Latest Academic Affairs Messages
September 21, 2023
As we move further into the semester, I wanted to reach out and offer some thoughts on the topic of “academic rigor.” The definition of academic rigor is elusive, even as many of us use it with a fair amount of regularity. For some, rigor rests as a core principle of our project as academics and educators. After all, why would we not want students to be challenged by high expectations that demand a certain amount of discipline and focus.
August 30, 2023
I hope this note finds you well and somewhat settled as the second week of the semester commences. I wanted to begin this semester by thanking all the staff, department chairs and directors, and administrators who have worked hard over the summer to make sure we could enroll our largest first-year class ever, 4500 students!
May 8, 2023
Last week I had a chance to present the divisional budget in a town hall format. I spent about an hour going through the material and tried to answer as many questions as possible. The slides from that presentation can be found here. There were a lot of slides because our budget is large and it is complicated. This is really just a start. I plan on presenting our new 23-24 budget this fall.
April 24, 2023
I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Rangapriya (Priya) Kannan will join San José State University as the next dean of the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business. She will begin her appointment on August 1st. Dr. Kannan joins SJSU at a pivotal time in its history, as we continue to elevate the position of Lucas on the campus and in the wider San José community. Dr. Kannan has a passion for the mission of SJSU and Lucas, and I am incredibly excited to begin our work together.
April 5, 2023
I am very excited to announce that after a national search Dr. Anne Marie Todd has agreed to take up the post of Dean of the College of Social Sciences. She will begin her new position effective July 1, 2023. As many of you know, Dr. Todd currently serves as Associate Dean in the College of Social Sciences. She will continue in that role for the next several months as Dr. Heather Lattimer continues her interim role as dean. This transition period will allow time to search for other leadership in the college - in particular a new Associate Dean for Academics - to take Dr. Todd’s current role when she steps into this new position.
April 3, 2023
I am excited to announce that Dr. Ron Rogers will take up the permanent position of Vice Provost for Academic Innovation and Institutional Effectiveness effective immediately. This new role combines efforts that Ron has been leading in his interim role, as he has helped to build and launch SJSU Online, with various aspects of our campus’ assessment and institutional evaluation infrastructure, bringing together two diverse but overlapping portfolio’s into one vice provost position. Ron has established himself over the last several years as a valued campus leader and colleague and I know he is excited to bring his creative energy to the work of this new portfolio as we continue to build programs that reach new communities of learners and meet the requirements of our WSCUC Accreditation, among other issues.
March 15, 2023
I hope this email finds you well. I know that many of you have had your lives disrupted by the most recent winter storm. In some areas, flooding has made travel impossible, while in other regions power outages have disrupted the ability of faculty to teach, students to learn, and staff to deliver services. Some of our community members have also had to evacuate their homes and find shelter elsewhere while they wait for flooding to abate or power to return. If that wasn’t enough, the Internet went down on the main campus for several hours today. It sometimes makes us wonder - are we ever going to catch a break?!
January 26, 2023
I hope this email finds you well and relatively dried out after our very wet January rainy season. I am writing to welcome you to spring and highlight an issue that is animating a lot of conversation on campus and nationally across higher education: the growing presence of “artificial intelligence”¹ (AI) and machine learning systems in the lives of students, faculty, and staff. Read more here.
November 14, 2022
In October, we received our most recent report from the Chancellor’s Office outlining our successes related to and ongoing challenges associated with GI 2025. That report shows that we have exceeded our four-year graduation goal of 35% by two percentage points already! We are close to our six-year graduation goal of 71% for first-year students, while also surpassing our marks set out for our transfer graduation goals. We have also continued to close the six-year graduation gap between our Pell Eligible and non-Pell Eligible students. These are marks of distinction for this campus. Read more here.
September 12, 2022
Last week was another challenging time for SJSU, as very hot temperatures made it difficult for some of us to work and live here in San José. It is clear, as well, that the faculty, staff, and students of SJSU are very adaptable. We managed to move dozens of classrooms from very warm to cooler rooms last week. Some faculty and staff moved courses and activities online to minimize the impact of the heat. Read more here.
August 18, 2022
Every day, thousands of Californians enroll in programs at for-profit or other non-profit institutions from outside the state seeking to complete their degrees online. Many of these students are returning adult learners who find it difficult to navigate the traditional schedules of a “bricks-and-mortar” campus experience. Others are mid-career professionals who are balancing full-time work and a family, while also seeking a way to move into the next job at their organization. Others want to seek out life-long learning but need to find a way to engage in that learning that can work at their pace and with their busy schedules. Read more here.
June 2, 2022
As I prepare to enter my fourth year at SJSU, I am excited to see a number of efforts come to fruition, including our investments in student success through the expansion of academic advising. As you know, we were very lucky to have Dr. Shonda Goward join us in the Fall of 2021. As we go into the summer, we are going to need to come together as a campus to focus on closing equity gaps while improving retention and graduation rates for all our students. We must build on the hard work that each college has put into developing student success centers, developing them from the ground up, and on the exceptional efforts of the leadership in Undergraduate Education, which has not only helped coordinate the transition of academic advising but has also led efforts in the broader discussion of student success in academic affairs. All of this work will, of course, continue as we make sure we maintain the deep connection between academic advising, student success, and the delivery of our degree programs. Read more here.
April 12, 2022
Over the past few weeks, we have had the pleasure to recognize and thank our amazing faculty and staff who continue to serve this institution in incredible ways. Not only are our colleagues doing exceptional work in support of the mission of this institution, many of them are doing it by committing decades of service to SJSU! I found both events incredibly inspiring and uplifting. Read more here.
April 5, 2022
I want to thank everyone for your input into the process for choosing an Interim Dean of the College of Social Sciences. Through conversations with the department chairs, the college staff as well as a survey that saw a very strong response rate, many comments reflected the need for prior “experience” in administrative leadership as well as someone who is “transparent” and “approachable” and is willing to “walk the halls” and listen to people. In addition, numerous comments reflected the need to have someone in the interim role who can help maintain the forward momentum already present within the college. Read more here.
March 18, 2022
In the Fall of 2020, I asked a group of faculty, staff, and students to come together to think about new ideas related to honors education. Called the (un)Honors Task Force, that group came up with a number of ideas, which were refined over the summer of 2021. Read more here.
March 3, 2022
Yesterday’s Spartan Service Celebration was an amazing opportunity to celebrate the many wonderful staff we have on this campus. In our division alone, staff have collectively over 1,000 total years of service to our SJSU community! I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around that fact. Read more here.
February 17, 2022
I write today with news that Walt Jacobs, the dean of the College of Social Sciences, has accepted a position as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at California State University, East Bay. Walt will begin his new job on July 1. On behalf of the entire division, I want to extend Walt congratulations on his new role! I look forward to working with Walt on the system’s council of provosts starting next summer. Read more here.
January 28, 2022
Spring 2022 is officially underway! I hope this email finds you well and safe. Thanks to everyone for temporarily pivoting from face-to-face to remote teaching following Interim President Perez’s announcement about delaying in-person instruction. I know everyone continues to feel incredibly stretched both on and off campus, as we wait for the latest COVID-19 surge around Omicron to dissipate. I hope this is the last major wave, but we have all learned that our realities can still change week-to-week. Read more here.
Fall 2022 Academic Affairs Town Hall for Staff
August 12, 2022
The Fall 2022 Academic Affairs Town Hall with staff hosted by Provost Del Casino was held as a live, virtual event. Erlinda Yanez, Department Analyst for the College of Social Sciences, moderates the Q&A with pre-submitted questions as well as live questions from the SJSU community.
(un) Honors College Task Force Presentation
May 14, 2021
A presentation by the (un) Honors College Task Force. The charge of this Task Force was not to come up with “the model” of honors but to present multiple possible pathways for programming at SJSU. If you would like to watch the full youtube video that was played during the presentation you can find it at https://youtu.be/Hofw35n2iww
Spring Academic Affairs Town Hall with Provost Del Casino
March 22, 2021
The Spring Academic Affairs town hall of 2021 with Provost Del Casino was held as a live, virtual event. Alison McKee, Vice Chair of the Academic Senate, moderates the Q&A with pre-submitted questions as well as live questions from the SJSU community.
Second Academic Affairs Division Town Hall with Provost Del Casino
September 2, 2020
The second town hall of 2020 with Provost Del Casino was held as a live, virtual event this year. Ravisha Mathur, Chair of the Academic Senate, moderates the Q&A with pre-submitted questions as well as live questions from the SJSU community.
First Virtual Town Hall with Provost Del Casino
May 21, 2020
The 2020 Town Hall with Provost Vin Del Casino was held as a live, virtual event this year. Shaun Fletcher, assistant professor of public relations, moderates the Q&A with nearly 300 pre-submitted questions as well as live questions from the SJSU community.