President's Blog

President Papazian - Holidays 2020

Celebrating SJSU’s Fall 2020 Graduates While Looking Ahead To The Holidays

As we near the end of a difficult 2020, we have two end-of-year occasions—fall graduation and our extended holiday break—to which we can look forward. Each offers us a welcome respite from the challenges we have faced these past nine months.

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Gratitude and best wishes for a safe, restful and healthy long weekend

November 23, 2020

In the midst of so many challenges—including the new COVID-19 restrictions announced by the State of California last week—we now have an opportunity to refresh and recharge over the upcoming holiday break. For many of us, the long weekend is a time for reflection, connection and for giving thanks for what we have.

Voter at library

An Historic Election Draws to a Close

November 7, 2020

Today, November 7, 2020, is an historic day for the United States and for the democratic principles we hold dear. In addition to electing the nation's 46th president, Joseph R. Biden, Jr., we will now have - for the very first time - a woman holding the second highest office in the land. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, is, of course, a Californian and Bay Area native, and her Jamaican and Asian Indian ancestry symbolizes the rich diversity and possibilities of our nation.

SJSU student voters

Post-election reflections

November 4, 2020

The current election cycle, which has not yet quite concluded as of this writing, has generated a mixed array of emotions for many of us. With more than 100 million votes cast even before Nov. 3, the overall turnout for these elections will likely equal or surpass any others in our nation's history. Even more impressive, perhaps, is the number of first-time and young voters who cast a vote or were active at the local level. Adjusting so well in the midst of a global pandemic demonstrates the power of our democracy.

What the Eyes Dont See book cover

"What the Eyes Don't See" a compelling, though sobering, campus reading selection for our times.

October 15, 2020

It was a real treat for me to join a recent Zoom webinar to discuss this semester’s campus reading program selection, What the Eyes Don’t See, by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha. Dr. Mona is a pediatrician, public health advocate and immigrant who practices in Flint, Michigan. Her book brilliantly shines a spotlight on the water crisis there, revealing how children were exposed to dangerous levels of lead.

SJSU Votes flag

SJSU ramps up efforts to engage students in the democratic process

September 22, 2020

Today is National Voter Registration Day, a nonpartisan initiative designed to celebrate our democracy. San José State, of course, is a highly-engaged university when it comes to issues related to our democracy and civic responsibility. It is one of the characteristics that defines us.

American and State CA flag whipping in the wind.

Remembering the heroes of 9/11

September 11, 2020

We have many heroes to celebrate in this day and age. Today, we remember and reflect on the events of September 11, 2001, the heroic acts associated with that tragic day and the courage of those who perished.

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Welcome to Fall 2020 semester!

August 17, 2020

Though we remain in the midst of an extraordinary and unprecedented period, I am delighted to welcome each of you to the Fall 2020 semester. This promises to be a semester none of us will soon forget! There is much to reveal about all of the things we have to look forward to this semester and throughout the academic year, so I invite you to view my virtual Fall Welcome address as well as video messages from our Academic Senate chair and our Associated Students president.

Mary Papazian speaking

Latest update: SJSU’s actions on systemic racism

July 15, 2020

Last month, I shared some immediate and longer-term action items for SJSU to address systemic racism. Several actions were identified, including steps we would take immediately as well as a number of longer-term efforts. I write today to report on our progress to date, particularly the actions we have undertaken these past 30 days and thoughts on the future.

Peaceful protest at Smith Carlos statue
 Derrick Liu / Silicon Valley Democratic Socialists of America ( – CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Examining Our Actions and Opportunities for Change

June 11, 2020

The global protests we continue to see following the unconscionable killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers—just one of many recent incidents involving systemic racism in our society—remain on all our minds and in our hearts. In addition to raising awareness, people are now demanding real, tangible action. Action by our institutions. Action by our leaders. And, yes, action by our universities.