San Diego State University Oral Histories



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Dr. Stephen WeberDr. Stephen Weber, Former President

Dr. Stephen L. Weber graduated from Bowling Green State University with a B.A. in Philosophy in 1964, and completed his Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame in 1969. He then taught Philosophy at the University of Maine where he was tenured and won an award as outstanding humanities faculty member before becoming Assistant to the President. In 1979 he became Dean of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University. In 1984, Weber became the Vice President of Academic Affairs at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. Four years later, he became the President of SUNY Oswego before serving as the Interim Provost for the entire system of the State University of New York.

Weber arrived at San Diego State University in July 1996 to serve as its seventh President. Under his leadership, the university enjoyed a period of significant progress lasting 15 years, including greatly increased academic stature, student success, community engagement and fundraising.

One of San Diego State's numerous accomplishments under President Weber's tenure was SDSU's ranking as the top research university in the nation among schools with 14 or fewer Ph.D. programs for four consecutive years from 2007-2010. San Diego State led the nation in improved graduation rates that reached a record high by 2010, increasing 74.2 percent since 1996. Private donations rose sharply, as did grants and contracts awarded to faculty and staff. Acclaimed programs were established in partnership with urban high schools in San Diego, in order to increase the college-going rate of students. SDSU became recognized as one of the nation's most military-friendly universities. In 2005, the MTS trolley station opened on campus, reducing traffic and parking issues throughout San Diego.

Dr. Weber retired in 2011. He  left behind an impressive legacy that will positively affect generations of Aztecs and community members to come.

Oral History

Download the PDF transcript (with edits by Dr. Weber).

Dr. Weber's oral history documents his early life, education, and career, particularly as President of San Diego State University, until his retirement in 2011. The oral history consists of two parts. Part 1 includes Dr. Weber's recollections of childhood, family, education, and meeting his wife Susan.

In Part 2, Dr. Weber reflects on his 15-year tenure as SDSU's seventh president, an unprecedented presidency that many considered an era of excellence.

Interviews recorded digitally by Susan Resnik, Ph.D on May 6, 2011 and June 9, 2011.

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