President Mary A. Papazian walking with SJSU students.

Leading the Transformation

President Papazian’s leadership is defined by a belief that shared decision making and collaborative university governance is at the core of our culture. With this inclusive approach as a guide, she and SJSU’s leadership promote discussion and engagement among faculty, staff, students and the community to shape and accomplish the university’s goals. “It has been so refreshing to see just how many people on campus and in the community share our values and are eager to be part of a greater good,” says President Papazian. “That is the tone we set as leaders, and the kind of individuals I look for when building a team.”

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SJSU students leaping in celebration

The Latest from President Papazian's Blog

While the month of May traditionally means blooming flowers and the onset of summer and warmer months ahead, it has even more special meaning to those of us in higher education. But, while the public health crisis we find ourselves in prevents a traditional, in-person commencement ceremony for the time being, the recognition itself goes on with our Spring Class of 2020 Graduate Recognition Websites, which launch this Friday, May 22.

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The President's Story

President Papazian is a seasoned academic leader who brings an impressive portfolio of achievement and success to her position. In this Q&A featured in SJSU’s Washington Square, learn more about her background, influences, upbringing and the signature events in her life that helped shape her as a leader and person.

Women and Leadership

President Papazian is featured in a series of profiles on CSU's inspiring women leaders. Learn how she is leaving her mark at SJSU and influencing a new generation of trailblazers.

A Strong Supporter of Community

A recent video, produced for the East Side Union High School Foundation to honor her work with the Spartan East Side Promise, explores President Papazian's campus leadership and demonstrates her commitment to our community.


SJSU graduates cheering at Avaya stadium.

Transformation 2030: SJSU’s Strategic Plan

San Jose State is ready for big changes. Our faculty, staff and administrators are dedicated to realizing the university's potential as a nationally prominent urban public university.

SJSU students at commencement.

Student Success

President Papazian has said that our core mission at San Jose State is educating a diverse student population for professional success and engagement in our democracy. “Student success is an attitude. It is a way of life, a mindset, a standard operating principle for all of us at San Jose State,” she said in her 2019 Fall Welcome address.

Students and professor conducting research.

Research and Innovation

Growing our investment in research, scholarship and creative activities (RSCA) is one of President Papazian’s many priorities. Learn more about our approach to RSCA and how it is directly tied to student success and to supporting our faculty and staff in creating a dynamic intellectual environment so critical to higher education.

Downtown San Jose.

Community Engagement

San Jose State University is the city’s anchor institution, one that brings expertise, vibrancy, diversity, and energy to the city, its downtown core, and all of Silicon Valley. President Papazian and her leadership team know that strategic, purposeful and thoughtful community engagement with a variety of collaborators and partners benefits the university and our students.


Presidential directives and memos address campus/university policies, issues and various topics.


The SJSU Academic Senate is the principal agency for the formulation of University policy. The Senate and its committees communicate recommendations to the President on such matters that are relevant to the welfare of SJSU.