March 21, 2003
After an eight-month national search, longtime SFSU administrator and faculty member John Gemello, who started his career at the University as an economics lecturer nearly 30 years ago, has been named provost/vice president for academic affairs. He becomes the University's second highest-ranking administrator.
Gemello begins the new post April 1. He has served as interim vice president for academic affairs for the last year.
"Dr. Gemello has the personal qualities and the track record that make him the outstanding choice for us. He knows this University deeply and loves it well," said President Robert A. Corrigan. "His 13 years of University-wide administration have given us repeated assurance of his sound judgment, creative approach to problems, and exceptional ability to draw academic leaders together to work in the University's best interest."
A San Mateo resident, Gemello joined SFSU in 1975 as a lecturer in economics, moving to a tenure track post in 1978 and achieving full professor status in 1986. He served as chair of the Economics Department from 1986 to 1989.
In 1989 he was tapped for the newly created position of associate vice president for academic resources, where he worked with deans, directors, members of the administration and the Academic Senate on instruction, curriculum development and instructionally related research. His mastery of the budget was key in the University's ability to effectively support classes, instructional faculty and academic programs. He remained associate vice president until May 2002 when he stepped in as interim vice president upon the resignation of Thomas La Belle.
"It is a privilege to be chosen provost of a university with such a rich history and an unbounded future -- a university that truly serves its diverse community," said Gemello. "I look forward to the challenges with great enthusiasm."
At a time of rising student enrollment and severe budget constraints because of California's fiscal crisis, Gemello will focus on three main priorities: expanding the number of tenure-track faculty, implementing the University's strategic plan and strengthening graduate programs.
Gemello has been instrumental in the development and implementation of the groundbreaking three-year program to add 80 new tenure-track faculty positions, the largest boost in teaching posts at SFSU in decades. The hiring program, created by allocating more than $4 million from money received for year-round operations, will increase the number of SFSU faculty members by 10 percent.
"San Francisco State University is at an exciting moment in its history. By next year about 40 percent of the tenured/tenure-track faculty will have been hired within the past seven years. Some departments are virtually re-creating themselves," he said. "Innovative programs in key new disciplines have been developed. We are entering into an era of great promise."
Gemello, 57, received his bachelor's degree in economics from Santa Clara University in 1967 and his doctorate in economics from Stanford University in 1974. In addition to his service at SFSU, Gemello has taught at Stanford University, University of California, Davis and the University of Toronto.
Gemello is married to Linda Marino Gemello, justice of the California First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco. They have two children, Matthew, 32, and Gina, 29, both of San Francisco.
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