Leadership news

Dear members of the campus community,

I am pleased to announce that Lisa Millora will be joining San Jose State as my new chief of staff, effective January 31. Lisa comes to us from Santa Clara University, where she has served in a variety of senior leadership roles, most recently as senior assistant provost for strategic initiatives and provost’s office relations. Lisa’s background extends far beyond student and academic affairs and includes research and policy experience at the Institute for Higher Education Policy, the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute (HERI).

In her most recent position at SCU, Lisa was responsible for advancing Santa Clara 2020, the university’s strategic plan, including directing large-scale strategic initiatives related to STEM, innovation and entrepreneurship. She managed the development and coordination of top-priority projects for the provost; directed planning and development of strategy documents, research briefs and special reports; and partnered with other units and campus leaders to meet the university’s marketing, communication and fundraising needs.

Also at SCU, Lisa served as an assistant dean in the Office of Student Life, where she worked on a variety of initiatives to educate and support students, including a two-year project funded by a grant she received the U.S. Department of Justice to prevent and reduce violent crimes against women.

Lisa’s research has explored intersections among higher education, civic engagement and social change, and she has a keen interest in how the politics of race, religion and gender affect those relationships in a diverse democracy. She is motivated by a belief in the power and responsibility of higher education to contribute to the public good, and she is passionate about addressing equity issues. Her values clearly are aligned with those of San Jose State!

Lisa earned an master’s and doctoral degrees in education with a focus on higher education and organizational change from UCLA, along with a master’s degree in higher education administration and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Boston College. I invite you to see her full CV.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our previous chief of staff, Jaye Bailey, for her outstanding leadership and counsel these past two and a half years. Jaye has made—and continues to make—immeasurable contributions to San Jose State as we chart the next phase in the university’s history as an important anchor institution in our city and broader region. I remain appreciative of her enthusiasm in taking on her new role as vice president for organizational development and strategic initiatives.

Please join me in welcoming Lisa to San Jose State! I am excited about the work we will do together.


Dr. Mary A. Papazian