Stephen Perez Selected as Interim President of SJSU

Editor’s Note: The following message was sent to the SJSU campus community on Monday, November 22, 2021.

Dear campus community,

A headshot of Stephen Perez

Stephen Perez has been named interim president of SJSU.

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 [and below].

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.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mary A. Papazian
President


Editor’s Note: The following is the California State University’s release regarding Stephen Perez being selected as interim president of SJSU. The 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 currently serves as provost and vice president of Academic Affairs and professor of economics at California State University, Sacramento. Perez will assume the leadership of the campus on January 3, 2022 after the departure of current SJSU president Dr. Mary A. Papazian, who is resigning from the presidency effective December 21, 2021. Current SJSU provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs Vincent J. Del Casino Jr., will be the 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
transition.”

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
students.”

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.

FAQs Regarding President Papazian’s Resignation from SJSU

Editor’s Note: The following are frequently asked questions regarding President Mary A. Papazian’s resignation from SJSU, which was announced Thursday, October 7, 2021. President Papazian’s letter to the campus community and the university’s official statement, are available online. 

Page last updated October 7, 2021

Question (Q): Why is President Papazian resigning from her position?

Answer (A): After thoughtful consideration and discussions with her family, President Papazian made the decision to step away as president of San José State University at the end of the fall semester.

Q: When is President Papazian officially stepping down as president?

A: President Papazian will step down as president on December 21, 2021.

Q: What is the succession plan to replace President Papazian?

A: California State University (CSU) Chancellor Joseph I. Castro will meet with campus stakeholders prior to naming an interim president. The CSU Board of Trustees will thereafter begin a national search for the 31st president of SJSU.

Q: What was the timeline of events leading up to President Papazian’s resignation?

​​A: Dr. Papazian discussed resigning from her position as president of San José State University with Chancellor Castro on September 25, 2021.

On October 1, 2021, Chancellor Castro informed the CSU Board of Trustees of President Papazian’s decision and the succession plan.

Chancellor Castro will meet with campus stakeholders prior to naming an interim president. The CSU Board of Trustees will thereafter conduct a national search for the 31st president of San José State University.

The CSU Chancellor’s Office is committed to transparency and will continue to provide regular updates regarding CSU matters and relevant topics that impact the 23-campus university.

Q: What are some of President Papazian’s notable accomplishments during her tenure at SJSU?

A: Dr. Papazian became the 30th president and third woman to lead the university on July 1, 2016.

During her tenure, SJSU was named the #1 Most Transformative University by Money magazine. She maximized partnerships with industry and technology giants such as IBM, LinkedIn, PayPal, and Adobe to elevate campus technology and provide SJSU students access to innovative enterprise grade student-focused resources.

In 2019, President Papazian established the Division of Research and Innovation, which is leading the growth of the university’s intellectual property portfolio of patents, copyrights, trademarks, licensing agreements, and supporting the entrepreneurial activity of students, faculty, and staff.

In 2016, President Papazian launched the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Since its inception, SJSU has been striving to be a diversified workplace that represents its student population.

In September 2020, President Papazian appointed a task force to study community safety and policing, mandated all managers to participate in training on racial justice and workplace inclusion, and charged her leadership council involving nearly fifty campus leaders to develop and implement action plans targeting systemic racism.

Q: What did Chancellor Castro say regarding President Papazian’s resignation?

A: In a recent statement Chancellor Castro stated, “President Papazian’s decision to resign from the presidency reflects her compassionate leadership. While professionally and personally difficult, this step demonstrates her commitment to the university moving forward. We are grateful for the innovative educational services and cutting-edge resources that she and her team have put into place, which have positioned San José State University as a transformational higher learning institution.”

Q: Will President Papazian continue her full duties until December 21, 2021?

A: Yes, President Papazian remains in the office of the president and will complete her duties as president until she steps down.

Q: What will President Papazian’s role be after December 21, 2021?

A: As part of the Executive Transition Program established in 2006 by the CSU Board of Trustees, President Papazian’s duties will, for one year, include assisting CSU executives on matters pertaining to the CSU and preparing for her return to a teaching position.

Q: What is the Executive Transition Program?

A: In 1992, the California Board of Trustees established an executive transition program for individuals appointed into executive positions. Through this program, former executives are given the opportunity to instruct in the classroom or perform highly specialized duties specific to their expertise to the benefit of the university. Effective 2006, the program was limited and was no longer made available to executives who retire from the CSU or accept non-CSU employment at the time of their resignation.

In accordance with the terms of the executive transition program, President Papazian’s compensation will be $290,580 (Term: December 22, 2021-December 21, 2022). This transition salary is funded by the Chancellor’s Office and is paid at the midpoint between the executive’s current salary and the maximum of the salary range for a 12-month full professor.

Following her transition year, President Papazian will have the right to return to the faculty at San José State University in the College of Humanities and the Arts, Department of English and Comparative Literature.

Dr. Mary A. Papazian Resigns as 30th President of SJSU

President Mary A. Papazian.

Photo: Josie Lepe, ’03 BFA Photography.

Editor’s Note: The following is an official statement from San José State University released on October 7, 2021. President Papazian’s letter to the campus community and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are available online. 

Dr. Mary A. Papazian announced today that she will resign as the president of San José State University (SJSU) at the conclusion of the fall semester, effective December 21, 2021. During President Papazian’s transition period, California State University (CSU) Chancellor Joseph I. Castro will meet with campus stakeholders prior to naming an interim president. The CSU Board of Trustees will thereafter begin a national search for the 31st president of SJSU.

“The best interest of the campus continues to be at the forefront of every decision I make. After thoughtful consideration, I have made the decision to step away as president,” stated President Papazian. “I truly love this university and believe this choice will allow the focus to be positively and solely on our talented, diverse, and outstanding campus. It has been my great honor and privilege to work with the exceptional SJSU students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners. I am incredibly grateful to the entire SJSU and San José communities for the opportunity to serve at what I consider to be one of the best and most transformational universities in the country. Thank you.”

Dr. Papazian became the 30th president and third woman to lead the university on July 1, 2016. During her tenure, SJSU was named the #1 Most Transformative University by Money magazine. She maximized partnerships with industry and technology giants such as IBM, LinkedIn, PayPal, and Adobe to elevate campus technology and provide SJSU students access to innovative enterprise grade student-focused resources. In 2019, President Papazian established the Division of Research and Innovation, which is leading the growth of the university’s intellectual property portfolio of patents, copyrights, trademarks, licensing agreements, and supporting the entrepreneurial activity of students, faculty, and staff. In 2016, President Papazian launched the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Since the office’s inception, SJSU has been striving to be a diversified workplace that is reflective of its student population. In September 2020, President Papazian appointed a task force to study community safety and policing, mandated all managers to participate in training on racial justice and workplace inclusion, and charged her leadership council involving nearly 50 campus leaders to develop and implement action plans targeting systemic racism.

“President Papazian’s decision to resign from the presidency reflects her compassionate leadership,” stated Chancellor Castro. “While professionally and personally difficult, this step demonstrates her commitment to the university moving forward. We are grateful for the innovative educational services and cutting-edge resources that she and her team have put into place, which have positioned San José State University as a transformational higher learning institution.”

“I, along with our Board of Trustees, am grateful for Dr. Papazian’s dedication to San José State University,” stated Lillian Kimbell, Chair of the Board. “President Papazian’s commitment to providing equitable student-educational services is illustrated by SJSU’s graduation rates climbing during her tenure, and the average debt remaining far below the national average. During her tenure, SJSU has amplified its research and technology partnerships in Silicon Valley and nationwide to offer its students unique resources at the university.”

The health and safety of the SJSU campus community remains a priority for President Papazian and SJSU. President Papazian will continue to cooperate with the ongoing external Title IX Procedural Investigation and investigations surrounding former SJSU Director of Sports Medicine Scott Shaw.

“This transition does not impact our intention and obligation to understand what occurred and how the university responded at the time,” stated President Papazian. “I made a promise to our community and to the affected student-athletes and their families, and I plan to honor it. My heart, apologies and prayers continue to be with those student-athletes who suffered a breach of trust during their time at the university.”

Based on the SJSU external 2019-20 investigation findings and the DOJ findings, President Papazian took the following action steps.

  • SJSU restructured and expanded its Title IX office, including the addition of new Title IX experts.
    • The team, among others, will include the just announced experienced Title IX and Gender Equity Officer (“Title IX coordinator”), responsible for overseeing compliance with, and implementation of, all Title IX-related policies, grievance procedures, and training at SJSU. The Title IX coordinator will oversee the deputy Title IX coordinator and other Title IX personnel and liaisons.
    • The Title IX Office has received a significant increase in funding to: recruit and hire a new Title IX coordinator, deputy Title IX coordinator, a minimum of two qualified Title IX investigators and an administrative assistant; enhance response to reports of sex discrimination; develop informational materials; and conduct outreach to the SJSU community.
  • SJSU has launched a new Wellbeing Attendant (chaperone) Policy to ensure both student-athletes and sports medicine staff have a right to request that a Wellbeing Attendant be present for any type of sports medicine treatment.
  • SJSU is enhancing education and orientation programs focused on sexual assault prevention, reporting options, and resources for survivors, witnesses, and bystanders.

For more information, visit the FAQs on the SJSU FYI website.

Michael Meth named Dean of SJSU University Library

Editor’s Note: The following message was sent to the SJSU campus community on Tuesday, August 17. 

Dear SJSU campus community,

I am pleased to announce Michael Meth will be our new dean of the SJSU University Library, effective October 1, 2021.

A picture of Michael Meth

Michael Meth has been named the new dean of the SJSU University Library.

Michael joins SJSU from Florida State University, where he served as Associate Dean for Research and Learning Services. Michael oversaw the subject librarians program, circulation and collections access, library data services, and the teaching, learning and engagement department, which includes extended campus services and tutoring. 

As you know, Ann Agee has been serving as interim dean since the spring of 2020. She has asked to return to her faculty role. I want to thank Ann for her tremendous work as interim dean. She has led the library through an unbelievably challenging time. I am very pleased to formally announce that Christina Mune will serve as interim dean until Michael’s arrival on October 1. I also have to thank Christina for stepping up during this transition period. 

Michael brings leadership experience at a number of large, complex institutions to SJSU, and possesses the skills and vision necessary to lead the SJSU University Library — which poses its own unique relationship with the City of San José’s Public Library System. He also brings academic interests to the campus, including understanding how blockchain technology might apply to the work of libraries. 

Michael shared the following thoughts about joining SJSU:I am thrilled to join the San José State University community as the next dean of the SJSU library. SJSU is a world-class institution and Silicon Valley‘s public university. The transformative power of the university has been well documented, and libraries are a significant contributor to transforming the university and the experience of SJSU scholars. 

“The King Library is an important partner in the success of SJSU students and faculty. The King‘s library celebration and recognition of diversity is abundantly evident in the rich array of programming and collections. The outstanding library team is focused on being a partner and support to all the scholars of SJSU, in San José and beyond. The joint use of the library with the San José Public Library is also an important part of the mission and I look forward to the collaborations.

“I am also excited for the opportunity to work in San José and in Silicon Valley to further the mission of the King Library, and develop partnerships to enhance and grow the reach of the library.”

Prior to joining Florida State University, Michael was the Director of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education library at the University of Toronto (UofT), and before that the Director of the Li Koon Chun Finance Learning Centre, UofT Mississauga Library. While at UofT, Michael also held an appointment as adjunct faculty at the Institute for Management of Innovation at the UofT Mississauga. In 2019, Michael co-founded the Panhandle Academic Libraries conference. 

In 2014, Michael was selected as a Senior Fellow at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, and in 2013 participated in Harvard’s Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians. Michael is a graduate of the UofT (Master of Information Studies) and York University (Bachelor of Business Administration, Schulich School of Business).

Please join me in welcoming Michael to our outstanding library team.

Sincerely,

Vincent Del Casino, Jr.
Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs

Updates on SJSU Athletics Department and Investigations

Editor’s Note: This transparency news feed includes updates on relevant matters in SJSU Athletics Department, including personnel information, university action steps, frequently asked questions, timelines, and pertinent information regarding former Director of Sports Medicine Scott Shaw.

August 16, 2021

In the April 15 open letter to the campus community, President Papazian referenced a chaperone policy that was being finalized no later than fall 2021. The Wellbeing Attendant Policy, developed by the Athletics Department, in conjunction with the Student Health Center and the Title IX Office, is now finalized.


June 12, 2021

San José State University President Mary Papazian has named Jeffrey (Jeff) Konya the university’s fifteenth director of athletics. Konya will be responsible for athletics department stewardship, effective July 12. Konya succeeds former Athletics Director Marie Tuite.  

“Jeff brings over two decades of leadership and award-winning collegiate athletics administrator experience,” stated President Papazian. “We are confident that Jeff’s commitment to student success, integrity, and innovation will continue to increase our students’ academic accomplishments, cement an inclusive and equitable culture, and position Spartan Athletics as a leading department known for creativity and excellence.”

“I am incredibly honored to be selected to lead the Spartans. I want to express my sincere appreciation to President Papazian, the SJSU search committee, and TurnkeyZRG for being given this wonderful opportunity,” stated Konya. “I am truly inspired by President Papazian’s vision for San José State University. I am excited by the role athletics can play in furthering that vision.” 

Konya comes to SJSU from Northeastern University in Boston, where he was a two-time Under Armour NACDA Athletics Director of the Year (2016-17, 2020-21) making him one of just four Athletic Directors in DI-AAA in the history of the award to earn AD of the Year twice in a four-year span. Under Konya’s leadership, Northeastern Athletics worked with the student-athletes to form the first-ever Black Athlete Caucus. The NUBAC was established to represent the voice of and bring exposure to the Black Athletic community on campus. 

Konya also served on the first-ever college hockey National Social Justice Committee and oversaw the Huskies entry into Esports as a varsity program. As the first New England area Division I institution to join the Esports Collegiate Conference (ESC), the Huskies competed in four games – Overwatch, League of Legends, Rocket League and Hearthstone – and the Hearthstone team finished the season ranked No. 2 in the country.

Traditional collegiate programs at Northeastern also benefited with Konya at the helm. The ice hockey programs maintained their national relevance, men’s basketball earned its fourth CAA regular-season championship in 2020-21, men’s cross country won its first-ever CAA title in 2021, and women’s basketball made its first-ever appearance in the WNIT in 2019. 

Konya achieved great success in competition and in the classroom while athletic director at Oakland University. During his tenure there, the university was a three-peat winner of the Horizon League’s McCafferty Trophy (2015, 2016 & 2017), amassed 22 Horizon League championships since 2014, including a men’s basketball title in 2017 and led the Horizon League in Academic All-League and Honor Roll selections from 2014 to 2017, with his student-athletes posting a record 3.30 collective grade point average in 2017.

Further, he spurred innovation across the athletic department by increasing external financial support by 60 percent and sponsorship support by 90 percent, introducing new digital media packages for fans, increasing attendance at men’s basketball game attendance to set new ticket revenue records, and launching a branded all-sports rivalry with the University of Detroit-Mercy, called the Metro Series. The Rochester Area Chamber recognized the athletic department with its Innovative Culture award in 2016.

In addition to his duties at Oakland, Konya served as chair of the Horizon League Executive Council and is a member of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee.

As athletic director at California State University, Bakersfield, a member of the NCAA Division I Western Athletic Conference, Konya spearheaded fundraising efforts for multi-million-dollar facility additions and improvements, including a year ranked No. 1 nationally in fundraising compared to peer I-AAA institutions. Konya orchestrated a rebranding of the athletic department and, under his direction, the university’s athletic marketing team was named a NACMA Division I Marketing Team of the Year finalist. During his tenure at CSU Bakersfield, men’s and women’s basketball programs both earned postseason bids, baseball twice ranked in the top 25 nationally, and the volleyball and men’s basketball teams earned perfect NCAA Academic Progress Rate scores.

As senior associate athletic director at Southern Methodist University, Konya served as sport administrator for the men’s and women’s basketball programs, supervised all marketing efforts and game-day activities, and managed NCAA compliance. During his SMU tenure, the women’s basketball team won the Conference USA tournament and advanced to the NCAA tournament.

Konya began his athletic administration career in 1996 at the University of Iowa, and worked in positions of increasing responsibility at the University of South Dakota, Bucknell University, the University of Texas San Antonio, and the University of Memphis.

He received his juris doctorate with honors from the University of Iowa College of Law and earned a bachelor’s degree in politics from Princeton University, where he was a member of the football team.

Konya’s hiring marks the conclusion of an extensive nationwide search led by President Papazian, who named a search committee to research, interview, and evaluate a diverse and innovative group of collegiate athletics administrators. The search committee was chaired by Vice President for Strategy and Chief of Staff Lisa Millora and included Faculty Athletics Representative and chair of the kinesiology department Tamar Semerjian; Super Bowl-winning wide receiver, NFL Network Analyst, and SJSU alumnus James Jones; and Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Administration and Finance Charlie Faas.

TurnkeyZRG was retained to help President Papazian and the search committee in strategic search planning and management areas, including application, evaluation and review processes, background checks on potential candidates, and vital SJSU internal and external stakeholder and constituent information gathering. TurnkeyZRG Managing Director Chad Chatlos led the collaborative effort. Chatlos specializes in senior executive searches across the sports industry with a focus on roles in the ever-changing landscape of intercollegiate athletics.

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Quotes from College Athletics on the SJSU Hire of Jeffrey Konya as AD

“I have worked with and known Jeff for many, many years. I can tell you he will instantaneously make any athletics program better in the way he thinks, acts and leads. The coaches will love him. This is a fantastic hire for the Spartans.”

John Calipari, Head Men’s Basketball Coach at the University of Kentucky

Congratulations to Jeff Konya on being named Director of Athletics at San Jose State University. Jeff is dedicated to the student-athlete experience, understand the needs of coaches, and he values the important role college athletics plays in higher education. He is an outstanding leader and communicator that values relationships with all. I am so very happy for the Spartans on an outstanding hire.

Jeff Capel, Head Men’s Basketball Coach at the University of Pittsburgh

“Jeff is an experienced and transformational leader who will inspire excellence for San Jose State athletics. He is well respected for his ability to hire excellent coaches, innovate, build community and provide a first-class experience for student-athletes. His vision will take the Spartans to the next level.”

Jen Cohen, Athletics Director at the University of Washington

“San Jose St. has aligned itself with one of the most energetic forward-thinking leaders in intercollegiate athletics. Jeff is a true difference maker that has consistently overseen and implemented impactful change. His transformative ambition will be a true asset to the Spartan’s athletic department as well as the entire San Jose St. community.”

Joe D’Antonio, Commissioner, Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)

“Jeff Konya is a terrific hire for SJSU. He was instrumental to our success at SMU and understands the ins and outs of the game. Coaches and student-athletes will love working with him and there’s no better person to lead the Spartans into the future.”

June Jones, Former NFL Head Coach, Former Head Football Coach at the University of Hawaii and SMU

“This is great news for San Jose State University. Jeff is a strong and dynamic leader and a phenomenal person who has a proven ability to build programs to new levels of excellence. I especially appreciate his focus on student-athlete well-being. He’s one of the good guys in the business and I know he’ll accomplish great things in San Jose.”

Candace Storey Lee, Athletics Director at Vanderbilt University


May 22, 2021

San José State University President Mary Papazian has named CFO and Vice President for Administration and Finance Charlie Faas as its interim director of athletics. Faas will be responsible for stewarding the athletics department until the university names its 15th Director of Athletics.

“Charlie Faas is a strong leader with professional integrity,” stated President Papazian. “His sports and business acumen will help us maintain forward progression during this transition. We are grateful for his teamwork.”

Faas has working knowledge of the athletics department, playing instrumental roles in the development of the Spartan Athletics Center and South Campus renovations. As CFO, Faas leads SJSU’s financial, administrative and business functions. This includes Administration and Finance, Facilities Development and Operations, the University Police Department, and Spartan Shops. Faas is the chair of the Board of Directors of the San Jose Sports Authority. He served as executive vice president and CFO for Sharks Sports & Entertainment and CEO of the USA Pavilion at Expo Milano. In addition, he has held senior roles with numerous entities in Silicon Valley and New York, including IBM.

President Papazian has also formed a search committee chaired by Vice President for Strategy and Chief of Staff Lisa Millora, Faculty Athletics Representative and chair of the kinesiology department Tamar Semerjian, Super Bowl-winning wide receiver, NFL Network Analyst and SJSU alumnus James Jones, and Faas. The President and search committee will work collaboratively with TurnkeyZRG, led by Managing Director Chad Chatlos, in a national search for its next Director of Athletics. Chatlos specializes in senior executive searches across the sports industry with a focus on roles in the ever-changing landscape of intercollegiate athletics.

“I am confident in this diverse group of leaders who represent our cabinet, faculty, alumni, and collegiate athletics to evaluate the finest candidate to lead the Spartans,” stated President Papazian. “Together we will identify an athletics director who will continue to build competitive programs, increase academic success, positively represent our community, and build an inclusive, equitable and sustainable culture for our student-athletes, coaches and staff.”

TurnkeyZRG will support the President and the search committee in strategic search planning and management areas, including application, evaluation and review processes, background checks on potential candidates, and vital SJSU internal and external stakeholder and constituent information gathering.


May 21, 2021

San José State University President Mary Papazian has met with Director of Athletics, Marie Tuite, about the future leadership of the Athletics Department and agreed that Ms. Tuite will step down from her current role.

“My tenure as the Athletics Director at SJSU has been one of my greatest joys and accomplishments,” stated Ms. Tuite. “I am proud to have worked alongside many incredible coaches, administrators and educators as we built world-class facilities and won conference championships, but nothing will ever compare to seeing the success of thousands of student-athletes who have competed and graduated as Spartans.”

Effective immediately, Ms. Tuite will transition to the role of special director of external relations and capital project development. Her responsibilities will include increasing financial support for the athletics department, with an emphasis on a variety of facilities on the South Campus.

“I love San José State University and I am committed to its mission. My new role allows me to continue this important work, and I am grateful for the opportunity to do so,” stated Ms. Tuite.

In 2019, President Papazian requested an external investigation into allegations of misconduct in 2009 by Scott Shaw, SJSU’s former director of sports medicine. The 2009 allegations of improper touching during physical therapy were substantiated, as were more recent allegations raised in the course of the investigation.  The investigator concluded that the conduct at issue violated the university’s policies in effect at the time of the conduct. The investigation was conducted by an external attorney investigator and was supervised by the CSU Systemwide Title IX Compliance Officer. The findings are now final.

In response to the finding Ms. Tuite stated, “As a leader, I am deeply sorry our student-athletes were impacted by Scott Shaw. I will continue to fully cooperate with any and all investigations. My key objective here is to let our community heal.”

In 2020, President Papazian requested an external Title IX Procedural Response Investigation to answer questions about the original 2009 investigation and how the university responded to the findings. At the conclusion of that investigation, President Papazian pledged to, “hold ourselves accountable, make necessary changes, and continue to share our progress with the SJSU community.  She added, “accountability, action, and transparency are critical to rebuilding trust.”

Ms. Tuite began her tenure at San José State University in 2010, shortly after the conclusion of the initial Shaw investigation. Following seven years of university service in several executive athletics administration positions, she was promoted to the position of director of athletics. As of May 21, 2021, Ms. Tuite was one of 13 women athletics directors at an NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institution.

San José State University has made many strides in the department of athletics over the past several years, including increasing competitiveness in all sports both in conference play and nationally. During the 2020-2021 academic year, the football and women’s tennis teams won their conference championships. Several other teams, such as women’s and men’s water polo and men’s soccer, finished with high national or conference rankings. The department’s overall Academic Progress Rate (APR) has grown with a 65% increase in the number of student-athletes who earned President’s Scholar and Dean’s Scholar honors. The department also received some of the largest philanthropic gifts over the last several years.

Read President Papazian’s open letter to the campus community on April 15, 2021.

Read a detailed document with frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding the investigation into Scott Shaw, former director of sports medicine. The FAQ will be updated as necessary.

Read a summary of the results of the 2019 external investigation into Scott Shaw, former director of sports medicine.


May 4, 2021

The university and President Papazian will continue to provide the SJSU community ongoing factual information regarding former Director of Sports Medicine Scott Shaw, and the action steps SJSU is taking to keep our community safe.

  1. On April 15, 2021 President Papazian announced the results of an investigation into the 2009 allegations of improper touching by SJSU’s former Director of Sports Medicine Scott Shaw. That investigation substantiated the allegations and confirmed more recent allegations raised in the course of the investigation.
  2. As a result of the investigation into Scott Shaw, President Papazian announced a new investigation known as the Title IX Procedural Response Investigation to determine why the matter was not addressed sooner.
  3. On May 4, 2021 President Papazian released a detailed document with frequently asked questions (FAQ). There are currently 20 questions with detailed and factual responses. The FAQ will be updated as necessary.

As President Papazian stated in her open letter, “Accountability, action, and transparency are critical to rebuilding trust in the face of troubling events like these. You have my promise that as we go through this difficult process and move forward together, we will hold ourselves accountable, make necessary changes, and consistently share our progress with the SJSU community. I am determined that we will learn from the past and never repeat it.”

President Papazian’s Update Regarding Independent Investigation Opened in December 2019 and Action Steps

Editor’s Note: The following message was sent to the campus community on Thursday, April 15. To view on the web, visit the SJSU FYI site.

Dear students, faculty and staff,

The safety and well-being of our community are of paramount importance at SJSU. These are obligations we owe to each and every one of our students. Unfortunately, we have not always lived up to those expectations.

As many of you know, in December 2019, I requested an external investigation into allegations of misconduct in 2009 by Scott Shaw, SJSU’s former director of sports medicine. Today, I am sharing the results of that investigation with you. The 2009 allegations of improper touching during physical therapy were substantiated, as were more recent allegations raised in the course of the investigation. The investigator concluded that the conduct at issue violated the university’s policies in effect at the time of the conduct. The investigation was conducted by an external attorney investigator and was supervised by the CSU Systemwide Title IX Compliance Officer. The findings are now final. More information about the findings can be found on the SJSU FYI site [pdf].

To the affected student-athletes and their families, I apologize for this breach of trust. I am determined that we will learn from the past and never repeat it. We all need answers to questions about the original 2009 investigation and whether the university properly responded to subsequent concerns about that process. A new investigation, described below, will help us identify issues that must be addressed and improvements that should be made. This new investigation will be conducted by an external investigator and overseen by Systemwide Human Resources in the Chancellor’s Office. We will not, however, wait for that process to conclude before taking action. To that end, we are taking the following steps effective immediately:

Accountability & Facts

  • The new investigation is underway to determine the adequacy of the 2009 investigation and whether the university properly responded to subsequent concerns about that original investigation. I encourage anyone with relevant information to share their concerns with the external investigator, Elizabeth V. McNulty, who can be reached directly at 949-399-5026.
  • Individuals with questions, concerns or reports about any Title IX issues (such as sexual misconduct or other discrimination or harassment based on sex, gender or gender identity) should contact Wendi Liss at 408-924-7289 or Jenny Harper at 408-924-7288 in the Title IX Office or titleix@sjsu.edu.

Policy & Staffing

  • The Athletics Department, in conjunction with the Student Health Center and the Title IX Office, is finalizing a new sports medicine chaperone policy, which will be implemented no later than Fall 2021.
  • We are adding resources to and restructuring the Title IX Office.
  • We are increasing confidential support resources, including a full-time campus survivor advocate, before the start of the fall semester.

Training & Education

  • We will enhance education and orientation programs focused on sexual assault prevention, reporting options, and resources for survivors, witnesses, and bystanders.
  • Education will be provided to student-athletes, practitioners, and chaperones to ensure all persons involved in medical, physical therapy, and training sessions share a common understanding of what is expected.

Culture & Communication

  • We are responding to findings related to Title IX from the 2020 Belong@SJSU campus climate survey, geared towards improving awareness of resources, reporting options and empowering our students to come forward.
  • We will initiate an awareness and information campaign to encourage our student-athletes, coaches, and staff in the Department of Athletics to use Spartan Speaks – SJSU Athletics’ anonymous reporting tool.
  • We will provide user-friendly access to information about student rights and resources.
  • We will communicate updates and next steps across campus and throughout the San José State community.

Accountability, action, and transparency are critical to rebuilding trust in the face of troubling events like these. You have my promise that as we go through this difficult process and move forward together, we will hold ourselves accountable, make necessary changes, and consistently share our progress with the SJSU community.

Mary A. Papazian, Ph.D.
President

Daniele LeCesne Joins SJSU as Tower Foundation Chief Operating Officer

Daniele LeCesne

Daniele LeCesne will serve as the COO of the Tower Foundation starting December 7.

For Daniele LeCesne, accepting the job as chief operating officer of San José State University’s Tower Foundation represents a homecoming of sorts. Though LeCesne is originally from southern California, her sister and brother-in-law graduated from SJSU and she has spent decades seeing the campus transform from afar. Now, after dedicating more than 25 years as an accounting and financial officer in various arenas, including 18 years in higher education, LeCesne is excited for the opportunity to oversee Tower Foundation operations beginning December 7.

“I’m all about the mission of higher ed,” said LeCesne from her office at California State University, Fullerton, where for the past three years she has worked dual roles as the executive director of university advancement administration and finance and chief financial officer for the CSF Foundation. “I am a huge proponent of encouraging younger generations to pursue their education, to pursue their dreams. My tagline is ‘engage, encourage, inspire.’ That’s what I try to share with others.”

LeCesne’s expertise includes financial and administrative management, budget management and analysis, human resources and internal controls, as well as nonprofit foundation management. Before joining Cal State Fullerton, LeCesne held positions at the University of California, Riverside, the University of Southern California, and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. She also serves on the board of OPARC, an organization that serves adults living with developmental disabilities.

For LeCesne, few things matter more than her relationships, both with her family and at work. Her very first boss in the hotel industry became a lifelong mentor, inspiring her to invest in relationships with her colleagues and pay close attention to the nitty-gritty details involved in financial management.

“I’ll never forget the time he made me find a 72 cents-error on a reconciliation,” she said. “I spent hours poring over documents, and finally he let me go, saying that he was trying to teach me the importance of being detail-oriented and putting in the research. That has stuck with me for over 30 years. Having the best mentor in the world reminds me of how I want to be for others.”

LeCesne looks forward to passing on her knowledge to her team and collaborating with the Tower Foundation Board of Directors to reimagine philanthropy in the years to come.

“Daniele’s deep experience in financial management within the CSU and the hospitality industry uniquely positions her for success as our next COO,” said Theresa Davis, vice president for university advancement and CEO of the Tower Foundation. “She brings with her the ability to effectively steward foundation resources while also providing a high level of customer service to our campus colleagues who have gift accounts. We are delighted that she is joining the Spartan family.”

 

New Federally Mandated Title IX Regulations Take Effect August 14

*Editor’s Note: This message from Chief Diversity Officer Kathleen Wong(Lau) was shared with the SJSU campus community on Friday, August 14, 2020. 

Dear campus community,

Last week, I wrote to inform you about the U.S. Department of Education’s new regulations relating to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Federal Regulations). The Federal Regulations include key changes to provisions addressing scope, questioning at live hearings, review of evidence, appeals, and training, among others. All educational institutions which receive federal funding, including San José State University (SJSU) and the other 22 California State University (CSU) campuses, must comply with these regulations as of August 14, 2020, or risk loss of federal funding. 

Effective today, the Chancellor’s Office has issued Addendum B: Federal Mandated Hearing Addendum, which accompanies CSU Executive Orders 1096 and 1097, and which outlines the policy and procedures required under the Title IX Federal Regulations. Please note that regardless of the Federal Regulations, our policies governing sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and sex- and gender-based discrimation, as stated in Executive Orders 1095, 1096 and 1097, still remain fully in effect. The U.S. Department of Education acknowledges that SJSU and other universities may address misconduct through their policies and through state law, and SJSU is firmly committed to responding to and addressing sexual harassment and sexual misconduct that affects the CSU community. In the case of California law and CSU policy, policies are more expansive than the conduct prohibited by the Federal Regulations. 

The Changes

All formal complaints submitted to the Title IX Office will be first assessed under Addendum B to determine whether those procedures apply. If a formal complaint does not meet the criteria to be processed under Addendum B, the complaint may be processed under EO 1096 or 1097 (our current single-investigator model) or Addendum A (our current hearing-model for student cases). 

Two significant aspects of Addendum B:

  • Under Addendum B, alleged incidents can be considered for investigation only if they occur within the United States, and only if they occur in university sanctioned programs or activities, or on properties owned or controlled by the university or recognized student organizations. If these criteria are not met, the allegations may be evaluated under EOs 1096 and 1097, or Addendum A, which apply much more broadly to alleged violations involving any university student, staff, or faculty member, including in non-SJSU locations and outside of the United States
  • All Addendum B investigations, which apply the Federal Regulations, will involve live hearings with mandatory Hearing Advisors who will conduct the cross-examination of the Parties. The hearing will be facilitated by a Hearing Officer, who will monitor decorum and assess the appropriateness of the questions. The CSU will provide trained Hearing Advisors if either complainant or respondent do not have one available.
  • Other regulation details are available at Addendum B and FAQs. Please note that FAQs will be forthcoming. Any inquiries can be directed to diversityoffice@sjsu.edu.

What has NOT changed:

  • Employees still have a duty to report potential incidents of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, dating and domestic violence and stalking to the Title IX Office, unless they are specifically exempt under CSU policy.
  • Executive Orders 1096 and 1097 and Addendum A are still in effect but only after consideration whether allegations are governed by Addendum B, based on specifically defined criteria.
  • Regardless of which process, or whether a case meets criteria for an investigation, our Title IX team continues to provide supportive measures and other services, conduct intakes relating to reports and complaints of sex- and gender-based misconduct, and coordinate with other campus offices on Title IX issues of misconduct, harassment, stalking, and gender equity.

All current active investigations as well as intakes regarding alleged incidents that occurred prior to August 14, 2020, will still go through the process under EO 1096 and 1097 or Addendum A. Incidents occurring on or after August 14 will be subject to the new process described above, including determining whether they are governed by procedures stated in Addendum B.

San José State University remains committed to supporting a safe and equitable campus environment as we move forward with these new regulations issued by the federal government. Title IX will continue to work and collaborate to provide supportive measures and other services in our processes for our campus community.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Wong(Lau)

Papazian Named California Campus Compact Executive Board Chair

San Jose State University President Mary A. Papazian has been selected as chair of the California Campus Compact (CACC) executive board.

“I have enormous respect for Mary and know that California Campus Compact will benefit immensely from the vision and wisdom she will bring to her new role as chair of the executive board,” said Leroy M. Morishita, outgoing board chair and president of Cal State-East Bay, in a CACC press release.

President Mary A. Papazian speaks at a SJSU commencement ceremony

The CACC executive board supports and promotes the mission of California Campus Compact throughout the state, recommends programs, plans and budgets that sustain and promote the vision and mission of the organization, and exercises oversight and stewardship of the resources of the organization.

CACC is a coalition of leading colleges and universities that works to build the collective commitment and capacity of colleges, universities and communities throughout California to advance civic and community engagement for a healthy, just and democratic society.

“I am looking forward to working with colleagues across the state to support student engagement in civic life, something that has never been more important,” said Papazian, a CACC board member since 2017, who was also involved in Campus Compact during her years as a higher education administrator and leader in Connecticut.

“I believe CACC’s focus on students and connection to community is central to our educational mission,” she said. “SJSU has a long and rich history of such engagement, as evidenced by our partnership with the city of San Jose, our Center for Community Learning & Leadership (CCLL) and our CommUniverCity program. SJSU’s CCLL team, in fact, manages all service-learning and Campus Compact activities for our faculty and students. I could not be more proud than to represent San Jose State in this leadership position.”

Papazian praised the strong leadership of Morishita and characterized the work of CACC Executive Director Elaine Ikeda as “the glue that makes California Campus Compact a model for the nation.”

Joining Papazian on the 2020-2021 CACC executive board is its newest member, California State University, Dominguez Hills President Thomas A. Parham. Other board members include:

  • William A. Covino, president, California State University, Los Angeles
  • James A. Donahue, president, St. Mary’s College of California
  • James T. Harris, president, University of San Diego
  • Leroy M. Morishita, president, California State University, East Bay
  • Linda Oubré, president, Whittier College
  • Rowena Tomaneng, president, San Jose City College

Through innovative programs and initiatives, grant funding, training and technical assistance, professional development and powerful research studies and publications, California Campus Compact each year invests in and champions students, faculty members, administrators and community members involved in diverse and groundbreaking activities that support and expand civic and community engagement throughout California.

Papazian joined San Jose State as its 30th president on July 1, 2016. Notable milestones since her appointment include the groundbreaking for the Interdisciplinary Science Building and approval of plans to build a Science Park; development of the East Side Promise program to support talented local students; and working collaboratively with the university community to launch a ten-year strategic plan, Transformation 2030, that positions SJSU for long-term excellence in the 21st century in the nation’s tenth largest city.

SJSU Appoints New Dean of College of Health and Human Sciences

Audrey Mengwasser Shillington has been appointed dean of SJSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences (CHHS), effective July 1.

Shillington joins SJSU from Colorado State University, where she has held the positions of Director of the School of Social Work, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Interim Associate Dean for Research in the College of Health and Human Sciences. She will be replacing Pamela Richardson, who served as interim dean of CHHS for the past year.

“Dr. Shillington brings an energy, creativity and background that will allow her to facilitate the larger strategic conversation in CHHS and on the campus in academic affairs,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Vincent Del Casino, Jr. “More importantly, Dr. Shillington has a clear commitment to the mission of the California State University system and SJSU.”

New dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences Audrey Mengwasser Shillington

Audrey Mengwasser Shillington has been appointed dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, effective July 1.

Prior to her leadership roles at Colorado State University, Shillington was a professor at San Diego State University’s School of Social Work, where she helped create and co-led the Center for Alcohol and Drug Studies and Services. She also served as Senior Investigator at SDSU’s School of Public Health Center for Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health. Upon arriving at Colorado State University, Shillington helped develop an interdisciplinary Cannabis Research Group.

“I am excited to join the SJSU team — my work has always been interdisciplinary and collaborative throughout my training, research and leadership — and I look forward to working with leadership, faculty, staff, students, alumni, industry, and community partners to build the College of Health and Human Sciences,” Shillington said. “In light of recent COVID-19 impacts, there has been no other time in recent history when the call and need to better understand and address health disparities has been stronger. SJSU’s CHHS is poised to be at the forefront of this important work.”

Shillington is currently a Fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and also Fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior — both preeminent national organizations for disciplinary researchers and practitioners.

Shillington earned her MSW and PhD in social work at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and her undergraduate degrees at Drury University in Springfield, MO. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer for three years in Benin, West Africa, where she was involved in projects on energy conservation and food insecurity for rural communities. She was a NIH National Institute of Mental Health postdoctoral fellow for three years and received a master’s in psychiatric epidemiology from the Washington University School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. Shillington also spent two years as a National Institute of Drug Abuse trainee for the Hispanic Drug Abuse and HIV/AIDS Research Training through the Yale University School of Medicine.

Shillington’s research has focused on the prevention and intervention of substance use behaviors among youth and young adults. She has over 70 publications and been Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator for $16 million in NIH and state grants and contracts. Her research focused on addressing disparities that exist in the nosology and measurement of mental and behavioral health. Shillington has also led work aimed at reducing problematic alcohol use and issues related to the legalization of recreational marijuana use among young adults.

SJSU Appoints Vice President for University Advancement and CEO of the Tower Foundation

New Vice President of University Advancement, Theresa Davis.

New Vice President for University Advancement and CEO of the Tower Foundation, Theresa Davis.

Theresa Davis has been appointed vice president for University Advancement and CEO of the Tower Foundation. She will join the San Jose State campus community on July 1, 2020.

“Theresa joins us at a pivotal moment in SJSU history, and we are delighted to have her on board,” said President Mary A. Papazian.

Davis brings an abundance of relevant experience to the position, including more than 25 years of management and fundraising work. Her background is broad and diverse, with campaign management, major gifts, corporate and foundation relations and annual giving among her areas of expertise.

Most recently, Davis has been serving as the assistant vice president of engagement and annual programs at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). In that role, she has had responsibility for Alumni Relations, the Caltech Associates, the Caltech Fund and Parents Program, and Campus Programs—which engages its local community in campus life.

Prior to working at Caltech, Davis was the associate vice president of college and program development at Cal State Fullerton. She had responsibility for the directors of development, who spearheaded fundraising efforts for each of the campus’s eight colleges and athletics department.

Davis previously served as the associate vice president of major and planned gifts at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), where she and her team secured financial support for medical specialties. Prior to that, she was campaign director for the California Science Center, served as senior director of development for the UCLA College, was director of development for the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management at UC Riverside and held the roles of associate director of corporate relations and director of the alumni fund, both at Caltech.

Davis has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Arizona State University and a master’s in public administration from the University of Southern California.

President Papazian’s Statement Addressing Article in USA Today Regarding an Investigation Reopened in December 2019

In December of 2019, I was made aware of a ten-year-old case in which an athletic trainer was accused of inappropriate touching while treating student-athletes. The notification came in the form of a packet of emails and notes that was circulated to the NCAA and Mountain West Conference by an SJSU coach.  

Having not been at the University at the time of the allegation, and given the seriousness of the allegations, I checked with our Title IX office and human resources department about the 2009-10 investigation and was told that the inquiry by SJSU human resources department found no wrongdoing. 

However, the packet gave me pause and I wanted to know more about what transpired in 2009-10, so I reopened the matter in December. In January 2020, an independent investigator was hired to conduct the investigation.

I want the student-athletes who have expressed concern to know they have my empathy and commitment to ensure their voices are heard. I also want all involved in this investigation to be assured of our commitment to a process of integrity, fairness and thoroughness. 

My promise is to continue to be transparent about the process. SJSU will provide an update at the completion of the investigation. To make it abundantly clear, SJSU will take appropriate action if any misconduct has taken place, regardless of the timeframe.

 

President Mary A. Papazian Joins Council of Graduate Schools’ Humanities Coalition Advisory Committee

SJSU President Mary A. Papazian.

SJSU President Mary A. Papazian speaks at a 2018 Frankenstein Bicentennial event at San Jose’s Hammer Theatre. The event was one of several that SJSU’s College of Humanities and the Arts sponsored that year to explore the ethical, artistic and imaginative impacts of Mary Shelley’s literary masterpiece. Photo: David Schmitz.

San Jose State University President Mary A. Papazian has agreed to serve on the Council of Graduate Schools‘ (CGS) Humanities Advisory Committee for The Humanities Coalition, a new effort that will expand CGS’s work to understand and support the careers of PhDs.

The endeavor seeks to further enhance CGS’s understanding of humanities PhDs and their careers, and to refine humanities-specific strategies for curricular change and program improvement. One component of the new initiative is additional research to better understand the nature of early career transitions for humanists.

A scholar of the 17th century metaphysical poets and English Renaissance era, Papazian has long been a staunch advocate of the arts, humanities and creative disciplines in higher education.

In an op-ed published in the October 29 edition of the Sacramento Bee, she asserted that “the liberal arts must remain a vital part of higher education for the sake of the future of our students, our economy and our society.” The partnering of STEM disciplines with the liberal arts, she writes, can lead to true academic impact at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Last summer, Papazian delivered a well-received speech at the CGS Summer Workshop titled “Humanities for the 21st Century: Innovation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” There, she pointed out that “the hard skills learned from STEM programs are essential, but employers actually are desperate for candidates who have balanced their personal portfolios with both digital capabilities and human understanding.”

In a CGS press release announcing grant funding for The Humanities Coalition, CGS President Suzanne Ortega said, “We hope to learn more about the kinds of transitions humanities PhDs face as they move from graduate school to career. Humanities PhDs have a wide variety of career pathways in front of them. We need to make sure they know what they are and how to access them.”

Over the course of the five-year project, the advisory committee is expected to guide CGS’s efforts to increase the impact and reach of The Humanities Coalition and provide insights for addressing challenges and opportunities specific to various humanities disciplines.

CGS will issue a Request-For-Proposals (RFP) to CGS member institutions to participate in the project as funded partners and will continue to work with its current partners to collect data in both STEM and humanities fields.

Joining Papazian as Advisory Committee members are a distinguished group of educators and academics, including Carlos Alonso, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University; Susan Carvalho, associate provost and dean of the Graduate School at the University of Alabama; and Patricia Easton, executive vice president and provost at The Claremont Graduate University.

2020 State of the University Address

Media contacts:
Ken Mashinchi, Senior Director of Media Relations, 408-924-1167, ken.mashinchi@sjsu.edu
Robin McElhatton, Media Relations Specialist, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

 
San Jose State will live stream President Mary Papazian’s second annual State of the University address from 2–3 p.m. Monday, March 9, 2020.

Coffee, Pizza With the President Offer Members of the Campus Community Opportunities for Discussion, Conversation

President Papazian talks with staff members at a "Coffee with the President" event.

SJSU president Mary Papazian participates in a coffee with staff on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. (Photo: Jim Gensheimer)

A spate of new initiatives launched by President Mary A. Papazian recently are designed to give members of the campus community more frequent opportunities to engage with the Office of the President in an informal, personal atmosphere that allows for open conversation and a free flow of ideas and concerns.

“Coffee with the President” was conceived as a way for SJSU staff and faculty members to visit with President Papazian over a cup of java. Administration and Finance, IT, and University Personnel were the first units to join the president, and other groups will soon see invitations of their own in their inboxes.

“Most of the SJSU staff doesn’t get a chance to meet and talk with the president in a small, intimate setting like this,” said Harish Chandler, senior programmer and analyst in the Information Technology division who attended the first “Coffee with the President” event. “It provided an opportunity for staff members to do exactly that.”

Chandler said he was able to talk one-on-one with Papazian near the end of the event, so he discussed with her issues such as phone and laptop charging stations for students, the university’s green initiative and possible changes to campus dining and food options.

Tony Cefalu, who works in the University Police parking services group, was equally enthusiastic.

“I had a great time,” he said. “It was wonderful to mingle, socialize, chat, laugh with others and meet the president. I loved it.”

The president herself said the venue offered a different environment than many of the administrative meetings she attends.

“I think I probably get more out of this than the staff members,” said Papazian. “Meeting with university staff members in a relaxed, social setting gives me a welcomed chance to listen directly without any managerial or supervisory filters that staff members might sometimes encounter.”

Another recent outreach event—this one involving pizza, a staple among college students—was similar in nature. “Pizza with the President” gave students an opportunity to talk with their university president about issues important to them. Indeed, issues such as parking and student housing were discussed, while the venue also offered Papazian a chance herself to point out to students some of the positive developments taking place around campus such as the new Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center, the Spartan Food Pantry and recent successes with SJSU’s football team and other athletics programs. Initiated by previous Associated Students President Ariadna Manzo, the event provided such an important opportunity for the president to hear directly from students that at the start of this academic year she looked for an opportunity to host the event again.

President Papazian and AS President Branden Parent talk to students at a "Pizza with the President" event.

Mary Papazian, San José State University president, takes questions from students at a pizza with the president event at Village 2 Nov. 13, 2019. (Photo: Jim Gensheimer)

Lisa Millora, the president’s chief of staff, said other plans have moved forward to host office hours during which members of the campus community can sign up for individual meetings with the president. There may even be an opportunity next year to participate in a reading group with the president and other members of the community.

When she arrived last January, Millora explained, some members of the campus community wanted opportunities to meet and chat with the president in a more informal setting.

“The president and I talked about what we could do to create such opportunities and the result was this new set of initiatives,” said Millora.

“The coffees and office hours are intended to provide all members of the community the chance to talk with the president about things that are important to them,” Millora said. “The president cares deeply about members of the campus community, so we will continue to explore different ways to ensure that they feel the president is fully and consistently engaged with them.”

 

Today’s Tech Revolution Requires Some Humanity, Papazian Tells Sacramento Bee Readers in Opinion Piece

President Mary A. Papazain is a strong proponent of the value of the humanities, liberal arts and social sciences in higher education. Here, she served as a featured guest for the Frankenstein Bicentennial Monster Discussion Panel in 2018. Photo by David Schmitz.

An op-ed by San Jose State University President Mary A. Papazian published in the October 29 edition of the Sacramento Bee asserts that “the liberal arts must remain a vital part of higher education for the sake of the future of our students, our economy, and our society.”

Drawing largely on her academic background and expertise on the English Renaissance era, Papazian writes that “Just as the Renaissance opened mankind’s eyes to the reality that we do not sit at the center of the universe, today’s technology age has expanded our capabilities beyond the imaginations of only decades ago.” She goes on to note how Renaissance figures such as John Donne and Leonardo di Vinci exemplified many of the humanist principles lacking in today’s technology innovators.

Papazian said the messages conveyed in her op-ed piece are more vital than ever, particularly given the perils of technology and social media that have manifested in attacks on elections and the democratic process.

“It is vital that we understand the true impact of the technology-driven world in which we now live,” she said. “We need to be able to guard our global society against the dangers of this digital age. How we ensure that the next generation interacts more responsibility with technology than we have done this far is critical, and refocusing on the talents of humanists and liberal arts is an excellent place to start.”

In July, Papazian delivered a well-received speech at the Council of Graduate Schools Summer Workshop titled “Humanities for the 21st Century: Innovation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” There, she pointed out that “the hard skills learned from STEM programs are essential, but employers actually are desperate for candidates who have balanced their personal portfolios with both digital capabilities and human understanding.”

The partnering of STEM disciplines with the liberal arts, she asserted, can lead to true academic impact at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

“Students will work in groups all their professional lives, and they must be able to collaborate effectively with people from a broad array of backgrounds and working styles,” said Papazian. “They must be able to communicate in a variety of ways, using digital tools that we know are evolving with stunning rapidity. And they will be required to be creative and confident.

“Where better to learn all of this than in our labs and studios on our campuses? Where better to learn the capacity for these things than in our classrooms and our community-based projects?” she asks.

Developing the tools and the ability to talk about ethics, unconscious bias and the complexity of emotions within individuals and cultures, Papazian said, can help students recognize the choices that lead to collaboration rather than conflict.

“The liberal arts need to be a vital part of the education spectrum if we are to have any hope of addressing the problems we are seeing and reading about on almost a daily basis,” she said.

“Our challenge—and our opportunity—is to seize the moment to influence and shape history meaningfully in this, our present Renaissance.”

 

New Provost Arrives at SJSU July 15

Vincent Del Casino, Jr.

Vincent Del Casino, new provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, joins San Jose State University July 15.

Vincent Del Casino, who was named the university’s next provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs in January following a comprehensive national search, will arrive at San Jose State University July 15 ready to prepare for the fall 2019 semester.

“I have great confidence that he will bring a strong foundation to this key leadership position while fostering collaboration across colleges and departments. Vincent is a visionary who will chart a course for our Academic Affairs division into the future,” President Mary A. Papazian said, following his appointment in January. “He is an exemplary fit to lead our continuing efforts to support students and faculty, build community partnerships, and expand innovative teaching and learning at our university.”

Del Casino joins SJSU from the University of Arizona, where he has most recently served as the interim senior vice provost and vice president for Academic Initiatives and Student Success, but he started his academic leadership career in the California State University system in 2007 as chair of the Department of Geography at CSU Long Beach.

“Having worked in the Cal State system previously, I have always been energized by the fact that this system serves a very diverse group of first-generation learners,” he said. “San Jose State University is no exception. What makes this campus unique, however, is that it is located in the heart of one of the most robust economies in the world.”

He sees the university’s greatest potential in its ability to drive regional, national and global conversations about the value of higher education.

“SJSU can be a hub for applied and basic research that plugs into the networks of creativity that surround the campus and its global position,” he said. “There are also many new ‘solutions’ being presented to address the world’s educational attainment gaps at the undergraduate and graduate levels, some of which are driven by the tech industry that surrounds the campus. As public educators we have to provide leadership in those conversations, otherwise we will end up with market-driven solutions that don’t necessarily meet the needs of our diverse learners.”

Del Casino envisions SJSU as a leader in taking up the question of what the future of higher education should be as well as a model for the value of public education that continues to demonstrate that ‘technological innovation’ must also be met with strategies that recognize the complex and diverse experiences of students.

At the University of Arizona, Del Casino provided leadership and administrative oversight as the campus redeveloped central spaces for student support activities; re-organized its central administrative areas; and enhanced student success and retention. During his tenure, the university greatly increased its online undergraduate enrollment and program offerings. He was also integral in implementing the University of Arizona’s 100% Engagement Initiative that allows students to participate in “extra-classroom” activities through credit-bearing and non-credit engaged learning experiences.

He said he is especially excited by the opportunities—such as finding ways to leverage the location of SJSU to support all members of the campus community—and the challenges—such as recognizing the real socioeconomic and political strains that come with the Silicon Valley economy.

“I think the faculty, staff and students are already driving this conversation and I look forward to supporting those efforts,” he said.

Del Casino’s own academic background lends itself to considering the social implications of geography. He is a prolific writer and researcher who has authored the book Social Geography: A Critical Introduction and co-edited with CSU, Long Beach faculty member, Dr. Mary Caputi, Derrida and the Future of the Liberal ArtsHe has also edited and co-authored multiple other books and published dozens of articles and book chapters on topics ranging from health, robots and robotic technologies, cartographic theory, and tourism, in the context of geography. Del Casino has a bachelor’s in international relations and East Asian studies from Bucknell University, in Pennsylvania, a master’s in geography from the University of Wisconsin and a doctorate in geography from the University of Kentucky.

“I am looking forward to deepening my understanding of the rich historical geography of SJSU and the Silicon Valley region, and to partnering with community organizations, the city of San Jose as well as for-profit companies and nonprofits that want to work with SJSU to create a more inclusive environment for the ideas that we are generating and the students we are educating,” he said.

CSU Chancellor Statement on Parking Program and Outside Accounts Audit Report

California State University (CSU) issued a statement from Chancellor Timothy P. White on the Parking Program and Outside Accounts Audit Report. The California State Auditor conducted an audit of the CSU’s accounts held outside the state treasury, including designated reserve funds and its parking programs. The audit covers a period of 10 years from fiscal years 2008-09 through 2017-18.

The audit report focuses on how CSU reports its fund balances and its policy for maintaining economic reserves. It mischaracterizes CSU Reserve Policy as “discretionary surplus,” which misrepresents the role reserve funds play. According to CSU, reserve funds are “monies associated with campus operations that are held by the campus for specific, designated purposes” used to pay for one-time expenses or to protect against economic uncertainties, not ongoing expenses.

The audit report fails to make clear that CSU’s fund management process aligns with standard industry practice. CSU’s reserves as it stands today would support operations for only two-and-a-half (2.5) months.

CSU has a long-standing commitment to transparency and accountability in its financial operations. In keeping with this commitment, CSU’s financial transparency portal provides the public with the opportunity to view five years of actual revenues and expensesby year, campus and fund.

 

 

SJSU Media Relations Submits List of 22 Corrections to Spartan Daily’s May 15, 2019 Published Stories

Editor’s Note: The following message was sent to the Spartan Daily on June 13.

Spartan Daily published a series of stories in its May 15, 2019 special edition that contained 22 inaccuracies ranging from allegations of mishandled Spartan Foundation funds and endowments to mismanagement of donor money. On June 13, SJSU Media Relations formally submitted a list of inaccuracies to Spartan Daily with a request to provide readers an accurate account of information by making corrections on its online and print editions. This page provides a full summary of the list submitted to the student newspaper with the inaccuracies highlighted in blue for each statement.

Spartan Daily “Millions Misused” article (05/15/19, print publication, page one)

Statement

Less than 5% of Spartan Foundation money intended for athletic scholarships was distributed to San Jose State athletes from 2013-2016 according to sources and confirmed by document reviewed by the Spartan Daily

Correction

Every donation designated by the donor for athletics scholarships was used for that purpose.


Statement

The Spartan Foundation was marketed to donors on SJSU athletics’ website as a fund that provides athletic scholarships, and was managed as part of the Tower Foundation since 2014.

Correction

Spartan Foundation (SF) is a separate 501(c)3. SF is not managed by Tower Foundation. It deposited its donations into accounts at the Tower Foundation.


Statement

The Spartan Foundation was marketed to donors on SJSU athletics’ website as a fund that provides athletic scholarships, and was managed as part of the Tower Foundation since 2014.

Correction

Bylaws of Spartan Foundation, Inc. (revised, June 20, 2012) articulate the primary purpose of the Spartan Foundation as described below. Fundraising for scholarships was not the only or sole purpose.

BYLAWS OF SPARTAN FOUNDATION, INC. (source document)

ARTICLE II FOUNDATION PURPOSE

Section 1. THE PRIMARY PURPOSE. The primary purpose of the Spartan Foundation is to raise funds to support nearly 450 student-athletes annually for the following;
A. Scholarships for all varsity sports.
B. Assist with the operating budgets and Sports Improvement Funds (coaches’ salaries, travel, equipment, recruiting) for the varsity teams.
C. Building, renovating and maintaining facilities for these teams.
D. Student-Athletes Academic Center and provide support to our academic staff.


Statement

“The Spartan Foundation is the fundraising arm of the San Jose State University Athletics Department,” the website previously stated. “As its primary objective, the Spartan Foundation provides scholarship support for all of San Jose State’s NCAA Division I athletic teams.”

Correction

Primary objective does not equal sole objective.

Bylaws of Spartan Foundation, Inc. (revised, June 20, 2012) articulate the primary purpose of the Spartan Foundation as described below. Fundraising for scholarships was not the only or sole purpose.

BYLAWS OF SPARTAN FOUNDATION, INC. (source document)

ARTICLE II FOUNDATION PURPOSE

Section 1. THE PRIMARY PURPOSE. The primary purpose of the Spartan Foundation is to raise funds to support nearly 450 student-athletes annually for the following;
A. Scholarships for all varsity sports.
B. Assist with the operating budgets and Sports Improvement Funds (coaches’ salaries, travel, equipment, recruiting) for the varsity teams.
C. Building, renovating and maintaining facilities for these teams.
D. Student-Athletes Academic Center and provide support to our academic staff.


Statement

$4.5 million was not distributed per year for athletic scholarships through the foundation fund, according to Spartan Foundation account details.

Correction

As Spartan Foundation fundraising was inadequate to fund all scholarships, SJSU Athletics used other sources of revenue, beyond Spartan Foundation donations, to fully fund all scholarships. Most importantly, all student-athletes who were selected to receive scholarships received them.

Specifically, from 2013 – 2016, SJSU Athletics provided over $25M in student-athlete scholarship aid through multiple revenue sources such as but not limited to sponsorship agreements, television contracts, game guarantees, and ticket sales.

The following data of athletically-related student aid is sourced from EADA (Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act) as SJSU Athletics submits required information to the Department of Education and reported to the NCAA.

Source: EADA (Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act)

Department of Education site:
Survey Year | Athletically-Related Student Aid
2013 | $5,167,667
2014 | $5,733,710
2015 | $6,813,951
2016 | $7,604,545
Total | $25,319,873


Spartan Daily “Demystiying endowments and donations to Tower Foundation” article (05/15/19, print publication, page two)

Statement

Endowment #5. After three years of accruing interest, the revenue from the principal investment is sent from the Tower Foundation to the intended area of use.

Correction

A distribution from the endowment is made every spring based on the trailing three-year average market value of the fund. Distributions from scholarship endowments are directed to the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office; distributions from other endowments are retained in separate accounts at the Tower Foundation. Distributions are not sent to any department other than Financial Aid.


Statement

Donation #2. A donor contract is signed, including the agreed upon amount and where the money will be going. There is no minimum for single-time or recurring donations given.

Correction

Donation #2. Donor contracts are not required for non-endowed donations unless the purpose of the gift is complicated or involves naming a facility or program.


Spartan Daily “What actually happened” (5/15/19, printed version, page three)

Statement

#2. Donors sign a contract, including the agreed upon amount and where the money will be going. There is no minimum amount for single-time or recurring donations.

Correction

#2. Donor contracts are not required for non-endowed donations unless the purpose of the gift is complex or involves naming a facility or program.


Statement

#3. The money should be processed through the Tower Foundation, and then distributed to the area of use based on the donors’ original intent. Donations are given out the same year as donated unless specified in the donor contract.

Correction

#3. The money should be processed through the Tower Foundation, where it is available for the purpose specified for the donor. Donations are not given out in the same year as they are on deposit in a Tower account for the area (college/division/department/program) designated by the donor to utilize for the intended purpose depending when the funds are needed. It could be next month or even the following year – as it depends upon variables such as donation amount, timing of the gift, and other funds available for the area’s needs.


Spartan Daily “San Jose State’s commitment. Donor Bill of Rights” (5/15/19, printed version, page three)

Statement

The Donor Bill of Rights is an agreed upon list of rights and regulations for donors and San Jose State respectively.

Correction

The Donor Bill of Rights is an agreed upon list of donor rights considered best practices for charitable organizations. San Jose State and the Tower Foundation subscribe to the Donor Bill of Rights.


Spartan Daily “Timeline” (printed version, page four and five)

Statement

According to Spartan Foundation documents reviewed by the Spartan Daily, the foundation had more than $4.5 million in total revenue that year and $0 was transferred to athletic scholarships..

Correction

Of the $4.5 million of revenue, almost $3.3 million was a transfer of Spartan Foundation balances from SJSU to the Tower Foundation.


Statement

The Tower Foundation sets up a separate branch strictly for athletic donations, hiring Josh Thiel to be the university’s first-ever deputy athletics director for advancement.

Correction

University Advancement sets up a separate branch strictly for athletic donations, hiring Josh Thiel to be the university’s first-ever deputy athletics director for advancement. However, prior to the establishment of Athletics Advancement, different individuals in Athletics were involved with fundraising.


Spartan Daily “Address confusion leads to incorrect deposits of donor money” (05/15/19, printed version, page eight)

Statement

The university then announced in 2014 that the Spartan Foundation account was moved out of athletics and into the Tower Foundation, according to the Spartan Athletics website.

Correction

In 2013, Athletics opened accounts for the Spartan Foundation with the Tower Foundation, which it subsequently used for depositing donations.


Statement

In 2016, four individuals received more than $150,000 in compensation from the Tower Foundation and “related organizations,” including Faas, Bleymaier, Andy Feinstein, the provost and vice president of academic affairs, and Coleetta McElroy, the president of the SJSU Alumni Association

Correction

As an authorized auxiliary of SJSU, Tower and SJSU are related entities. The IRS requires disclosure of board directors’ compensation from related entities. In 2016, the Tower Foundation’s 990 listed 26 individuals who were affiliated with Tower Foundation. Eight individuals, not four as listed in the article, were from related entities. Other than Bleymaier, none of the eight individuals were paid by the Tower Foundation.


Spartan Daily “Endowments mishandled” (05/15/19, printed version, page eight)

Statement

“Endowments held by each school are not even all distributed,” one source said.

Correction

Endowment distributions are made annually unless the donor requests distributions only be made after a certain date.


Statement

“There are cases where endowments have not been spent with donor intent.”

Correction

In the rare instances that endowment spending isn’t aligned with the donor’s intention for the funds, department personnel are advised what permitted uses are.


Statement

The sources said they saw Tower Foundation money distributed to individual colleges, but the deans spent the money against donors’ intent. When the donors came back to ask where the money went, the Tower Foundation realized the mistakes made by individual colleges.

Correction

This broad statement falsely implies all distributions were mishandled by the colleges. In the rare instances that spending is outside the donor’s intent, Tower Foundation requests the expenditure be paid from another account. At times, Tower has sought donor permission for exceptions.


Statement

Student scholarships sit in the Tower Foundation because sometimes the deans have a hard time reading the Tower Foundation quarterly report or the deans didn’t know the scholarship money existed, sources said.

Correction

Within 90 days of a new dean or vice president starting, Tower Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer meets with each of them and reviews every single endowment and current use account in their college, answering questions and providing copies of source documents they need. Donations for student scholarships were transferred to the Financial Aid and Scholarship office two years ago after a Chancellor’s Office audit recommended that scholarships be held in a single location.


Statement

The sources also said that when development officers in charge of donor accounts leave their job, their endowment accounts were forgotten about.

Correction

Endowment account holders (whether they be the dean, department chair or program director) receive monthly reports showing endowment distribution balances and spending. The focus of development officers is on cultivating major gifts rather than accounting for funds in their colleges. Tower Foundation has a senior accountant whose focus is the endowment; this individual not only answers questions, but also alerts the dean or department when an endowment isn’t being used.


Statement

Kuehn was hired in December of 2016, and since then, Tower Foundation employees said an accounting system in the Tower Foundation has been instituted to ensure donor money is properly logged and going exactly where it is intended.

Correction

The endowment system referred to as an accounting system was brought online in 2015 by Kuehn’s predecessor. The endowment system streamlined many processes, but prior to it there were internal controls which were designed to ensure donor funds were appropriately used. Tower Foundation has an annual financial audit by an accounting firm approved by the campus and the Chancellor’s Office. There have been no findings nor deficiencies identified by the auditors. The Tower Foundation also has a rigorous triennial Chancellor’s Office audit. There have been no endowment findings or deficiencies identified by the Chancellor’s Office auditors.


Spartan Daily “Tower reforms and resignation” (05/15/19, printed version, page eight)

Statement

In 2018, the Tower Foundation set up a separate branch strictly for athletic donations, hiring Josh Thiel to be the university’s first-ever deputy athletics director for athletics advanement.

Correction

University Advancement sets up a separate branch strictly for athletic donations, hiring Josh Thiel to be the university’s first-ever deputy athletics director for advancement. However, prior to the establishment of Athletics Advancement, different individuals in Athletics were involved with fundraising.


Statement

Then, after being called the Spartan Foundation since 1958, the Spartan Foundation was renamed the Spartan Athletics Fund in August of 2018.

Correction

The Spartan Foundation wasn’t renamed. The annual fundraising Spartan Foundation used to do was taken over by Athletics Advancement. The annual fund was named Spartan Athletics Fund.


Statement

President Papazian announced the resignation of Paul Lanning, who was the CEO of the Tower Foundation

Correction

Paul Lanning was VP for University Advancement and CEO of the Tower Foundation


Spartan Daily “Budget reports disguise fund” (05/15/19, print publication, page eight)

Statement

The Spartan Foundation reported in its 2014 990 EZ tax filings that it had received $0 in gifts, grants, contributions and membership fees. However, according to the documents reviewed by the Spartan Daily, almost $1.5 million was collected that year.

Correction

Spartan Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, utilized its accounts at the Tower Foundation for depositing funds raised starting in 2013. As a result, the Spartan Foundation was no longer the legal recipient and therefore its 990 EZ tax form stated $0 received in gifts, grants, contributions and membership fees.


 

Read past related media statements and university communications regarding the Spartan Foundation.