President Papazian: ‘I look forward to hearing about and even visiting in the future’

Max Bickley – General Assignment Reporter

In an email to students and faculty last week, President Mary Papazian announced that starting July 1, she will no longer be president and has accepted the position as president of San Jose State University in California.

President Papazian was hired at Southern in December 2011, which at the time of her induction, was a much different school from what it is today.

“I came in at a time of heavy instability in Southern’s history. We were just out of the recession, barely, and had a change of leadership for the school,” said Papazian. “For the first six months I drove from Northern Jersey to Southern. But, even though there was some difficulty I felt at home right away.”

And for the past four years, Southern has been a home to Papazian. Since then, there have been a number of changes such as the opening of the Office of STEM Innovation and Leadership, working through the Academic Accreditation for Southern, and many more. Though with time also comes hardship, which Papazian has also worked through.

“Within my first months and year at Southern, it was a challenge,” said Papazian. “Not only did I need to get to know everyone and how the university operated, but I also needed to work with, and help Southern through an evolving system.”

Papazian said that over the course of her presidency, one of the successes, “has been the growth and strengthening of the community, both in Southern, and externally. We’ve worked, not only to create the opportunity for both faculty and students to pursue their academic interests, but also to establish internships and other resources for the community.”

Although she has decided to depart from Southern for San José State University, that does not mean Southern will be forgotten. In her four years here, Papazian said she has taken away valuable lessons which she will bring to San José State University.

“What I learned best from my time here at Southern, is that to truly be successful, we need to focus on the mission of the school to create opportunity for not only the faculty, but also the student body to grow, no matter what,” said Papazian. “No matter what challenging times we face, what difficulties we encounter, we focus on the mission.”

Papazian said she made her decision to transfer to San José State University based on a few matters.

“Southern is a school that is on the upward path,” said Papazian, “and the West Coast is where I am from, born and raised, and most of my family lives on the West Coast. While I will miss Southern, it will also be a chance to be closer to my parents and siblings, while also seeing what good can be done at San José.”

Although Papazian will be traveling to a university across the country, she said she wants the Southern community to know that her time here was memorable.

“Southern is a very special place,” said Papazian. “It has a rich past and an even richer future. I look forward to hearing about and even visiting in the future.”

Photo Credit: Dylan Haviland – Arts & Entertainment Editor 



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