San Jose State University president announces resignation

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – San Jose State University President, Mary Papazian announced her resignation at the end of the fall semester.

This comes after she’s faced criticism of her handling of a sexual abuse case with former student-athletes. 

The case resulted in a $1.6 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice to the alleged victims in this case.

Some of the students here on campus say they received the letter that the university’s president sent out on Thursday. However, many weren’t aware of all that led up to this.

Meanwhile, San Jose State alumni say this is something they’ve been following for years now and hope this brings some sort of closure to the alleged victims in this case.

This comes two weeks after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice found that the school mishandled its own investigation and failed for more than a decade to respond to reports of sexual abuse by its former Director of Sports Medicine, Scott Shaw.

Papazian’s tenure as president began in 2016, nearly seven years after the first allegations from swimmers and divers surfaced that Shaw inappropriately touched them.

San Jose State alumnus and former athlete, Brian Stuckey, says he’s disappointed in the school and its leadership for not acting sooner. 

While Papazian launched a new investigation in 2019, when Shaw was still on staff, the DOJ said the investigation fell short and made minimal efforts.

One of the attorneys representing 15 of the SJSU former student-athletes responded to the resignation on Thursday saying: 

“From the very beginning, the brave women we represent have fought to make sure that no future SJSU student-athlete will ever have to face the same violations they did—violations of their bodily autonomy, their rights, and their trust. President Papazian’s resignation indicates that, after over a decade, SJSU’s administration may finally be prepared to accept accountability and begin the process of reform and remediation.”

In Papazian’s letter, she said she would “continue to participate in and support the ongoing external title ix procedural investigation and investigations surrounding former SJSU Director of Sports Medicine Scott Shaw.”

Papazian will leave the university at the conclusion of the semester on December 21.

Shaw also resigned in August 2020. 

He hasn’t been criminally charged however the FBI is currently conducting a criminal investigation into the allegations against him that remains open.

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