San Jose State president steps down

San Jose State University president Mohammad Qayoumi will leave his post next month to take up a presidential advisory position in Afghanistan, according to university officials.

Qayoumi, a native of Afghanistan, will step down as of Aug. 17 to take a position as chief advisor for infrastructure and technology to Afghanistan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, SJSU officials said Monday.

Qayoumi said in a statement that he has often served as an advisor in Afghanistan on economic, educational and infrastructure challenges since 2002:

“President Ashraf Ghani has asked for my immediate assistance and leadership in numerous infrastructure initiatives.”

A California State University system administrator since 1986, Qayoumi was appointed to the presidency at San Jose State in 2011 after holding a similar position for five years at California State University East Bay in Hayward.

California State University chancellor Timothy White said in a statement Qayoumi was leaving the university with:

“… a solid fiscal foundation and proud legacy of achievements. .. His laser focus on innovation, coupled with his tireless work in expanding the visibility of the campus within the technology sector, have advanced the campus’ stronghold in the region as a leading provider of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) graduates.”

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo thanked Qayoumi on Twitter Monday for his work.

The university will announce an interim president and launch a national search for Qayoumi’s successor, SJSU officials said.