Stephen Weber walking at a graduation ceremony.
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CSU Celebrates the Life of Stephen L. Weber


Former president of San Diego State University passes away at 82.

Stephen Weber walking at a graduation ceremony.

​Photo courtesy of San Diego State


The California State University (CSU) commemorates the life of former San Diego State University President Stephen L. Weber, who passed away on March 17, 2024, due to complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He was 82. ​

Weber was the seventh president of San Diego State University from 1996-2011, leading SDSU through a time of growth and national prominence.  

Through Weber’s creativity, strong work ethic and dedication to his students, the university experienced notable increases in diversity, student support services and academic excellence. Of note during his 15-year tenure, SDSU led the nation in improved graduation rates, with the percentage of students who graduate in four years growing from 38% to 66%, and pioneered programs for military and low-income, first-generation students. Additionally, Weber helped successfully advocate for a state bill that authorized the CSU to offer independent doctoral programs. Today, SDSU offers more than a dozen doctoral degrees. 

The university also saw growth of its physical space with several new buildings brought online during Weber’s tenure, including the Arts and Letters Building and the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center. Research and philanthropic support also increased, with more than $1.1 billion secured in external research and development funding between 2000 and 2011.  

“Dr. Weber leaves a rich legacy at San Diego State, and the positive impact of his service will span generations,” said CSU Chancellor Mildred García. “Under his visionary, principled and compassionate leadership, the university made extraordinary gains in student success, enhanced access for students from all backgrounds, elevated its athletic program, inspired philanthropic support and forged vital community relationships that continue to this day. San Diego Stateand the CSU more broadlyare more vital and impactful institutions for his extraordinary service.” 

Weber had a profound influence nationally, serving as chair of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Board of Directors in 2002 and on the board for AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) from 2011-2020. He also sat on the boards of The Peres Center for Peace and Student Veterans of America.    

He was an engaged supporter of student-athletes and was instrumental in the formation of the Mountain West Conference in 1998. He served on the NCAA Board of Directors, NCAA Executive Committee, NCAA Subcommittee on Gender and Diversity Issues, the Presidential Oversight Committee for the Bowl Championships Series and the Board of Directors of the Mountain West Conference, which honored him with the Dr. Albert C. Yates Distinguished Service Award. 

Weber joined San Diego State after a year as interim provost for academic affairs at the State University of New York system. Before that, he served eight years as president of SUNY’s Oswego campus. He also held the positions of vice president of academic affairs at St. Cloud State in Minnesota, dean of arts and sciences at Fairfield University in Connecticut and was an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Maine. 

A native of Boston, Weber earned his bachelor's degree in philosophy from Bowling Green State University and his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame.​