More than 200 faculty and staff members came together to reminisce and thank Weber for his service.
Remembering a Presidency
President Stephen L. Weber hugs a staff member during his farewell open house.
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Fifteen years ago, Stephen L. Weber joined the San Diego State campus as its seventh president.
On Thursday, April 14, more than 200 SDSU faculty and staff came together to reminisce and thank Weber for his service during the All-University Farewell Open House in the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center. Dipak Gupta, political science professor, recalled when Weber joined SDSU in 1996 and how different the university was then.
“The worst of days turned into the best of days,” Gupta said.
“Those were the days of turmoil at SDSU. The walls built around the construction site in the middle of the campus were full of inflammatory graffiti. The campus was facing its worst financial crisis; the possibilities of layoffs and abolition of entire departments were hovering over all of us like a low-hanging cloud.
“The demoralized community faced its true test of resolve when three of our colleagues were shot dead. That is the time when Steve Weber stepped in. He listen to the aspirations and apprehensions of everyone and shaped our future in a way where those days have become part of faded memory.”
A thankful university
Others, like James Tarbox, director of SDSU Career Services, highlighted the role Weber and his wife, Susan, played over the years.
“I would like to thank Dr. and Mrs. Weber for their unfailing commitment to excellence, to access and to diversity — their leadership in these areas inspires me, and I am sure all staff, to make our university a place of learning and hope for current and future students, and alumni,” Tarbox said.
Building a community
Many noted Weber’s ability to rally the campus community together — whether in times of fiscal crisis, or in simply promoting shared governance.
“President Weber's leadership is responsible for SDSU's unique position in relation to the other CSU universities in meeting the challenges of the current fiscal crisis,” said Cezar Ornatowski, rhetoric and writing studies professor and an SDSU representative to the California State University-wide Academic Senate.
“The capital campaign is one of many examples of initiatives that will serve SDSU in the long run in the face of prolonged crisis in funding for public education.”
Instructional Technology Services Director James Frazee noted Weber's leadership, “I am very grateful for President Weber's approach, indeed commitment, to shared governance and participative decision-making. He has been extremely inclusive.”
Like others, Frazee also noted the change the university had experienced during the Weber presidency.
“Thanks in many ways to President Weber's leadership, the public reputation of San Diego State has never been higher. Whether it is tied to our excellence in teaching, research or community service, today, SDSU is seen as a national and international leader. I believe this is because of his strategic focus and steadiness or discipline that kept us coming back to a limited number of high-priority goals.”
Share more memories
To read more memories and thoughts about Weber’s presidency, or to submit your own, visit the Presidential Transition website at sdsu.edu/transition.