SF State News {University Communications}

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Perea named university dean for social justice initiatives

October 7, 2008 -- San Francisco State University has named Jacob Perea university dean for social justice initiatives, a new administrative position that will oversee efforts to promote access and equity on campus. Perea moves to this new position after 12 years as dean of SF State's College of Education.

Photograph of Jacob Perea, appointed university dean for social justice initiatives at San Francisco State.

Dean Jacob Perea

"In our most recent strategic planning process -- a grassroots effort involving dozens of faculty, staff and students -- social justice and equity emerged as SF State's hallmark," President Robert A. Corrigan said. "As University Dean, Jake Perea will help us take our signature values forward, rooting them even more deeply in all that we do."

Perea will work closely with Corrigan, administrators, faculty and staff to establish best practices that integrate the values of access and equity into teaching, research and all aspects of campus life.

"While social justice is already extremely important to this University, we still have more to learn," Perea said. "I will be consulting faculty and staff across the board and proposing a model that will institutionalize social justice on campus. The goal is to recognize differences, deal with them without fear, and make that practice common place at SF State."

Of Mexican American and Mescalero heritage, Perea has had a long career as a teacher, educator and activist. He joined SF State in 1977 as a professor of administration and interdisciplinary studies in the College of Education and he went on to co-found the Step to College program, a high school intervention that encourages disadvantaged students to attend and remain in college. As dean of the College of Education since 1996, Perea has increased the diversity of the college's faculty, recruiting more women and people of color.

In his new role, Perea will build on his efforts to create an environment where people of diverse backgrounds truly understand each other. "People say that society is now colorblind and it's just not true," Perea said. "I will be asking how we can ensure that faculty understand their students and the experiences that they bring to class, and also how can we develop the students' understanding of who they are in relation to each other."

"Jake Perea was the obvious choice to lead this new office. He is known and respected across campus as a moral leader, a person of deep commitment and unquestioned integrity," President Corrigan said.

Perea has received numerous awards for his community work, including a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Speaker Nancy Pelosi for his outstanding and invaluable service to the community. He is a board member of the Friendship House of American Indians, where he has served recovering adults for the past 14 years. Perea is also a Board Trustee of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy where he sits on the Crissy Field Education Committee. In addition, he has served as a member of the Latino Education Advisory Committee, a San Francisco Unified School District taskforce that supports struggling students from the city's Mission district and Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood.

Perea will assume the role of university dean for social justice initiatives in January 2009 and will report directly to the president. A national search for the dean of the College of Education will begin later this month. In the interim, Associate Dean David Hemphill will be acting dean.

-- Student writer Kate Post with Elaine Bible


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