SF State president speaks to University’s role in the future of San Francisco

Author: Kent Bravo
October 13, 2023
Two people sitting on a stage speaking to a crowd.

SF State President Lynn Mahoney (right) speaking on stage with San Francisco Business Times President and Publisher Mary Huss (left).

Lynn Mahoney attends San Francisco Business Times event, discusses how SF State fuels city's diverse workforce

What role do universities play in the future of San Francisco? San Francisco State University President Lynn Mahoney believes universities — including the one she leads — are critical to creating a diverse local workforce.

“About half of our students are first in their families to go to college. Eighty-four percent of our students are BIPOC. We look like the city [of San Francisco],” she said.

This was one of the many of thoughts President Mahoney shared yesterday at San Francisco Structures, an annual event hosted by San Francisco Business Times that focuses on the future of the city. It brought together local leaders, including San Francisco Mayor London Breed, at the St. Regis Hotel to answer important questions that will help shape the city’s economic recovery from the woes of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Breed opened the conversation with a keynote speech sharing her vision for San Francisco’s future that included elements of the city’s economic recovery roadmap. She also emphasized how the city is a hub of extraordinary talent.

“It’s because of the people in this room who are doing what they can every single day, not just to make their businesses successful, but to make our city the economic envy of the world,” Breed said. “This is the city of invention and innovation.”

After Breed’s speech, President Mahoney joined San Francisco Business Times President and Publisher Mary Huss on stage to discuss in depth how SF State is fueling the city’s workforce and economy.

One example President Mahoney gave is how San Francisco State has been a leader in graduating STEM students and preparing them for the workforce. She talked about how the University will open doors to its new Science & Engineering Innovation Center — a 125,000-square-foot building with state-of-the-art equipment and labs — once construction finishes in January 2024. President Mahoney said the building reflects the growing demand for programs offered by the University’s College of Science & Engineering. She also added that SF State is a key player in contributing to the city’s pipeline of civic and nonprofit leaders, creatives and activists.

In closing their conversation, Huss asked President Mahoney what businesses and the city could do to help SF State.

“I need you to all help us overcome the prestige bias that dominates conversations about education,” President Mahoney answered, calling on employers to consider graduates from California State University campuses like SF State. “Come to our campus, meet our students, come to our career fair, recruit our students. You will get the diverse pipeline of employees that I always hear you want.”