“President Emeritus Susan Martin Interim President of San Jose State University”

Well, here’s an interesting bit of news: from the email sent to EMU’s campus from VP of Communications, Walter Kraft:

To faculty, staff and students:

Eastern Michigan University President Emeritus Susan Martin was appointed Interim President of San Jose State University (SJSU) a short time ago. SJSU is one of 23 campuses that are part of The California State University system. The announcement was made by California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White and becomes effective August 18, 2015.

We are very pleased for Dr. Martin and her new opportunity, and congratulate her on the appointment. She had an outstanding impact at Eastern in her seven years of leadership and we wish her well as she moves on to the next phase of her career.

The rest of the press release is after the jump.

Goodness knows that I haven’t chatted with Sue about what’s up with this, but I would guess– and this is just a guess– two basic things about all this:

  • I bet she really is just a one year interim.  In fact, maybe SJSU decided to hire someone from the same “temp agency” for university presidents they hired between presidents a number of years ago at EMU– I can’t remember right now if it was between Fallon and Martin or between Kirkpatrick and Fallon.
  • I’m assuming that this means that Martin really is done with EMU at this point: that is, I’m guessing she isn’t doing something like taking a year’s leave from EMU and then coming back to campus as a professor. I’m also guessing that SJSU must be making her a pretty sweet offer for her to give up a year’s sabbatical on full salary.

The full announcement after the jump:

CSU Chancellor Appoints Interim San Jose State University President

**Susan Martin, Ph.D., takes the helm on August 18 **

(July 16, 2015) – Chancellor Timothy P. White announced today the appointment of Susan Martin, Ph.D., as the interim president of San Jose State University (SJSU).  Martin, the former president of Eastern Michigan University (EMU), is a seasoned higher education leader with extensive experience in managing large, diverse universities.   She will assume leadership of the campus on August 18.  Martin replaces President Mohammad Qayoumi who is leaving on August 17 to serve as the Chief Advisor for Infrastructure and Technology to Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani.

“Susan’s background and leadership style is a perfect fit for San Jose State,” explained Chancellor White.  “Her expertise complements campus, and she brings more than two decades of experience in leading strategic planning, overseeing and advancing capital projects, implementing campus safety initiatives and encouraging regional collaborations to improve college readiness and admission rates.”

Prior to her tenure as EMU president, Martin served as the provost and vice-chancellor of Academic Affairs at the University of Michigan – Dearborn.  She also spent 18 years at Grand Valley State University where she was a professor, department chair, program administrator, assistant and associate vice-president for Academic Affairs and the executive associate vice-president of Academic Affairs.

In addition to her extensive higher education experience, Martin brings impressive public sector leadership experience to SJSU.  She worked for many years in the Michigan state government as the Assistant Auditor General and was appointed by two governors to serve as the Deputy State Treasurer for local governments and the Commissioner of Revenue.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in public speaking from Central Michigan University and a MBA and Ph.D. in accounting from Michigan State University.

Trustees will be asked to approve Martin’s salary at their July 21 board meeting.  This fall, the Board of Trustees will initiate a national search for Qayoumi’s successor.

13 thoughts on ““President Emeritus Susan Martin Interim President of San Jose State University”

  1. Kinda weird, but she told me she was a candidate over a month ago. If she told me, she really didn’t care if it went public.


  2. Can we all just say “Way to go Sue Mar!”? She did a good job at EMU under VERY difficult circumstances. I have enjoyed working with her and would love to do so again.


  3. The other thing that occurs to me about it this morning is this might be one of those “too good of an opportunity to pass up” kind of deals. She’s certainly getting at least as much money from SJSU as she would get from EMU next year, probably more, and she’s certainly going to get a nice place to live in the form of the SJSU president’s house. And it’s kind of like “phased retirement” for a president since I am pretty sure this is a keep the seat warm/not a lot of heavy decision-making kind of position. So yeah, way to go Sue Mar indeed.


  4. President Matlock was between Kilpatrick and Fallon. Dr. Lopnow was interim between Kilpatrick and President Martin.


  5. It sounds like a pretty sweet gig. I’m glad she got this opportunity, and it would be awesome if she could parlay it into a permanent position. She has a lot of good qualities, both in terms of personality and skills/experience, that make her a good catch for any university.


      • Wow, that’s really unnecessary. If you have such a problem with her, you should be thrilled that she’s gone.

        You seem upset that she raised tuition- would you rather that she ignore her accounting training and experience and just have let EMU languish? With less state money, literally what was she supposed to do? Are you an accountant? Because I’d love to hear how you could have done better. No building improvements? No money available to hire and retain competent educators and staff? You can’t expect tuition to stay steady for years on end. Simple inflation makes that infeasible. If you’re upset with rising tuition, you should direct your ire to the state legislature, because their long-term trend of defunding higher education is more of a factor in shifting cost to students than anything Martin did. Did every dollar in her control go to projects I liked? No. But it’s not her fault that they’re being made to do more with less, and it’s not a poor choice to raise tuition as other universities have done in order to remain competitive. Not to mention, this most recent large increase seems like a calculated move to make a big increase and take the state funding penalty all at once, so later increases can be less and the school won’t have to take the penalty multiple times or risk having to take the penalty at a later date when legislators may have made good on their promises to make the penalty more significant. I fail to see how that’s a poor decision.

        Maybe you have other issues with her. Would you rather go back to the pre-Martin years where a murder on campus was covered up, resulting in a huge fine and massive hit to the school’s reputation? Would you like to return to the administration responsible for massive budget overruns to build a presidential house? Would you prefer a president who didn’t engage with the students? Do you just choose to ignore the significant increases in enrollment and quality of students that happened during her time?

        Your response suggests that you have some serious issue with Martin. I don’t know what that issue is, but she deserves respect for what she’s done for the campus. Being president of a university means balancing a lot of different competing interests, and I think she did so skillfully- and I say that as someone who thinks some of her priorities were out of order. Not everyone is always going to get everything they want, so it seems unreasonable to just say “excuse me while I puke” as if she was somehow a net negative for the school because she did something you don’t like. Grow the fuck up. Sure, I was unhappy with some of her decisions, but she was objectively a good university president and we should wish her well.


      • Aside from the EAA fiasco, her continued support of a football program students must subsidize with their increasing school costs, her drunken episode with alumni and her grand finale of raising tuition over 7%, she’ll be a “good catch”. Nice rant though. Must have lots of time on your hands.


  6. President Craig Dean Willis, 2004-2005 (post-Kilpatrick, ante-Fallon). Pretty straight forward man, but that was probably because he, like Martin will be, keeping the seat warm.


  7. Wow, she got an even sweeter deal than I thought she would:


    Basically, Martin is being allowed to interrupt her sabbatical and be on administrative leave next year, come back in June 2016 and resume her sabbatical, and then be a professor. What I don’t get is when that will happen– September 2016 or later than that?– and, if she decides in 2016 or whenever that she doesn’t want to come back then, will she have to repay EMU for the sabbatical? I ask because if a regular faculty person gets a sabbatical, they are obligated to work for EMU for an additional year; that person can’t take another job or retire.


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