President Whitmore's First 100 Days

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Read about President Whitmore's experiences during his first weeks at San José State, Monday through Thursday from August 21 to October 2.

Supporting Student Success

Thursday, October 2, 2008

President Whitmore with South Campus Grounds Manager Raul Bueno, Gardener Joaquin Villarreal, Groundsworker Carlos Moreno, Heavy Equipment Operator Juan Alcaraz
The South Campus grounds crew with President Whitmore after they taught him to trim the turf in Spartan Stadium. President, South Campus Grounds Manager Raul Bueno, Gardener Joaquin Villarreal, Groundsworker Carlos Moreno, Heavy Equipment Operator Juan Alcaraz. Photo: Robert Bain, SJSU Photographic Services.

While I must admit that I was skeptical about how useful creating a blog about my early days as president of San José State would be, I thought it would be worth experimenting with as a tool for communicating with the many constituents of this vast university. From my vantage point, the blog was very useful. Here are some things that I learned and tried to communicate:

I met dozens of employees who take enormous pride in their work. From the coffee counter, to the mail delivery route, to the library archives, to the police patrol, to the football stadium grounds keepers, SJSU's people strive for excellence. These employees take extra care to provide the best service possible because they love the university and take great pride in knowing that they make a difference in the lives of our students every day.

I found that the blog was a way to communicate the complexity and diversity of the university. San José State has all the elements of a small city of some 38,000 students and employees. We employ workers from every profession and craft: lawyers, plumbers, mechanics, accountants, law officers, librarians, scholars, teachers, grounds keepers, cooks, computer technicians, counselors, graphic designers and many more. All of these people labor day in and day out to create an environment that helps support each student's success, both inside and outside the classroom. I learned that highly dedicated and skilled employees, dedicated to excellence, proud of their association with a great university, is what made SJSU the kind of university it is today. We have a very bright future, indeed.

Finally, I hope the blog helped the university community understand the many roles of a university president, the great diversity of constituents that make up a thriving university, and a bit about me and my family. We are proud to be Spartans and look forward to our first Homecoming and to the remainder of this exciting year.

- President Jon Whitmore

President Whitmore with South Campus Grounds Manager Raul Bueno, Gardener Joaquin Villarreal, Groundsworker Carlos Moreno, Heavy Equipment Operator Juan Alcaraz
Heavy Equipment Operator Juan Alcaraz and South Campus Grounds Manager Raul Bueno show President Whitmore the machines they use to maintain SJSU's playing fields. Photo: Robert Bain, SJSU Photographic Services.

Last Blog Entry, Spartans!

Thank you for reading the president's blog, which had more than 14,000 page views. This project was produced by the Office of the President, Division of University Advancement and Department of Academic Technology. We would like to extend a special thanks to Presidential Aide Zaynna Fakhreddine, University Photographer Robert Bain and Web Application Developer Harish Chakravarthy. Web Content Editor Jody Ulate and Media Relations Director Pat Lopes Harris coordinated and posted material. Please send us your feedback.

AT&T Road to College Tour

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

President Whitmore is preparing today for the AT&T Road to College Tour, which will visit Independence High School at 1 p.m. Thursday, October 2, thanks to the $1.6 million, four-year Steps to College Success program by California State University and AT&T California.

Road to College Tour, sponsored by CSU and AT&T

Whitmore will join many community leaders to greet and encourage students as they climb aboard a 40-foot highly-decorated bus complete with Internet-ready laptops where students can take virtual tours of all 23 CSU campuses, fill out college applications and receive information on financial aid and scholarships.

Steps to College Success is a statewide academic planning and education effort to increase university access for students in traditionally underserved communities and ultimately build a stronger pipeline of workforce professionals in the state.

Read more on the AT&T Road to College Tour.

Ian Whitmore

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ian WhitmoreHey, this is Ian Whitmore. I am a junior at the University of Iowa. I was asked to write in and give my dad some advice since he is kind of new to his job. Before I shout out some advice, I want to say congratulations to my dad for his new position at SJSU. I know he is currently doing, and will continue to do, a great job as long as he is there.

As for advice I would give to him, I would just say to be himself no matter who or what he is dealing with. My dad is the most honest person I have ever met and I know that is how he got to be where he is in life. If you ever meet my dad on campus or anywhere, he is also one of the nicest people I have ever met, so definitely say "Hey!" sometime when you see him around campus. Even though he is shy, he always has something to talk about.

One thing my dad needs to learn however, is how to text message. About every other day I get a new text from dad that says simply, "Sup?" When I try and reply with how my day is going, or what I am doing, I never get a response. So if you ever have a chance, please teach him a few tricks of the trade when it comes to cell phones. Or at least holler a "Sup?" his way when he passes by.

The Whitmores attending Orange Bowl in Miami, FL in 2003
The Whitmores attending the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida (2003). Courtesy of the Whitmore family.

Amy Whitmore

Monday, September 29, 2008

Amy WhitmoreHey there! This is Amy Whitmore. I'm currently a sophomore at the University of Iowa. I've been asked to say a few things about my dad on his blog, so I've decided to tell you a few things about him that you probably wouldn't hear anywhere else. For example, during high school, I would usually return home on a typical Friday or Saturday night to find my dad watching DVDs of The Who, the Beatles, or Bob Dylan -- his favorite bands.

What else does this self-proclaimed nerd do in his limited free time (besides walking around the house quoting Shakespeare)? Well he's an avid fly fisher, although he's usually too busy with work to go more than once or twice a year. He also loves barbecue food and hanging out with my dog Toby. Finally -- and you probably could have guessed this one already -- my dad is an enormous bookworm and invariably has a book handy at all times. Let's just say he was the dad sitting on the bench at Disney World reading a paperback.

So I hope I gave you a little insight into the kind of guy my dad is outside of SJSU. And for the students who are reading this, I hope this helps you realize that your president has two kids that are going through the same stuff you are. He has the ability to look at things from the perspective of both an administrator and a parent. And for the student's perspective, he's got my brother and me.

Amy and Ian Whitmore with dog, Toby, in Lubbock, TX in 2005
Amy and Ian Whitmore with dog, Toby, in Lubbock, Texas (2005). Courtesy of the Whitmore family.

Amy and Ian Whitmore in Austin, TX in 1994
Amy and Ian Whitmore in Austin, Texas (1994). Courtesy of the Whitmore family.