Santa Clara University

Office of the President

President's Updates

  •  Monday, Mar. 17, 2014

    Santa Clara Participates in Mazatlán Forum

    Santa Clara University is jointly sponsoring an academic forum in Mazatlán, Mexico with El Colegio de Sinaloa on March 27-29, 2014.  Intended to build collaboration between the United States and Mexico, the Mazatlán Forum considers the social, political, and economic assumptions at work in our respective cultures. This year’s forum has as its theme “Technology and the Future(s) of Education: U.S. and Mexican Perspectives” and will provide new opportunities for interdisciplinary and international collaborations in the area of technology and higher education at the individual and institutional levels.

    Twelve representatives from Santa Clara, including faculty, administrators and trustees, will participate as panelists, program coordinators, and guest speakers. Among them are SCU trustee and founding sponsor of the Forum, Agnieszka Winkler. Howard Charney, SCU trustee and Executive Vice President at Cisco, will offer the closing keynote address. Provost Jacobs will welcome participants on behalf of Santa Clara University.  Pedro Hernandez Ramos, Associate Professor, Department of Education, and Diane Jonte-Pace, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, are serving as program coordinators for the Forum. Several faculty across multiple disciplines will give presentations in panel discussions.

  •  Monday, Mar. 17, 2014

    Earlier this year, the President’s Staff forwarded to the Benefits Committee a proposal for an additional tuition benefit for employees. Under consideration is a financial benefit to be used for any post-secondary institution for up to four years. It is designed to accommodate students who are interested in a two-year program or who would prefer to transfer from a two-year program into a four-year degree program. This benefit would be in addition to the other tuition benefits currently available. The Benefits Committee is currently exploring such options.

  •  Monday, Mar. 17, 2014

    Founder's Day Mass, March 19

    On Wednesday, March 19, at noon in the Mission Church, the University community will celebrate our annual Founder's Day Mass to commemorate the establishment of our school. Traditionally, Santa Clara commemorates March 19, the Feast of Saint Joseph, as the day in 1851 when John Nobili, S.J., took possession of Mission Santa Clara as a Jesuit parish and future educational enterprise. Fr. Nobili, our first president, opened the doors to Santa Clara College in May of that same year. At this liturgy we welcome all to join together in prayer for Santa Clara University.

  •  Monday, Mar. 17, 2014

    Search for Vice President for Administration and Finance

    As we prepare for Bob Warren’s retirement in December 2014, I have convened a search committee to conduct the search for the Vice President for Administration and Finance. The members of the committee are John Ottoboni (chair), Amy Connell (staff), John Del Santo (regent), Sal Gutierrez (trustee), Ellen Kreitzberg (faculty), Nick Ladany (administrator), Molly McDonald (staff), Lorraine McGriff (staff) Betsy Rafael (trustee), Hersh Shefrin (faculty), John A. Sobrato (trustee), and Robert Scholla, S.J. (Jesuit Community).  I thank the UCC for providing me with the names of possible faculty and staff to serve on this search, and I am grateful for those who have accepted.

  •  Friday, Mar. 14, 2014

    Petition to Maintain Cal Grant Funds

    Dear Members of the Santa Clara University Community,

    In a recent op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, “Cal Grant cuts will cut into California's future,” I made the case that the proposed cuts to the Cal Grant program will hurt California and young people of this state. Today, I ask that you join me in encouraging our lawmakers to make no such cuts to this important program. The Cal Grant program serves low-income students across California, and to give some perspective, 547 students, or 10% of our undergraduate student body, at Santa Clara University receive Cal Grant funds.

    I invite you to consider signing an online petition addressed to the governor and legislature, requesting that Cal Grant funds remain intact. You can access the petition by visiting directly or by visiting and clicking on the link to sign the petition.

    For more information, read the op-ed in the March 11 Los Angeles Times here, and below.


    Michael E. Engh, S.J.

    Cal Grant cuts will cut into California's future

    By Michael E. Engh, S.J.
    March 10, 2014

    Since 1955, California has provided a vital funding bridge to higher education for needy students. I know about this firsthand. It was only because of the state's Cal Grant program that I was able to attend college at what is now Loyola Marymount University, and many students at Santa Clara University, where I am president, are benefiting from the grants today.

    But the Cal Grant program, which has provided funding for more than 2.3 million students in the state since it was launched, is in jeopardy.

    The 59-year-old program has always been a partnership between the state and its public and private colleges and universities, and that partnership has greatly expanded opportunities for the youth of this state. It has allowed students from low-income families to attend higher education institutions of their choice, whether they opted for a public university like UCLA or San Jose State University, or a private one like Loyola Marymount or Santa Clara.

    That parity for public and private institutions was an essential part of the whole Cal Grant program, which was originally devised specifically to help enable qualified California high school graduates to attend private, nonprofit institutions if they so chose, rather than public ones. But that kind of choice is in jeopardy because of cuts to the Cal Grant awards available to students who choose private schools over state schools.

    Over the last decade, the amount of grants offered to students attending private institutions has been severely eroded by inflation. More recently, state budget cuts have slashed the maximum award to such students by 6%. And for the 2014-15 school year, things will be even worse: Incoming students at private, nonprofit universities will face an additional 11% cut, which will bring the maximum grant to $8,056, the lowest in 16 years.

    The cuts to Cal Grants were a shortsighted patch to the state budget when the economy was in dire straits. By making it possible for students to attend private institutions as well as public ones, the grants have reduced enrollment pressure on California's public colleges and universities. Not only does the state save by not having to subsidize these students in its public schools, but it also doesn't have to build additional campuses to accommodate more students.

    California needs more well-trained workers, not fewer, if its economy is going to grow, and California's public universities alone won't be able to meet the demand. A recent report by the Public Policy Institute of California estimates that by 2025, California will be short 1 million college-educated workers. These workers not only are essential to the state's labor pool, but they also buy things from California businesses, pay local and state taxes, and go on to create more jobs. Cutting Cal Grant opportunities to needy students now is almost certain to harm the state in the future.

    Ultimately, cutting Cal Grants is cutting opportunity and equity for California's young people. The program is integral to low-income students and their families. All California families pay taxes to support this program, and if their children have financial need, they should have access to the program's benefits, whether they choose to attend a public or a private institution.

    In his State of the State address in January, Gov. Jerry Brown noted that California's economy is recovering and that the budget is in surplus. The state certainly needs to be prudent in its spending, but investments in educating Californians will produce excellent returns.

    Attending Loyola was what allowed me to achieve my California dream of becoming a teacher, an academic and a priest. Brown and the Legislature should act to ensure that today's youth have the same opportunities to turn their dreams into reality.

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