Leadership news

Dear members of the campus community,

As we begin the spring 2019 semester, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Vincent Del Casino Jr., Ph.D. as our next provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. Vincent currently serves as interim senior vice provost and vice president for Academic Initiatives and Student Success at the University of Arizona. He will join us at San Jose State University on July 15.

As SJSU’s provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, Vincent will serve as a key member of my leadership team with primary responsibility for ensuring academic excellence in undergraduate and graduate studies as well as in our continual commitment to research, scholarship, and creative activities that benefit all students and society at large.

Vincent will join us at an extraordinary time in our history, as we unveil a new strategic plan that captures our bold vision for SJSU’s next decade. 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. He is an exemplary fit to lead our continuing efforts to support students and faculty, build community partnerships, develop our graduate programs and research initiatives, strengthen student success at all levels, and expand innovative teaching and learning at our university.

At the University of Arizona, Vincent 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. With more than 18 years of academic and administrative experience in higher education, Vincent also served as professor and chair at California State University, Long Beach, in the Department of Geography.

As he joins us as our next provost, Vincent looks forward to working with faculty and staff to advance the mission of the campus, to serve our students, and to deliver on the promise of high-quality, high-value degrees to the next generation of undergraduate and graduate students who are the future of our global workforce while making a difference in their local communities.

Vincent is a prolific writer and researcher who has authored the book Social Geography: A Critical Introduction. He also has edited and co-authored multiple books and published dozens of articles and book chapters on topics ranging from health, robots and tourism, in the context of geography. His numerous commentaries on higher education have been published in The EvoLLLution and Inside Higher Education, including “Machine Learning, Big Data, and the Future of Higher Education.”

Prior to earning his doctorate in geography from the University of Kentucky, Vincent received his master’s in geography from the University of Wisconsin and bachelor’s in international relations and East Asian studies from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.

I am deeply grateful to the members of the Provost Search Committee, led by Melinda Jackson, chair of political science in the College of Social Sciences. The committee spearheaded a competitive, comprehensive and national search that led to Vincent’s appointment.

I also want to express my deep appreciation to Joan Ficke, Ed.D., for her exceptional leadership as interim provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. Joan has positioned SJSU to expand its research enterprise and commitment to the teacher-scholar model by advancing research, scholarship and creative activities across all disciplines. Additionally, her leadership in evaluating our support for graduate education will position us well as we look to develop appropriate doctoral and other degree programs. Joan will continue to serve in this capacity until Vincent’s arrival in July. As the spring semester commences, they will collaborate on initiatives to ensure a seamless transition.

Please join me in thanking Joan and welcoming Vincent to San Jose State.


Dr. Mary A. Papazian