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Super Sunday Blog

Fulfilling the University's Mission
San Jose State President Jon Whitmore
San Jose State President Jon Whitmore.

Though I've spent a lifetime in public higher education, attending, teaching and working on campuses from Washington to West Virginia to Texas, I have never experienced greater diversity than I've found at San Jose State. I'm a new president, having taken office this past July, and when I first visited SJSU at the time I was being interviewed for the job, I immediately recognized its diverse students, faculty and staff as a real asset. Not only are we at SJSU fulfilling our commitment to access, but also greatly enhancing our educational environment.

Although SJSU was recently ranked seventh in the nation in terms of ethnic diversity among colleges and universities conferring bachelor's and master's degrees, we know we can do better. Topping our list of priorities for the coming years is improving graduation and retention rates. It's vital we do everything we can to help students not just attend but complete their degrees in a timely manner if we're to truly fulfill our mission and mandate as a California State University committed to helping everyone succeed.

On a personal note, as the first in my family to graduate from college, I know the young people we help now will serve as role models for later generations. My wife Jennifer and I are so proud of our own children, Amy and Ian, students at the University of Iowa. It is for these reasons I was honored to participate in CSU's 2009 Super Sunday. By taking our message to African American churches throughout California, we firmly believe we're making it possible for more young people and their families to experience the opportunities higher education offers.

We are excited about building upon all the relationships initiated at Maranatha Christian Center in San Jose and look forward to reaching out to all young people with a future at San Jose State.

See previous blog entries in the archive.