Founded in 1857, San José State University (SJSU) is the oldest public institution of higher education on the West Coast and the founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system. From its beginnings as a normal school to train teachers for the developing frontier, SJSU has matured into a metropolitan university that offers 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations. One of SJSU’s most prized traditions is their commitment to offer access to higher education to all persons who meet the criteria for admission, yielding an extremely diverse student population of which the institution is deeply committed to their success and academic excellence. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley on a thriving 154-acre campus in downtown San José, SJSU is one of the 200 top research universities in the nation offering rigorous course work and research opportunities to more than 35,000 undergraduate and graduate students in eight colleges.

Associated Students (AS) represents the students of SJSU and provides leadership at SJSU on behalf of students. Established for more than 100 years, Associated Students is an incorporated 501(c)(3) student government association at San José State University and an auxiliary organization of the California State University (CSU) system. Maintaining a voice for the students through student government, AS is responsible for the creation and daily operation of its departments, each contributing its own unique service to the campus community.

Current programs and services under AS include Cesar Chavez Community Action Center, Child Development Center, General Services Center, Government Administration, Human Resources, Marketing and Events, Print and Technology Center, and Transportation Solutions.

The Position

Responsibilities of the Position

The Associated Students Executive Director (ED) is the senior administrative officer for AS and is responsible for the administration of the corporation as well as the operation of all AS programs and services. The ED is responsible for providing administrative, operational, fiscal, supervisory, and programmatic leadership for AS and is integral to carrying out the mission of AS and providing support to the AS Board. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the management of human and fiscal resources, student development, facilities management, and strategic planning. The ED maintains collaborative working relationships with the AS Executive Board members and the Board, educating and advising them of fiscal, operational, personnel, legal, and strategic matters. In addition, the ED maintains collaborative working relationships with University administration and is a member of the Student Affairs Leadership Team (SALT). The ED will work to implement policies and services that represent best practices in higher education and auxiliary administration. The ED holds a commitment to the values of student development, student success, and diversity and inclusion. The ED also ensures that policies and directives adopted by the board are properly implemented. This position has a direct reporting relationship to the AS President and Board of Directors, as well as a dotted reporting line to the Associate Vice President for Campus Life, and oversees a staff of 34 plus 160 student workers and a budget of over $9 million.

Additional responsibilities and duties include:

Operational Management

  • Manage daily operations and program development with a consistent focus on high quality customer service.
  • Educate and advise the AS President and Board on the operations of the AS Corporation.
  • Establish and implement Strategic Plan objectives to meet the needs of the organization.
  • Implement and ensure compliance with appropriate CA State, CSU, and SJSU policies, as needed.
  • Assist in the development and review of AS bylaws and governing documents, strategic plans, and best practices for operational success.
  • Ensure transparency, consistency, and integrity in decision-making for the betterment of AS.
  • Conduct assessments and analyses of programs to ensure effectiveness and campus awareness.
  • Develop, implement, communicate, and maintain guidelines and procedures to support the functions of the organization.
  • Provide oversight to, and ensure compliance with, all CSU and independent audits, as well as SJSU Operational Agreement requirements.
  • Provide oversight of AS assets including AS House, Community Garden, and Child Development Center.

Fiscal Management

  • In collaboration with the AS Board, oversee the AS budget.
  • Advise AS Board and AS Finance Committee in preparation for the annual budget process of AS departments and programs.
  • Provide fiscal leadership and management, which include, but are not limited to, management of staff in financial units, budget development and management, and the implementation and monitoring of operating and fund balances.
  • Provide monthly financial reports and quarterly analytical evaluations of data to the AS Board and the University.
  • Ensure accuracy and timeliness in the processing of payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable, procurement, capital expenditures, asset depreciation, preventive maintenance, and inventory control.

Personnel and Human Resources Management

  • Provide leadership and oversight to all professional personnel and student staff of the corporation.
  • Oversight and leadership, in collaboration with the AS Associate Executive Director, of nine departments.
  • Provide leadership and oversight of Human Resource functions, including staff recruitment and appointment, training, evaluation, and professional development, as well as skills assessment, risk management, conflict resolution, legal and regulatory issues, and crisis communication.

Campus Community Collaboration

  • Maintain collaborative working relationships and ensure ongoing, timely and effective communication occurs between AS staff, AS President and Board, as well as SJSU students, staff, and faculty.
  • Maintain collaborative working relationship with Student Affairs Leadership Team.
  • Work closely with Campus Life Directors, which includes campus programs and services that support student engagement and success.
  • Serve as a representative and collaborative member of the AS Corporation, SJSU Division of Student Affairs and University at large, statewide Auxiliary Organizations Association, and the CSU.
  • Demonstrate consistency in the support of the vision and values of AS, Division of Student Affairs, and the University.

Student Development

  • Inform and educate the AS Board on CA State, CSU policies, and SJSU policies to support student leadership and development.
  • Advise AS Board Executives and AS Board members through their process of representing SJSU students, the organization, and university.
  • Ability to advise a diverse student body and promote student leadership and organizational success.
  • Promote student success and retention within the AS Board and student personnel through mentorship and guidance.

Risk Management

  • Assist AS departments and Board in the identification and examination of risk, as well as the selection of risk control and risk management solutions.
  • Conduct risk evaluations and make improvements as necessary to ensure the well-being and safety of all persons, property, and liability associated with AS.
  • Consult as needed with the AS Legal Counsel, the Division of Student Affairs, and the Division of Administration and Finance in the review of risk, audits, and compliance for the CA State, CSU system, and SJSU.

Characteristics of the Successful Candidate

Minimum qualifications include a master’s degree in business administration, education, student affairs, or similar field of study with a minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in a college or university environment; four years of experience working with students in a higher education environment; and three years of supervision of professional staff. In addition, candidates must have demonstrated experience in budget management and fiscal operations. Successful candidates will have strong knowledge of student government, non-profit organization and management of boards, and human resource functions. Further, candidates will have the ability to plan, organize, coordinate, manage, and lead an administrative unit; evaluate staff and provide effective and timely feedback; develop and implement short- and long-term organizational goals; conduct program assessments and continuous improvements; maintain sound budget and fiscal operations and internal controls; provide advice and consultation on policy development and operations; and understand and develop effective working relationships with diverse populations of students, staff, and faculty. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills; strong conflict management skills; deep knowledge of and commitment to the principles of student development; a passion for mentoring, motivating, and working closely with staff and students; and advocacy for student issues are all characteristics of the next Executive Director. Preferred qualification include experience working with auxiliary organizations, strategic planning, facilities management, and grant writing/fundraising.

Additionally, stakeholders at San José State identified the following characteristics and attributes when considering the position of executive director (in no particular order):

  • High emotional intelligence, excellent interpersonal skills, and the ability to build strong and authentic relationships.
  • Profound interest in student development with a broad knowledge of student life, best practices, the profession, and a commitment to encourage and support professional development experiences at all levels within AS.
  • A leader open to listening and gathering feedback and opinions, with the confidence to make an unpopular decision if needed.
  • An understanding and deep commitment to social justice, demonstrated cultural competence with strong belief in the value of diversity in enriching the learning experience and the quality of life on campus, and the ability to develop an environment that is broadly inclusive of the entire San José State community.
  • Strong business acumen to effectively manage a complex corporation with various stakeholder groups, a large staff, tax filings, compliance issues, and a sizable budget. This position has critical accountability for these functions.
  • Exemplary student-development experience to complement the above-mentioned business acumen.
  • A strong supervisor committed to spending time with all the AS departments, improving internal communications, and understanding the staffs’ limits and abilities.
  • Direct or indirect experience with child development centers and a deep understanding of the issues and concerns involved in the effective management of these centers.
  • An understanding and appreciation of marketing, outreach, social media, and new technologies that may improve processes and efficiencies.
  • An enthusiasm for the job, passion for the profession, the talent to incorporate new trends and best practices into the organizational culture, and the vision to continually assess and improve the organization while always looking to the future.
  • Compassionate, accessible, transparent, ethical leader with excellent communication skills to clearly articulate vision, direction, and purpose and earn the respect and confidence of the AS staff, students, faculty, and SJSU staff.
  • Credible, motivating, supportive, and approachable supervisor with knowledge of the responsibilities of each staff member’s position, respect for their work and contributions, ability to form a cohesive team, and adept at advocating for staff and students, their programs, and needs.
  • Skilled in the collection of data and ability to analyze and make educated decisions.
  • A communicative, collaborative, transparent work style and the ability to engage a wide array of stakeholders in dialogue and partnerships regarding key functions, programs, and services of AS.
  • Ability to genuinely connect with and maintain a highly engaged relationship with a motivated, intelligent, and hardworking student body.
  • Strong commitment to student advocacy, accessibility, and the ability to advise/mentor students.
  • Highly energetic individual with a strong sense of self and ability to appropriately infuse humor and enthusiasm into the workplace and campus community.
  • Demonstrate leadership ability with excellent management skills, and the ability to manage feedback with constructive action and build a solid framework to effectively develop and manage a complex, student-centered organization.
  • Excellent negotiation, diplomacy, and political savvy skills.

History of the Position

The past Executive Director (ED) left in October 2018 after serving in this capacity for over three years to pursue a new job opportunity. She took over as ED after the departure of a long-standing ED. The most recent ED did an excellent job with gaining credibility, developing campus partnerships, making numerous positive changes to increase efficiencies and effectiveness, and bringing multiple stakeholders together to embark on a strategic planning process for AS. Her tenure left a profound impression on AS and her legacy provides a strong foundation from which the new ED can begin to build upon.

As the AS conducts a national search, an interim ED has been named.

Likely Opportunities, Priorities, and Challenges of the Position

In transitioning to AS at San José State, the executive director will encounter the following opportunities, priorities, and challenges, as shared by key AS stakeholders:

  • Students are highly involved, valued, and engaged at San José State. The institution embodies a “students-first” philosophy.
  • Continue to implement the new strategic plan and assist in the growth of AS, while embracing a new structure.
  • AS has not increased student fees in 5 years. With minimum wage increases and increases in general expenses, the AS budget is very lean.
  • The Child Development Center may present some challenges and negotiating situations in terms of dynamics and policy when dealing with faculty and staff who have children in the center.
  • Student Affairs is experiencing very positive momentum; the executive director can build on this momentum and work to increase student engagement and involvement with intentional partnerships within the division and across campus.
  • Assist students in their understanding of the role AS plays in the larger context of the institution and ensure AS’s values and vision align with that of student affairs and San José State. Similarly, help the campus community understand AS and all its services and programs.
  • San José State has recently switched to a new financial system which will require some time and patience to learn.
  • Take the time to learn about the student government and AS structure as well as all of the staff.
  • Use assessment to capture and accurately share the AS experience.
  • Strength to say no when a request, program, and/or service does not fall within the portfolio of AS.
  • Protect the legal and financial interests of the organization.
  • Facilitate the use of new technology and approaches to streamline work and increase efficiencies.
  • Develop genuine relationships with the AS students by being visible and accessible.
  • Learn the intricacies of the AS budget, policies, and procedures, and the CSU’s expectations of auxiliaries.
  • AS’s student leadership changes every year. The executive director and the AS staff must continually train students and work with them to assist in the accomplishment of their goals in the relatively short time period of the student’s tenure.
  • Many of the senior leadership of San José State is relatively new to their positions and the institution. This is a time of positive change for the institution and a great time to be joining this amazing team.
  • AS with all its facets is vital to the success of the institution; it is truly a synergistic relationship between the institution and AS

Measures of Success for the Position

At an appropriate interval after joining AS at San José State University, the following items will initially define success for the new executive director. The new executive director will have:

  • become a valued and trusted member of the student affairs leadership team and San José State community, known by students, staff, and faculty;
  • established strong working relationships within Student Affairs, AS Managers, students, faculty, and key institutional colleagues;
  • maintained a commitment to think broader and help AS positively grow and serve students;
  • developed a robust and ongoing relationship with partners outside of AS to enhance the student and student organizations experience;
  • earned the respect of the campus community through accessibility, effective follow-through, and honest, open communication;
  • established a strong rapport with all students by being involved, visible, and engaged in aspects of campus life;
  • sought out new opportunities for university partnerships;
  • positively impacted student success and embraced a “student-first” philosophy;
  • worked to promote active collaboration both within and outside of AS;
  • a strong command of AS and San José State policies and procedures and applicable local and state laws to effectively advise staff and students;
  • built a strong team of dedicated professionals operating under a unified vision with clear expectations and an understanding of how their work contributes to the students and the San José State community; and
  • continued the use of assessment and data-driven decisions within AS

An Overview of the Associated Students


Associated Students strengthens the Spartan community through access to opportunities that inspire educational growth, personal development, and innovation.


Associated Students’ mission is to support and represent the students of San José State University by continuing the organization’s legacy of student advocacy and leadership; to enhance SJSU students’ education through high quality programs and services; and to prepare students as they move towards a thoughtful and purposeful life after graduation.

AS History

In 1897, students of the soon-to-be Student Government organized to hold elections and establish a collective student voice focused on representation, advocacy, and improving the student experience, which today remain tenants of the Associated Students purpose. Like many student-led organizations, Associated Students was created from scratch, reportedly holding a mere $657.95 in 1901 for operating expenses. The student government was composed of Student Body Officers elected by their peers and an executive committee with member composition changing throughout the first 20 years. Individuals such as the editor of The Normal Times, Basketball and Tennis managers, student representatives, and faculty members held positions on the executive committee. Athletes were highly influential on the student government and would continue to be so until the 1970s.

In the years immediately following its founding, the Student Body was repeatedly referenced in the official annual catalog as an influential factor “in shaping and directing Student Affairs.” In 1980, AS became incorporated, stating that, “the specific purpose of this corporation is to operate as a charitable and educational organization for the student activities of the Associated Students of San José State University.” In 1986, for the first time in AS history, the total AS budget surpassed $1 million. In 1987, the first mission statement appeared, “The mission of this organization is to unify and represent the students of San José State University. As the elected representatives of these students, we speak on their behalf on all matters pertaining to and having impact on the quality and equity of our educational opportunities and experiences.” At the start of the millennium, the AS budget reached over $9 million and offered students more services and events than ever before. In 2000, AS provided the necessary $3.1 million needed to save and renovate the historic Scheller House on campus, making it their base of operations for the next 30 years. In 2016, the completion of the new Student Union facilitated the relocation of several AS departments, the merging of the Computer Service Center and the Print Shop (known now as the Print & Technology Center), and the transition of Campus Recreation department staff and operations to the Student Union to provide seamless recreational experience for students.

Throughout its 120-year history, Associated Students of San José State University has been inextricably connected to student affairs and life on campus as we know it today. It was evident from the beginning that a small group of passionate students could effect change, serving as an early precursor to the rich history of student activism and diversity on which SJSU would eventually pride itself. The evolution of student interests broadened the association’s scope to include issues, services, and committees that mattered most to students. Symbols of the organization’s entrepreneurial spirit include:

  • the first president of the Students’ Association, Harriet E. Quilty, served as the editor of the school newspaper, The Normal Pennant (predecessor to the Spartan Daily and La Torre);
  • in the early years AS oversaw the newspaper, yearbook, student resource guide, and funding for other forms of communication, such as radio and TV;
  • a campus cooperative store in the 1920s which grew into Spartan Shops Inc. in the mid-’50s;
  • AS coordinated freshman and transfer student orientation programs in the 1950s;
  • the Cultural Affairs Committee was formed in 1960 to address overall campus climate;
  • the 1970s brought a new AS fee of $10 per semester allowing for stronger service to students through the creation of nine new permanent professional staff positions and the AS Business Office, AS Government, AS Recreational Program, AS Intercultural Steering Committee, and AS Program Commission;
  • several AS presidents helped establish the California Student Presidents’ Organization, known today as California State Student Association or CSSA, helping to build what would become a legacy of community and coalition building among CSU’s, all led by students;
  • throughout the 1980s, AS government passed many resolutions including unanimously approving funds to publicize a collection of money for the starving people in Ethiopia, an anti-racism resolution that vowed to cut off funds to any student organization that was found practicing “unlawful discrimination,” and the closing of San Carlos Street in order to promote a safer and more unified campus;
  • AS funded a variety of clubs and organizations during the ‘80s that promoted diversity and sustainability on campus, such as the Gay and Lesbian Student Union, the Recycling Center, Semana Chicana, and more;
  • in the 1990s, AS provided funding for Career Planning and Placement to add a 24-hour job hotline, passed a Child Care referendum and passed the first Transit Access Program (TAP) fee by student referendum for access to unlimited rides on Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) transit system, a pilot program and precursor to the AS Eco Pass;
  • 2005 launched the Spartan Squad Program and in 2007 AS held the first Fire on the Fountain Homecoming Celebration, one of the largest events held annually on campus;
  • AS also remained committed to its belief in civic activism through the creation of the Tommie Smith and John Carlos Commemoration Project, which raised funds for the construction of an outdoor commemorative art piece and the César E. Chávez Memorial Arch of Dignity, Equality, and Justice;
  • the Board passed many resolutions in the 2000s, such as the resolutions showing concern for the lack of resources for AB540 and undocumented students and promoting global citizenship at SJSU;
  • AS played a pivotal role in making SJSU a tobacco-free campus; and
  • in 2016, the Board issued a statement of solidarity with Standing Rock and urged other organizations on campus to do the same.

Throughout the 20th century, Associated Students would become known for being a center of student life, involvement, leadership, and development. The organization’s strengths emerged quickly, including adaptability in meeting the changing needs of students, innovativeness in offering essential services and programs that enhance the academic experience, and making public statements about important social issues. Over 100 years later, Associated Students continues to effectively engage San José State University students and the broader campus community.

Today, Associated Students is responsible for the operation and development of eight distinct departments, each contributing its own unique service to the campus community. The Board of Directors is comprised of students who are elected to oversee the organization’s operations, including a $9 million budget and employing 34 professional staff members and 160 San José State students. The key activities that are at the core of the work of Associated Students include advocacy, education, listening to students, lobbying, governing, mentoring, running a business, managing elections, serving students, programming (coordinate/manage events), supporting, and representing students. The full-time professional administrative team is employed to provide experience, guidance, and continuity. The staff is committed to creating jobs for students that promote their growth beyond customer service and prepare them for professional roles beyond SJSU.

Associated Students Departments

AS Student Government manages the operations of the corporation; while the Board of Directors is the official body which advocates for the entire SJSU student body comprised of over 30,000 students. The government structure includes 11 committees including the Finance Committee, Student Elections Commission, and the University Affairs Committee. The Board appoints student representatives to a number of university-wide committees such as the University Library Board, Undergraduate Studies Committee, and the Institutional Review Board. The Student Government also provides funding for registered student organizations, annual AS 55 awards to outstanding student leaders, and thousands of dollars in scholarships to students each year.

AS César E. Chávez Community Action Center connects SJSU students with community service opportunities that deepen the educational experience while promoting the lifelong commitment to civic activism and social justice at the heart of the César Chávez legacy.

AS Child Development Center (CDC) offers fully accredited childcare on campus for students, families affiliated with San José State, and the San José community. The CDC employs SJSU students as teacher assistants, allowing them to complete student teaching and internship requirements in various academic disciplines.

AS General Services Center is a hub for business services for students and student organizations. The center provides check cashing, textbook vouchers, money orders, notarization, and faxing services, while serving as a PG&E payment center on campus. Through the creation of special accounts, officially recognized campus student organizations are able to manage their accounts through General Services.

AS Human Resources focuses on employee well-being and development. Key responsibilities include recruitment, hiring, training and development, payroll, benefits, performance evaluation, and keeping up to date with state and federal tax and labor laws.

AS Marketing & Events works closely with the AS Programming Board to provide special events throughout the academic year. In addition, they provide marketing support and consultation to all AS departments and committees.

AS Print & Technology Center combines the AS Print Shop and the AS Computer Services Center into a self-supporting service designed to meet the academic and administrative needs of the SJSU community by providing students, faculty, and staff printing, copying and technological services, including computer repair, laptop rental, e-waste drop off, data backup, and more.

AS Transportation Solutions’ mission is to alleviate automobile traffic to SJSU and reduce its impact on the University’s parking facilities. Transportation Solutions is dedicated to serve the commute needs of the students and employees of SJSU. Its region-wide operation supports alternatives to driving alone. Through the SmartPass clipper card, SJSU student and employees have access to unlimited free rides on Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Local & Rapid buses, Limited routes, and Light Rail lines.

Organizational Chart

2017-2018 Budget Summaries

2017-2018 Annual Report

For additional information, please visit the AS website at

Institution & Location

Institutional Background

San José State University was founded in 1857 as Minns’ Evening Normal School, and is the oldest public school of higher education in the state. The university now offers more than 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations.

San José State University is a destination for dreamers, innovators, and high achievers. The campus sees countless new discoveries every day—from faculty members cutting-edge research to students who discover new passions in the classroom.

San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education. Quality teaching and small classes are a priority at SJSU, where tenured professors teach introductory as well as advanced courses.

One of the 200 top research universities in the nation, SJSU offers rigorous course work and research opportunities to more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students in eight colleges.

San Jose State’s location in the Silicon Valley makes it an exceptionally rewarding learning environment for students. Silicon Valley firms and agencies seek SJSU students for internships, summer work programs and for assistance with research and development projects. Silicon Valley firms employ more graduates from SJSU than from any other university in the nation.

To read more about the history of SJSU:

Points of Pride     

The number one supplier of education, engineering, computer science, and business graduates to Silicon Valley, the world’s high tech capital.

Ranked in the top 15 master’s-level public universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report in its annual survey of “America’s Best Colleges.”

First in the nation to open a joint city-and-university library. Since 2003, when the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library first opened its doors, nearly 13 million people have visited the award-winning facility, and more than 11 million books, videos, and other materials have been circulated.

A national leader in graduating minority students.

A wirelessly connected 154-acre campus offering 552 access points.

Home to the only research facility in North America dedicated solely to the study of the life of Beethoven. The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies has the largest collection of Beethoven material outside of Germany, including a lock of the great composer’s hair.

Home to the premier center for the study of Nobel Prize-winning American author John Steinbeck, with a collection of 40,000 items, including manuscripts, original letters, inscribed first editions, and the author’s published works.

Ranked among the top 200 universities in the nation for total research spending. (National Science Foundation)

A research partner with NASA Ames Research Center.

Celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2007.

About San José, CA

San José is an economic, cultural and political center of Silicon Valley, and the largest city in Northern California (both in population and area). With an estimated 2017 population of 1,035,317, it is the third-most populous city in California (after Los Angeles and San Diego) and the tenth-most populous in United States. Located in the center of the Santa Clara Valley, on the southern shore of San Francisco Bay, San José covers an area of 179.97 square miles. San José is the county seat of Santa Clara County, the most affluent county in California and one of the most affluent counties in the United States. San José is the most populous city in both the San Francisco Bay Area and the San José -San Francisco-Oakland Combined Statistical Area, which contain 7.7 million and 8.7 million people respectively.

San José is a global city, notable as a center of innovation, for its affluence, Mediterranean climate, and extremely high cost of living. San José’s location within the booming high tech industry as a cultural, political, and economic center has earned the city the nickname “Capital of Silicon Valley”. San José is one of the wealthiest major cities in the United States and the world, and has the third highest GDP per capita in the world (after Zürich, Switzerland and Oslo, Norway), according to the Brookings Institution. The San José Metropolitan Area has the most millionaires and the most billionaires in the United States per capita. With a median home price of $1,085,000, San José has the most expensive housing market in the country and the fifth most expensive housing market in the world, according to the 2017 Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey. Major global tech companies including Cisco Systems, eBay, Adobe Systems, PayPal, Brocade, Samsung, Acer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Western Digital maintain their headquarters in San José, in the center of Silicon Valley.

For additional information about this vibrant and progressive city, see www.sanJosé and www.sanJosé.org


SJSU’s distinctive character has been forged by its long history, by its location, and by its vision—a blend of the old and the new, of the traditional and the innovative. Among its most prized traditions is an uncompromising commitment to offer access to higher education to all persons who meet the criteria for admission, yielding a stimulating mix of age groups, cultures and economic backgrounds for teaching, learning, and research. With a faculty that is active in scholarship, research, technological innovation, community service, and the arts, SJSU takes pride in and is firmly committed to teaching and learning.

In collaboration with nearby industries and communities, SJSU faculty and staff members are dedicated to achieving the university’s mission as a responsive institution of the state of California: To enrich the lives of its students, to transmit knowledge to its students along with the necessary skills for applying it in the service of our society, and to expand the base of knowledge through research and scholarship.

University Learning Goals

San José State graduates will have developed:

Social and Global Responsibilities

  • An ability to consider the purpose and function of one’s degree program training within various local and/or global social contexts and to act intentionally, conscientiously, and ethically with attention to diversity and inclusion.

Specialized Knowledge

  • Depth of knowledge required for a degree, as appropriate to the discipline.

Intellectual Skills

  • Fluency with specific theories, assumptions, foundational knowledge, analytical and interpretive protocols, tools and technologies appropriate to the discipline or field of study.
  • Skills necessary for mastery of a discipline at a level appropriate to the degree and leading to lifelong learning, including critical and creative thinking and practice, effective communication, thorough and ethical information gathering and processing, competence with quantitative and/or qualitative methodologies, and productive engagement in collaborative activities.
  • For undergraduate students in a baccalaureate program: an understanding of critical components of broad academic areas, including the arts, humanities, social sciences, quantitative reasoning and sciences.

Integrative Knowledge and Skills

  • Mastery in each step of an investigative, creative or practical project (e.g., brainstorming, planning, formulating hypotheses or complex questions, designing, creating, completing, and communicating) with integration within and/or across disciplines.
  • An ability to articulate the potential impacts of results or findings from a particular work or field in a societal context.

Applied Knowledge and Skills

  • An ability to apply theory, practice and problem solving to new materials, settings, and problems.

Strategic Plan

In October, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee forwarded a working draft of the strategic plan to the President, who has tasked University Advancement with further revisions. The working draft contains the work of the five task forces that are linked below. Please note that this remains a work in progress, subject to change.

Educate for Engagement and Innovation

Academic Excellence and Leadership

Thriving Quality of Life

Connect & Contribute

Campus Development and Sustainability



Dr. Mary Papazian, President

Dr. Mary A. Papazian, a seasoned leader with nearly 30 years of experience as a university professor, academic, and administrative leader, joined San José State University as its 30th president on July 1, 2016.

As the leader of the founding campus of the California State University and Silicon Valley’s only public university, Papazian — a Southern California native — is firmly committed to student success; open, transparent and inclusive leadership; fostering a culture of curiosity and discovery; and building enduring campus and community partnerships.

Papazian is focused on revitalizing communication among and between campus leaders, students, faculty, and staff; energizing alumni, supporters, and friends of the university; meaningfully elevating engagement with elected, industry, and community leaders on important regional policy issues; empowering people across the university singularly to focus on student success; inclusively assessing opportunities to enhance operational effectiveness; and articulating an aspirational vision for SJSU to be America’s preeminent urban public university.

Notable milestones at SJSU since Papazian’s appointment include approval of plans to build a Science and Innovation Complex (the first planned expansion of academic facilities in more than three decades); the launch of an Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change; and convening a series of student success summits to explore ways to enhance college readiness.

Before coming to SJSU, Papazian was president of Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, Connecticut. There, her accomplishments included strengthening programs supporting the successful transition of first-year and transfer students; establishing a vision for what will be SCSU’s first-ever comprehensive philanthropic campaign and securing a $3 million gift and a $1.2 million bequest to establish its first endowed chair; opening the new Academic Laboratory and Science Building; expanding international education and study abroad programs; increasing research opportunities for undergraduate students; and expanding scholarships to support student recruitment, retention, and completion.

Previously, Papazian was the provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at Lehman College of The City University of New York, managing a $70 million budget that supported 450 full-time faculty members and 200 staff members, creating a research advisory board, hiring a new director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, and developing a research handbook for faculty.

She also served as the dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Montclair State University in New Jersey and as associate dean of the College of Arts and Science at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, where she began her academic career as an assistant, associate, and tenured professor of English.

Papazian holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in English from the University of California, Los Angeles. She and husband Dr. Dennis R. Papazian, founding director of the Armenian Research Center at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, have two adult daughters.

Papazian is actively engaged in national and regional volunteer leadership, serving on the boards of Higher Education Resource Services, Association of American Colleges and Universities, Bay Area Council, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and Joint Venture Silicon Valley. She and Dennis both remain actively involved in Armenian historical and cultural efforts.

The Academic Program

Consistently ranked as one of the West’s top public universities offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees, San José State provides a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs that promote intellectual inquiry and independent thought. From the arts to engineering, SJSU’s academic environment is one of the most challenging in the nation. SJSU received re-accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Through its eight colleges, the university offers 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations.

Colleges and Departments

  • College of Health and Human Sciences
  • Lucas College and Graduate School of Business
  • Connie L. Lurie College of Education
  • Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering
  • College of Humanities and the Arts
  • College of International and Extended Studies
  • College of Science
  • College of Social Sciences

The Student Body

Fast Facts & Figures for Fall 2017

For additional information about the students, please visit:


Benefits Overview

  • Medical, Dental, Vision & Life Insurance
    • 100% employer paid health premiums for employee and qualified dependents
  • Accrued Sick – 4 hours per pay period
  • Accrued Vacation – 8 hours per pay period
  • Personal Holiday – 8 hours per calendar year
  • Paid Holidays – 10 days per calendar year
    • Designated by SJSU / Associated Students
  • 401(k) Plan – Employer Matching up to 7%
    • Eligible for match after one year of employment
  • Annual Sick & Vacation Cash-out Options
  • Tuition Reimbursement (up to 6 units per semester)
  • Employee Assistance Program (5 sessions per topic, per year)
  • Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union Membership
  • Pre-tax deductions for employee parking

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Heather J. Larabee at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Associated Students, San José State University website at

SJSU is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action employer. We consider qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, or disability.

It is the policy of SJSU to provide reasonable accommodations for applicants with disabilities who self-disclose.