s record on taxes as governor. Brown retorted with an offhand remark about Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Before the dustup got too intense, Clinton endorsed Brown and made plans for the California visit.

Clinton endorsed Newsom over Brown last fall, a payback for Newsom endorsing Hillary Rodham Clinton over Obama in the 2008 presidential primary. At the time,campaign operatives for Brown and Newsom were trading punches almost daily – until Newsom dropped out of the race nearly a year ago.

But Clinton wrapped a bear hug around Brown after the California attorney general introduced him.

“He took a lot of crap from a lot people,” Brown said of Clinton. “Yeah, I gave him a little of it myself. But remember,this is the guy who really persevered in the face of the most outrageous Republican opposition.”

A spokesperson for Whitman’s campaign,Andrea Jones Rivera, scoffed at Clinton’s appearance.

“If it weren’t for his party affiliation, Bill Clinton wouldn’t have anything to do with Jerry Brown. This entire appearance is about party politics,” said Rivera.

Nicole Gomez, a San Jose State student at her first political rally,was undecided about how to vote on Proposition 23, which would gut California’s landmark climate change law. But after hearing Newsom talk about how damaging it could be, she will now oppose it and support Newsom and Brown. “I’m definitely not voting for Meg Whitman,” she said.

There’s an election in California, but will the Democratic voters show up?

By: Linda Goldston/ Mercury News

Tarah Al-Haise was into “the whole presidential thing” when Barack Obama was elected president two years ago. Yet with next month’s elections looming, nothing on the ballot inspires the junior psychology major at San Jose State University to persuade her to vote. She knows plenty of students who feel the same way.

Everyone but her friend Maria Makarian, 21, who not only will enthusiastically cast her ballot, but worries that she may be in the minority.

“It’s frustrating,” the senior social work major said. “Just this past weekend at a Rock the Vote event, people came out between sets to encourage us to vote and they were booed.”

Anything can happen this election, but the youthful tidal wave that helped sweep Obama into the White House in 2008 may have dried up. With Barbara Boxer holding a slight lead over former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, there’s a chance California may not get socked by anti-incumbent fever as badly as other states, but there’s no question — many Democrats are struggling to find a reason to vote.

“What I’m noticing is that we don’t have a candidate on the top of the ticket that’s generating a lot of excitement in the electorate,” said Mark Baldassare, president of the Public Policy Institute of California. “And we don’t have a ballot measure attracting the excitement Proposition 8 did last time around, so turnout will be significantly less that we had in the presidential election.”

Traditionally, voter turnout is low for midterm elections when there is no presidential candidate or compelling issue on the ballot, and the state appears headed that way this time.

“A lot of people say, ‘My vote doesn’t count’ ” said Hermila Salazar, 44, of Watsonville, who will vote with her husband, Paul. “Obama is trying very hard to get things done, but some Latinos are turning against him. They ask, ‘Where’s the federal immigration law?’ ” But he has to fix the economy first.”

Nearly 14 percent more Democrats than Republicans are registered to vote in the state, which should give them the edge, but GOP leaders said they’re seeing an excitement and enthusiasm in their party members they haven’t seen in years.

“I’ve been traveling this state relentlessly and this is the most energized I’ve seen Republican volunteers in eight years,” said Thomas Del Beccaro, vice chairman of the state GOP. “The fact so many national figures are here in October spells bad news for Democrats. When California is still in play, it means a lot of Eastern states are no longer in play for the Democrats.”

If early exit polling in the East shows GOP wins, “Democrats will be discouraged” here and might not vote, he said.

Then there are others such as Republican John Robinson of Menlo Park, who is discouraged by both parties and plans to “vote every incumbent out, no matter which party they’re in.”

A staunch conservative, Robinson said he doesn’t have “a lot of faith in Democrats or the GOP or anyone else.” But he is sure the majority of ads on TV these last two weeks before the election will be political and “they’re all going to be slinging mud, making claims that aren’t true.”

That kind of negativity, too, affects voter turnout, Baldassare said.

“When people are given a lot of reasons not to vote for the other person, it encourages people not to participate,” he said.

Claire Conlon, executive director of California Young Democrats, and Alex Wara, president of the Democratic Caucus at San Jose State, said they believe students do care — about the environment, about higher education, about the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

When they learned that former President Bill Clinton would be appearing at San Jose State on Sunday with Jerry Brown to help boost support for the candidate in the governor’s race, Conlon said a request was put out for 40 volunteers to help with the crowds and whatever needed to be done — and they got 150 volunteers.

“Peer to peer. They’ll turn out to vote if their peers ask them to,” she said.

Makarian wishes it were that easy. Unlike the enthusiastic students who volunteered for the young Democrat groups, she said, “I feel a lot of students are apathetic. We’re the next generation, so I don’t understand it.”

Thinking about the upcoming generation is what motivates Manuel Perez, 66, of San Jose, to vote. Like many Latinos, he said he resents the backlash against illegal immigrants.

“This country of ours was made up of illegals from all over the world,” he said. “Now they want to push all of the illegals out.”

What matters now, he said, is to keep pushing forward, no matter what.

“We can’t walk backwards,” he said. “You have to stand up and be counted.”

More than anything, he said, it’s now about having a better world for his six grandkids.

“I wouldn’t want them going through the same BS we are.”