University Appointments

April 22, 2009


TO: Campus Community

FROM: President Jon Whitmore

I am pleased to announce that Gerry Selter, executive assistant to the president, has agreed to serve as San José State's acting provost and vice president for academic affairs upon the retirement in August of Carmen Sigler, our current provost. He will continue in this new role until the appointment of a new provost, expected in late fall of 2009. Gerry brings a wealth of academic and administrative experience to this role, gained in a forty-year career at SJSU that includes five years in the president's office and a decade prior to that as dean of the College of Science. He joined the SJSU faculty in 1968 as professor of chemistry.

With the upcoming departure from my office of two highly productive individuals -- Gerry Selter and Rona Halualani (who has announced her return to the faculty in the fall) -- I am taking this opportunity to consider the staffing needs of the president's office and do a bit of restructuring, based on the university's future objectives and priorities. I am therefore seeking candidates for the following four roles:

Chief of Staff

The responsibilities of this position will be similar to the former executive to the assistant position, but the title chief of staff will more accurately reflect this individual's role in the president's office.

Faculty-in-Residence for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence (half-time appointment)

We are indebted to Rona Halualani and the Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Committee for their work in developing a strong Diversity Master Plan, which will be rolled out and posted online this summer. Going forward, we need a dedicated point person to coordinate and implement this ground-breaking plan, which can serve as a model for other institutions of higher education.

Faculty-in-Residence for Sustainability (full-time)

Sustainability is a critical issue at the campus, city, state and national levels and will be one of our priorities going forward. San José State is doing much already in this area, but our efforts need to be coordinated and focused for strongest impact. I'm seeking a faculty member who would be consider this an exciting challenge and be well prepared to lead this work.

MPP-level position to coordinate Institutional Strategic Planning

As we are fast approaching the final year of our current Vision 2010, we need to consult as a campus, assess our progress, define our priorities and develop a new university plan. I'm seeking an outstanding candidate to lead this planning.

I would be pleased to receive nominations and expressions of interest for the first three positions immediately and expect to fill them by the end of this semester. Details on the positions will be distributed to the campus shortly. Candidates for these positions will all be reviewed by a small screening committee, which will make recommendations to me. A separate search committee will be appointed to conduct a broader external search for the strategic planning position.

Please join me in thanking Gerry Selter for his outstanding contributions as executive assistant to the president and wishing him well in his upcoming role as acting provost and vice president for academic affairs.