SJSU leveraging its inclusive, welcoming character to help campus “grow and thrive”

Dr. Mary A. Papazian

I promised several months ago to continue with a deep dive of our strategic plan, Transformation 2030, so next up is Goal 3—“Grow and Thrive.”

Before delving in to the specific of Goal 3, I am pleased to report new developments on Transformation 2030. Members of my cabinet responsible for achieving each of our five strategic plan goals recently submitted roadmaps that offer specific implementation plans. While these roadmaps are a work in progress that feature ambitious ideas and activities, I am excited to see the execution of Transformation 2030 start to take shape in tangible, meaningful ways.
Goal 3 of our plan is to “be an inclusive, welcoming and well-balanced community and institution that ensures long-term financial sustainability and effectiveness and also attracts, retains and sustains faculty and staff members and students.”
What this means, specifically, is that we want every member of our campus community to have the ability to live, thrive and flourish here in the San Jose region. It also stresses that we need to align our budgets and resources with our strategic priorities, and we need to be able to sustain the university’s fiscal health well into the future.
We also want to continue to foster an inclusive environment at San Jose State, one where all members of this diverse population of ours can succeed and make the most of their potential. This can only happen when we maintain a safe and healthy campus community.Healthy Campus Healthy Spartans banner

Finally, with our staff and faculty, we need to ensure we are providing opportunities for professional growth and satisfaction. This includes leadership development and spaces where everyone can have their voices heard on issues that are important to them.

So how will we achieve these outcomes?

Already, we proudly feature an incredibly talented and diverse set of staff members and employees on campus who quietly work every day to create an environment where our students can succeed. Retaining dedicated employees such as these, and ensuring that San Jose State is an employer of choice will be key to transforming our campus and leading us into the future.

Charlie Faas, our vice president for administration and finance, and Kathy Wong-Lau, our chief diversity officer, are leading the implementation for Goal 3 and are developing a creative, thoughtful roadmap that focuses specifically on one area of transformation—the staff experience at San Jose State.

It is a multi-pronged approach, one that we anticipate will include several activities:

  • A once-per-semester career fair developed for SJSU staff that offers workshops, coaching, continuing education information, poster sessions, and current campus-wide job postings;
  • An initiative focused on early career and mid-level staff that would provide leadership and committee experiences as well as opportunities to contribute to university initiatives;
  • Programming and opportunities for staff to enhance their organizational visibility and leadership, provided through brown bag lunches and “day in the life” storytelling by staff members.

Another key area of focus will be staff recognition, where we frequently and consistently call out—and reward, when possible!—our staff members who work so hard to ensure that campus operations and programs run smoothly in support of our mission.

A recently-formed staff council has suggested the development of an annual Staff Recognition Awards event, and we are preparing to implement these awards for the first time this spring at our Spartan Service Celebration.

So change—thoughtful, student-focused, tangible change—continues to be a hallmark of what we are working to accomplish at San Jose State. As always, you can learn more about Transformation 2030 and join the effort. Thank you!

Students walking on campus