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.

SJSU Receives $1 Million Grant From Adobe as Part of Inaugural Anchor School Program

The growing partnership between downtown San José neighbors, San José State University, and Adobe got stronger on Wednesday, with San José State being named an inaugural member of Adobe’s new Anchor School Program. As part of the program, SJSU will receive a $1 million grant and will work with Adobe to determine how the grant will be used. 

“We are very excited for the opportunity afforded by this gift from Adobe,” said President Mary A. Papazian “Adobe has long been a leader in the San José community, investing in programs that help advance the important learning of our students and research of our faculty.”

SJSU plans to use the grant to enhance the university’s mission to provide access to students from underrepresented backgrounds.

“We are excited to receive funds that further our efforts as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPASI),” said Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Vincent Del Casino, Jr. 

“We can provide our faculty with the resources to engage in new forms of pedagogy and practice that infuse principles of digital and creative literacy. Among our goals is a faculty fellows program that identifies and trains champions committed to closing the equity gaps for all our students.”

Adobe will also provide 100 scholarships of up to $15,000 to students of color to be distributed amongst SJSU, Bowie State University, and Winston-Salem State University — the other two inaugural members of the Anchor School Program — as well as students at other universities. 

A variety of resources and opportunities to help students and faculty prepare for careers in tech, including evolving curriculum and hands-on work experience through Adobe programs like Experience Days and the Adobe Career Academy, is included in the program. Student-athletes will also be able to access micro-internships to enable them to balance their athletic and professional aspirations.  

“Longstanding change requires a conviction to innovative solutions and a willingness to lead,” said Brian Miller, Adobe’s chief talent, diversity & inclusion officer. “Our Anchor School Program gives us the opportunity to partner with universities to develop unique solutions that expose students to careers in tech and prepare them with the creativity and digital skills of the future. We will strategically invest in providing students with training, career readiness, internships, financial assistance and digital tools to fuel their professional careers at Adobe or elsewhere.” 

In 2020, SJSU was recognized as an Adobe Creative Campus for its commitment to using technology to provide students with a transformative path to success.

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

SJSU Welcomes Secretary of State Padilla, Other Elected Officials for Election Security Town Hall

President Papazian served as the moderator for the election security town hall panel discussion featuring Secretary of State Alex Padilla and U.S Congresswomen Zoe Lofgren and Anna G. Eshoo. Photo: Jim Gensheimer.

President Papazian led off the election security town hall with remarks about the importance of participation in the voting process. Photo: Jim Gensheimer.

San Jose State University will play a major role in the upcoming California primary, and with this month’s Iowa Caucus raising questions about election security, the university hosted a town hall on the topic.

President Mary A. Papazian moderated the election security town hall featuring Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Congresswomen Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18) and Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) Thursday at Hammer Theater. Before answering questions from the crowd, Padilla, Eshoo and Lofgren discussed legislation they are working on to stop voter suppression and why it is important for voters to feel like their vote matters.

“Voting may be, in fact, the most fundamental expression of our civic engagement. Educating our students on their civic responsibility and helping to equip them to be engaged in their communities is part of our public mission as educators,” Papazian said. “No matter the topic, San Jose State takes pride in its role as a regional convener of important issues, as a public square and venue where debate and discussion takes place.”

“We all remember what we were feeling on election day and election night in 2016. It was the first time we started hearing consistently words like ‘cyberthreats’ or ‘foreign interference.’ That single election year fundamentally changed, in my mind, the job of a secretary of state,” Padilla said. “I’m so proud of Californians because it would have been easy to give up hope, easy to say ‘well, if the election is going to be hacked, why should I vote anyway.’ How will we respond in 2020? Record registration yet again, and with your help, I am anticipating record turnout. That’s how we resist.”

President Papazian is assisted in cutting the ribbon by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren. The first voting center in SJSU history will open Saturday, February 22. Photo: Robert Bain.

Before the town hall, Papazian, Padilla, Eshoo and Lofgren were joined by Assemblyman Ash Kalra and Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters Shannon Bushey in celebrating the opening of the voting center on campus with a ribbon cutting. This is the first time SJSU will serve as a voting center.

The center, located on the first floor of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, will be open from February 22 to March 3. Santa Clara County residents can cast their primary votes in the voting center. SJSU will serve as one of 21 11-day voting center locations in the county.

“This is an exciting year for voter engagement and an important chance to continue the momentum we have seen with increases in youth voter turnout, especially as we take part in a presidential election and transition into a Voter’s Choice Act county,” Kalra said. “It is imperative that we continue to empower and engage young people, which will in turn decrease the disproportional representation in voter turnout and move us toward a more active democracy.”

The voting center will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, February 22 to Monday, March 2. On Election Day, March 3, the voting center will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

San Jose State also has two 24-hour ballot drop boxes on campus, with one in front of Clark Hall and the other located at Campus Village.

Watch the Election Security Town Hall

 

Interdisciplinary Science Building Marks Major Milestone With Topping Out Event

SJSU students sign their names for the topping out event.

SJSU students sign their names for the topping out event. Photo: Robert Bain

Editor’s Note: Story was updated on Tuesday, February 11, after the hoisting of the beam. Additional images and video from the topping out will be added soon.

Some were scribbled while others were written in perfect penmanship. Regardless of how they signed their name at today’s topping out event, hundreds of San Jose State University students, faculty and staff will forever be connected to the Interdisciplinary Science Building (ISB).

Attendees signed the final structural beam for the building before it was hoisted into place shortly after noon on Tuesday, February 11. This ceremonial event marks the latest milestone for the first new academic building on campus in more than 30 years and the first new science facility in nearly 50 years.

“It brings me great joy to see so many members of the campus community taking part in this milestone for an innovative and forward-looking facility that will blend teaching and research, allowing us to explore the intersection between pure learning, application and impact,” said President Mary A. Papazian. “On top of interdisciplinary STEM education, this new building will serve as a beacon of opportunity for our students and faculty members to collaborate with our Silicon Valley industry partners and beyond.”

The eight-story, $181 million ISB is funded using California State University systemwide revenue bonds, and is the first phase of a planned Science Park. The ISB will house chemistry and biology teaching and research lab spaces, an interdisciplinary Center for High-Performance Computing and a data science information lab for the College of Professional and Global Education.

The College of Science serves 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students in the disciplines of biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, mathematics and statistics, marine science, meteorology and climate science, physics and astronomy, and science education. The ISB will have “collaboratories” that allow student research teams to gather away from instrument setups and chemicals to present and discuss results. In addition, the building will have collaborative hubs on every floor for students and faculty members to work together.

“The topping out of the Interdisciplinary Science Building brings us one step closer to a new era of science at San Jose State University,” said College of Science Dean Michael Kaufman. “Having a building designed to carry out 21st century science will be transformative for the College of Science. It will provide opportunities for students and faculty members to approach scientific questions in ways that will propel the university to new heights.”

The building is slated to open in January 2022 and will provide the College of Science a space that can keep up with their research needs. The three buildings housing science on campus—Science Building, MacQuarrie Hall and Duncan Hall—opened their doors between 1957 and 1972.

“The Interdisciplinary Science Building will quickly become one of the most iconic buildings on our campus and, potentially, in downtown San Jose. It will not only serve as a vital place of scientific collaboration and research, but also a personification of the university’s strategic plan, Transformation 2030,” said Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Charlie Faas. “The Interdisciplinary Science Building’s campus location makes it a natural fit to further connect the campus to the downtown San Jose community.”

SJSU Hosts More Than 50 Higher Ed Leaders for Presidential Experience Lab

More than 50 college presidents and chancellors attended the second day of the Presidential Experience Lab at San Jose State University. Photo: Robert Bain

San Jose State University served as the epicenter of higher education Friday, as more than 50 university presidents and chancellors from across the country gathered to discuss how to better prepare students for jobs of the future.

The visit was part of the two-day Presidential Experience Lab, presented by education firm EAB, which included a private tour of LinkedIn headquarters on Thursday.

From left: Ron Rogers, Dan Moshavi and Catherine Voss Plaxton discussed how the innovative partnership between SJSU and LinkedIn is reimagining higher education workforce development. Photo: Robert Bain

During the SJSU campus visit Friday, Dan Moshavi, dean of the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business, Ron Rogers, associate dean of the College of Social Sciences and Catherine Voss Plaxton, interim associate vice president of Student Services and director of the Career Center, presented on how the innovative partnership between the university and LinkedIn is reimagining higher education workforce development. Topics included how to use customized insight from LinkedIn to inform curriculum development, match students’ skills to jobs, identify skill gaps in the student body and track career outcomes.

“Education—both higher education and pre-college education—must adapt to the new realities of today’s workplace and enable today’s students to master the foundational digital skills needed for success in our 21st century economy,” President Mary A. Papazian said. “For us here at San Jose State, industry partnerships like this one are helping us to achieve these goals. This strategy leverages our competitive advantage—which, for us, is our regional location here in the heart of Silicon Valley.”

On the first day of the event, participants toured LinkedIn’s facility in Sunnyvale, getting a behind-the-scenes look at the company’s professional network and perspectives on the ever-changing workforce and future of work.

EAB’s Higher Education Strategy Forum partners with presidents and chancellors at more than 175 colleges and universities to address the challenges of setting institution-wide strategy in a fast-changing higher education landscape.

“EAB, on behalf of our university president and chancellor partners, has been exploring key questions as to how we must prepare our students for the future workplace and career paths that are non-linear,” said EAB Chief Partner Officer Sally Amoruso. “LinkedIn’s data insights and SJSU’s application of those insights served as a great launchpad for deepening our understanding.”

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.”

 

University Communications Regarding Spartan Foundation

Editor’s Note: The following statement was issued to the media on May 17, 2019.

I want to assure the SJSU community that I take very seriously the recent allegations that the university misused donor funds. We hold ourselves to the highest values of honesty, integrity, and transparency. First, I want to state that between 2013 and 2016, every student who was eligible and selected for a scholarship received one, and no student scholarship was denied or withdrawn based on the availability of funds. I am looking closely into questions about whether the university’s use of funds honored donors’ intent. I will be asking an independent auditor to do a financial review relating to Athletics donations and will address any unknown problems that surface. If we discover that we have not fulfilled the intent of donors who gave to the Spartan Foundation, we will identify other resources to fulfill donors’ intent or we will return the gift.

Dr. Mary A. Papazian
President


Editor’s Note: The following statement was issued to the media on May 15, 2019.

San Jose State University remains deeply committed to conducting its fundraising and accounting practices in all areas with the highest levels of honesty, integrity, and transparency.

Any donation that is received which is specified for scholarships is directed to scholarships. Student-athletes who were selected for a scholarship received one.
In the past, the Spartan Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, raised funds to support Spartan Athletics in conjunction with University Advancement (UA).

Several years ago, SJSU leadership learned that some of the Spartan Foundation’s marketing and communications did not adequately convey how financial gifts were being used. The university responded in multiple ways. The university changed its marketing and communications to clearly state how donor gifts would be used. In addition, in early 2017, the university began the process of moving the athletics fundraising operation solely to the division of University Advancement to improve management and stewardship of financial gifts to SJSU Athletics.

University Advancement now houses all of SJSU fundraising operations, including Athletics Advancement, with experienced fundraising professionals and improved processes to better support management and stewardship of financial gifts to SJSU.

Dr. Mary A. Papazian
President


Editor’s note: The following message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on May 15, 2019.

Dear Campus Community,

Many of you may have read today’s Spartan Daily article alleging the mishandling of donor funds from the Spartan Foundation during the 2013 to 2016 timeframe.

For many years, the Spartan Foundation, a 501(c)(3) entity, raised money to support our athletics program. In July 2013, accounts were opened in the Tower Foundation for the express purpose of depositing Spartan Foundation funds. The Tower Foundation is SJSU’s auxiliary organization dedicated solely to philanthropy.

Following this transition, and soon after I arrived in 2016, I was made aware that communication to Spartan Foundation donors was not consistently clear regarding use of donor funds to support student athlete scholarships. I understand that from 2013 to 2016, money specifically designated for student scholarships was in fact used for that purpose and that every student selected to receive a scholarship received one. However, I realized that we needed to review our communications with donors and pay closer attention to our internal processes. We have done just that.

Specifically, we began a systematic process of examining our athletic fundraising with respect to accounting, marketing, and communications. We took the following important steps:

The university changed its marketing and communications with donors to clearly state how donor gifts would be used.

In early 2017, the university began the process of moving the athletics fundraising operation solely to the division of University Advancement to improve management and stewardship of gifts to SJSU Athletics.

University Advancement now houses all of SJSU fundraising operations, including Athletics Advancement, with experienced fundraising professionals and improved processes to better support management and stewardship of financial gifts to SJSU.

While there remains some work to be done, our transition to a more streamlined, effective system of fundraising and stewardship is well underway.

We remain deeply committed to conducting our fundraising and accounting practices in all areas with the highest levels of honesty, integrity, and transparency.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mary A. Papazian
President


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

 

CSU Trustees Appoint Mary A. Papazian as President of SJSU

Mary A. Papazian

Mary A. Papazian

Media Contacts:
Laurie Weidner, lweidner@calstate.edu (562) 951-4800
Pat Harris, pat.harris@sjsu.edu (408) 924-1748

(January 27, 2016) – The California State University Board of Trustees has appointed Mary A. Papazian, Ph.D., as president of San José State University effective July 1. A seasoned higher education leader with more than 25 years of teaching and administrative experience, Papazian is currently serving as the president of Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) in New Haven, Connecticut. She replaces Susan Martin, Ph.D., who was appointed as the interim president in August 2015. Papazian will be the university’s third female president in its 159-year history. Read more.