Dusel, William John (1917-2007)

Dusel, William John (1917-2007)

Date Updated



English and Administration

Academic Rank


Year Retired from SJSU


Educational Background

Stanford University, 1956 Ph.D.

Stanford University, 1940 MA

Stanford University (Phi Beta Kappa), 1938 AB

Menlo College, 1936 AA

Teaching Experience

San Jose State University, 1970-1980

San Jose State College, 1947-1956

Los Gatos High School, 1946-1947

U.S. Army Air Force, 1942-1946

Sonora High School, 1940-1942

Menlo College, 1938-1939

Administrative and Professional Experience

San Jose State College: Assistant to the President, 1956‑57;

College Vice President, 1957‑67;

Executive Vice President, 1967‑70.

San Jose State University: Coordinator, Credential Programs in English, 1970‑1980.

Selected Publications

"Determining an Efficient Teaching Load in English," Illinois English Bulletin (1955).

"English Classroom U.S.A., English Journal (Special Supplement, June 1957).

"A Grade in English‑‑What Does It Mean?" California Journal of Secondary Education (January 1957).

"How Should Student Writing be Judged?" English Journal (May 1957).

"In‑Service Education for the Language Arts," Educational Administration and Supervision (March 1955).

"Planning the Program in Writing," English Journal (September 1956).

New Directions in English (Harper and Row, 1971). Composition Sections, 7 and 8.

Personal Commentary

The most important stage of my life of almost 80 years began after my graduation from Stanford University in 1938. I married a beautiful and loveable fellow‑student I met in a class called "Literature of the Romantic Period," and I accepted a teaching position at Sonora High School. My new job assignment was temporarily interrupted by enlistment in the Army Air Corps and assignment as instructor in mathematics, physics, and meteorology at a number of pre‑flight training centers across the country.

At War's end I returned to civilian life and to teaching‑‑this time at Los Gatos High School, where I taught English, physics, and business law as well as coached debating and directed the publication of the year book. In 1947, I was offered a job at SJSU by president T. W. MacQuarrie, teaching English composition and supervising student teachers in the public schools. My doctoral research at Stanford into the teaching of writing led to national recognition by the National Council of Teachers of English and to the presidency of the California Council of Teachers in English.

In 1956, I was offered a chance to become the first "Assistant to the President" in the State College system. I accepted, and for the next 13 years, through the successive administrations of John T. Wahlquist, Robert Clark, and Hobert Burns, I chaired top­ level committees, wrote reports to the State Department of Education, and acted as responsible man‑in‑charge during the president's absence. For these duties, and others, I was given several new titles‑‑College Vice President and later University Executive Vice President.

In 1980 I accepted the "Golden Handshake" from the State of California and retired early, at the age of 63. Free at last to devote full time to revive old interests, I enrolled in college courses in sculpture, metal casting, drawing, jazz piano and band, and organized musical groups to play for shut‑ins at senior centers, convalescent hospitals, and day‑care centers.

In 1993, to permit my wife to enjoy some of the fruits of retirement too, we sold our country estate of 34 years, and moved into a retirement home, The Terraces of Los Gatos. It's a good life here at The Terraces for both of us.

Date Completed: 10/96

Adapted from: Biographies of Retired Faculty San Jose State University 1997: A Project of the Emeritus Faculty Association of San Jose State University. San Jose, CA: The University, 1997.


Dusel, William John (1917-2007)