Sawyer, Jeanne

Sawyer, Jeanne

Date Updated



School of Information Systems and Technology, Lucas College of Business

Academic Rank


Year Retired from SJSU


Facebook or Website URL


Educational Background

University of NC at Chapel Hill, Computer Science, Ph.D. 1990

University of NC at Chapel Hill, Computer Science, M.S. 1982

University of NC at Chapel Hill, Library Science, M.S. 1977

Duke University, Chemistry, B.A. 1974

Dissertation Title

A Reference and Planning Model for an Online Catalog

Teaching Experience

Lucas College and Graduate School of Business, School of Information Systems and Technology, San Jose State University, Lecturer. 2002-2019

University of California, Santa Cruz, Univ. Extension. Instructor. 1994-2005

Administrative and Professional Experience

The Sawyer Partnership, Principal. 1993-

Silicon Valley Small Business Development Center, Business Counselor. 2005-2011

Tandem Computers, Program Manager. 1989-1993

Triangle Research Libraries Network, Director. 1984-1988


Northern California Spelmanslag, President. 1997- 2021.

The Tech Interactive, Tech Challenge, Judge annually 2015-2021.

Selected Publications

Sawyer, J. (2004). Problem Solving. In (W. Davis Folsom, Ed.) Encyclopedia of American Business. New York: Facts On File Publishing.

Sawyer, J. (2002). Problem Solving Success Tips. Published in:

  • Business & Economic Review, Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina, April- June 2002.
  • The Quality Management Forum, ASQ Quality Management Forum, Fall 2001.
  • The Professional Journal, AFSMI, September 2001.
  • HDI News, Help Desk Institute, August/September 2001.
  • PM Globe, Project Management Institute, August 2001.
  • Supportgate, Service & Support Professionals Assoc., September 2001.
  • Newsletter, Baltimore Section, ASQ, Sept. 2002.

Sawyer, J. (2001). When Stuff Happens: A Practical Guide to Solving Problems Permanently. San Jose: The Sawyer Partnership.

Sawyer, J. (1998, December). Leveraging a Crisis. The Professional Journal.

Sawyer, J. (1997, April). Managing Yourself and Your Vendors to Avoid a Crisis. The Professional Journal, April 1997. Also in High-Technology Services

Sawyer, J. (1997, October-December). Partnership by Design. Business and Economic Review.

Sawyer, J. (1994. September).Stuff” doesn’t just happen: using the truth to prevent unwanted incidents and speed recovery. The Professional Journal.

Sawyer, J. (1994. February). Solving the Right Problem: Using Metrics Effectively. High-Technology Services Management. Also in The Professional Journal, February 1994.

Sawyer, J. (various dates). Problem Solving Tip-of-the-Month. Published periodically as a column at various times, for example in:

  • PM Globe (Project Management Institute, Silicon Valley Chapter),
  • HDI News (Help Desk Institute),
  • S-Business (AFSMI),
  • SSPA News (Service & Support Professionals Assoc.), et al.

Personal Commentary

I originally came to SJSU to fulfill a life-long career goal of teaching at the university level. In fact, creating that possibility was my primary motivation for earning a PhD. My expectation was that I would have a “regular” career in my field, information systems, and teach perhaps one class a semester. SJSU made that possible, and it worked perfectly for a while. However, I found that I got more and more drawn to teaching and working with students. The result was deeper involvement with SJSU, the LCoB and my school than I ever envisioned to start with. What drew me in was finding that SJSU students are generally both amazing and inspiring. So many are carrying heavy course loads, working to pay their own way and often supporting families as well—and still find time and energy to do much more than barely pass. It was a privilege to teach such students, and fun to work with them.

In retirement, I continue to assist SJSU students with guest lectures and coaching presentation skills when opportunities arise, but my primary focus is music and dance: Scandinavian folk music (I’m a fiddler and singer) and dancing, and classical choir singing with the San Jose Symphonic Choir. I continue as President of the Northern California Spelmanslag, a nonprofit organization to support Scandinavian folk music and dance in northern California. Retirement is also an opportunity for my husband and I to indulge our lifelong travel interests.

As I write this, in June 2020, things have gone a completely different direction than expected when I retired. The Covid-19 Pandemic has, of course, suspended the traveling and dancing, but technology has expanded the music opportunities. We’ll see what the future brings!


Sawyer, Jeanne