President Susan W. Martin
Susan W. Martin

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Dr. Susan W. Martin joined San Jose State University (SJSU) as interim president August 18, 2015 after serving for the previous seven years as president of Eastern Michigan University (EMU). At SJSU, Martin succeeded Dr. Mohammad Qayoumi, who departed for a senior position in the government of Afghanistan.

Martin arrived at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) during a period of leadership instability, declining enrollment and campus safety concerns. She built a diverse leadership team; achieved record enrollment growth and a doubling in size of the Honors College; made sizable investments in faculty hiring, financial aid (doubled during her tenure from $21 to $42 million), and capital improvements ($210 million, including a 75 percent increase for academic facilities). Capital investments included a new science complex and renovation of EMU’s largest classroom building, serving 10,000 or more students on a typical day. 

Other student-centered achievements included expanding on-campus advising centers and creating online advising options. Martin continued efforts to serve non-traditional students, supporting returning students between the ages of 25 and 34 who had earned some college credits without completing a degree.

At EMU, Martin led a large public university recognized as one of the most culturally diverse in the Midwest. Under her leadership, the campus sought creative ways to serve minority students. Its “Students of Color Degree Completion and Retention Plan,” considered by many as a model for supporting the unique needs of underrepresented students, was recognized by the Obama administration as a model for innovation. Martin actively maintained personal relationships with student leaders, including those engaged in initiatives to support underrepresented students.  

Martin earlier served as provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where she was involved in allocating budgetary resources, increasing enrollment and faculty support.

Martin has a doctorate and an MBA in accounting from Michigan State University, and a bachelor’s degree in public speaking from Central Michigan University. She earned her graduate and doctoral degrees while working full time for the state of Michigan as an assistant auditor general, deputy state treasurer and commissioner of revenue.

Martin is a past recipient of the Glenn A. Niemeyer Outstanding Faculty Award (2001), the Beta Alpha Psi Accounting Professor of the Year award (1999 and 2001), the Kellogg Fellow of Academic Leadership Academy of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (1992), and the National Distinguished Leadership Award from the Association of Government Accountants (1987).

Martin is married to economist Larry Martin, a faculty member at Michigan State University.

Her academic and government experience include:

Grand Valley State University

Executive Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs: June 2005 – May 2006

Special Assistant to the Provost: Aug. 2004 – June 2005

Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs: July 2003 – Aug. 2004

Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs: June 2001 – Dec. 2002 (interim), Jan. 2003 – June 2003

Professor of Accounting and Taxation: May 1988 – May 2006

Chair, Accounting and Taxation: May 1992 – Dec. 1996, Jan. 2001 – June 2001

Director, International Business Programs: May 1991 – 1993

Master of Science in Taxation Program Coordinator: May 1989– 1991, Aug. 1993 – 1994

State of Michigan

Commissioner of Revenue: Feb. 1985 – 1988

Deputy State Treasurer (Bureau of Local Government): June 1981 – June 1984

Assistant Auditor General: Sept. 1976 – Aug. 1980

Michigan State University

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Accounting: 1983 – 1984, 1980 – 1981, 1975 – 1976

Secretary, Department of Microbiology: 1973 – 1975

University of Texas-Austin

Secretary, Department of Microbiology: 1971 – 1973