SF State News {University Communications}

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News Release


Provost John Gemello announces plans to retire in 2009

Search committee will conduct national search to find replacement


SAN FRANCISCO, August 22, 2008 -- John Gemello, provost and vice president for academic affairs at San Francisco State University, today announced that he will retire at the end of the 2008-2009 academic year, following a long and distinguished career at the University.

“It has been a privilege to serve as provost and to work with such rich and diverse talent as we have at the University,” said Gemello, who joined SF State 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, when he was tapped for the newly created position of associate vice president for academic resources. He was appointed to the position of provost, the second highest position within the University, after a national search in 2003.

“John has one of the best minds and hearts of anyone with whom I have worked,” President Robert A. Corrigan said. “To the University, he has been a splendid academic leader, helping to shape SF State in ways that will endure for years to come. To me, he has been a valued colleague, advisor, and friend. Though I would have wished to be able to work with him for the rest of my time here, I am deeply grateful for the time we have had, and all that he has done to help make SF State a greater university.”  

During his tenure, Gemello focused on three priorities: implementing the University’s strategic plan, expanding and diversifying the tenure-track faculty and strengthening the graduate program. The strategic plan calls for quality programs that reflect the University’s core values of equity and social justice, as represented by its diverse faculty and the content of its intellectual programs. Having recruited half of the current faculty since 2000, he helped create an academic environment that supports the faculty’s pursuit of both teaching and scholarship. He was instrumental in moving key programs of the College of Business to the Downtown Campus, taking advantage of its proximity to the San Francisco business community. Under his leadership, SF State launched its first free-standing doctorate program in education and further developed a climate for community-based research that has yielded benefits for the Bay Area and the State of California.

San Francisco State now serves as a model for comprehensive public universities that are attempting to blend teaching and scholarship. “To be good at teaching requires being intellectually alive and active in the creation of new knowledge,” Gemello said. “We have strongly pursued faculty with distinguished records of scholarship who are civic-minded and have a strong desire to teach at the undergraduate and graduate levels. We are poised to take advantage of our unique position at this time in our history.”

A resident of San Mateo, Gemello 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 San Francisco State University, Gemello has taught at University of Toronto, Stanford University and University of California, Davis. He has also served as a consultant for public and private organizations, practiced as a forensic economist in state and federal courts, co-authored "Workbook for Macroeconomics" and written numerous papers and articles on economics, education funding and school finance.

A president-appointed committee will be convened  to conduct a national search for the next provost. 

SF State is the only master’s-level public university serving the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin. The University enrolls more than 30,000 students each year and graduates about 7,000 annually. With nationally acclaimed programs in a range of fields -- from creative writing, cinema and biology to history, broadcast and electronic communication arts, theatre arts and ethnic studies -- the University’s more than 140,000 graduates have contributed to the economic, cultural and civic fabric of San Francisco and beyond.

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