Persky, Phillip(1923-2008)

Persky, Phillip(1923-2008)

Date Updated



English, Counseling (as Foreign Student Advisor)

Academic Rank

Professor of English

Year Retired from SJSU

1986 (1991 from FERP)

Educational Background

Stanford University, 1959 Ph.D.

University of Kansas, 1950 MA

University of Kansas, 1948 BA (Phi Beta Kappa)

Teaching Experience

San Jose State University, 1964-1986

Civil Service Institute, Enugu, Nigeria, 1964-1966

San Jose State University, 1962-1964

University of Rome, 1960-1962

San Jose State University, 1953-1960

Selected Publications

Last: Editor, "Letters of Margery Bailey" (of Stanford University), San Jose Studies, 17 Winter, 1994), 4‑110.

Personal Commentary

I taught at SJSU for 29 years as Professor of English and served as well as Foreign Student Advisor (in Counseling Services), where the international student population grew from 20 when I first became advisor to over 1200 when I retired. I was instrumental with Thomas Coke in getting a Foreign Student Office established on campus and for the Departments of English, History, and Political Science to offer specialized courses to foreign students for academic credit. I taught a variety of English classes abroad: University of Rome under a Fuibright Scholarship (1960‑62); Civil Service Training Center in Enugu, Nigeria, under a Ford Foundation Grant (1962‑64); and from 1981‑93 on various South Pacific Islands (Saipan, Ponape, and Palau) where SJSU had a Pacific Islands Program. From 1993 through 1996 I have been a volunteer teacher of English to Russian emigrants in an ESL program developed by Jewish Family Services.

Among my greatest satisfactions while at SJSU was getting to know and to work with the many foreign students who came to study; to work with Alan and Phyllis Simpkins in developing the International House; and in being able to teach courses of special interest: history of English drama and Shakespeare. My mentor for this interest was the great teacher at Stanford: Dr. Margery Bailey.

Having been at SJSU during its "kinder, gentler" years, I have always been grateful that the university had made it possible for me to teach and work abroad for nearly five years of my tenure.

Date Completed: 5/96

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.


Persky, Phillip(1923-2008)