The interim president of San Jose State University has been named and will take on the role early next year.
On Monday, California State University Chancellor Joseph Castro appointed Stephen Perez to take on the interim position. Perez is provost and vice president of academic affairs and a professor of economics at Sacramento State. He will start the new role on Jan. 3, 2022 and will temporarily replace current SJSU President Mary Papazian, who is resigning next month following a sexual abuse scandal in the university’s athletics department.
Papazian is set to step down Dec. 21. Vincent J. Del Casino Jr., SJSU protest and senior vice president of academic affairs, will take the helm during the two-week transition period.
“From providing a transformational education to tens of thousands of students to serving as a cultural hub and an incubator for innovation, SJSU is driving the Silicon Valley and makes an impact that reverberates throughout the state and the world,” Perez said in a statement. “I enthusiastically welcome and appreciate the opportunity to work collaboratively with the dedicated students, faculty, staff, president’s cabinet and community to further increase the achievement of our talented and diverse students.”
Papazian congratulated Perez in a statement of her own.
“He has my full support, and together we will work toward seamless transition that helps ensure that the mission of SJSU will continue to move forward,” Papazian wrote.
Papazian announced her resignation following a major settlement between the school and the U.S. Department of Justice over its decade-long failure to address complaints about sexual misconduct by the former director of sports medicine, Scott Shaw. The university agreed to pay $1.6 million to female student-athletes who were sexually harassed. The school and federal investigators identified 23 individuals who Shaw inappropriately touched as recently as last year.
Students, as well as faculty and staff, are still waiting for answers on how the university failed to protect students for years, said Scott Myers-Lipton, a sociology professor and former student athlete.
“Will the new president have transparency for the faculty and the campus community about what just took place on our campus? We still don’t know the basic facts,” he said, referring to Papazian’s involvement in the scandal. To heal the community, there has to be transparency of those issues.”