Santa Clara University


Provost's Office News & Events


Provost's Office News & Events

Provost's Office News & Events

  •  Implementation Committee on Advancing Contemporary Theological Studies, Education, and Ministry

    Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015

    Goal 4 of the Integrated Strategic Plan states: Santa Clara University will become one of the nation's leading universities advancing Catholic theological studies, education, and ministry.

    A previous advisory committee for Goal 4 identified a number of strategies to support this aspiration— including the establishment of scholarships and an endowed professorship—which have been incorporated into the campaign priorities. I have gathered a team of faculty and staff, some of whom also served on the earlier Goal 4 advisory committee, to consider additional ways of pursuing this goal by building on new, unanticipated developments, such as the release of the Pope’s encyclical, Laudato Si, that has sparked a global conversation about environmental justice.   

    I have appointed an implementation committee charged with the further development of plans for Goal 4. The committee includes:

    • Jerome Baggett – Professor of Religion and Society, Jesuit School of Theology
    • Alison Benders – Associate Dean, Jesuit School of Theology
    • Marco Bravo – Associate Professor, Department of Education
    • David DeCosse - Director of Campus Ethics Programs, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics (Co-Chair)
    • David Gray – Chair and Associate Professor, Religious Studies Department
    • Stephen Johnson – Director of Character Education, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and Senior Lecturer, Department of Education
    • Gary Macy – Chair: John Nobili, S.J. Professor of Theology, Religious Studies Department and Director, Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries
    • Lisa Millora – Senior Assistant Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Provost’s Office Relations, Provost’s Office (Co-Chair)
    • Paula Mitchell – Director of Catholic Education Partnerships, Department of Education
    • Lucila Ramos-Sanchez – Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Counseling Psychology
    • Theresa Ladrigan-Whelpley – Director of Bannan Institutes, Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education 

    The committee will: (a) examine the changing environment in theological studies, education, and ministry; (b) identify opportunities based on an understanding of SCU’s strengths, location, and interests; (c) develop proposals for specific initiatives and resources requirements; and (d) consult with stakeholders throughout the process. The committee will submit its recommendations in May 2016.


  •  STEM Planning

    Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015

    In the coming weeks, STEM faculty and staff will be engaged in conversations about the STEM program developed by HOK, the consultant that worked with the University on STEM visioning and programming. A core team that includes the deans of the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Engineering and leaders of the STEM Steering Committee will lead the program validation phase with the help of an outside consultant.

    For more information about the STEM planning work that will be undertaken over the 2015-17 academic years and the four committees that will lead those efforts, please see the Provost’s Update issued in summer 2015.

  •  Innovation Discussions

    Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015

    In response to the Academic Affairs UPC’s recommendation to improve alignment between academic and signature programs with respect to innovation, a group of faculty and staff will begin to meet quarterly to promote communication and collaboration across the College of Arts and Sciences, the Leavey School of Business, the School of Education and Counseling Psychology, the School of Engineering, and the School of Law, along with the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship and the Provost’s Office.

    One proposed initiative under exploration is the establishment of a platform to house and incubate new start-up ventures involving SCU alumni, students and faculty. A planning group is working to inventory and integrate existing campus programs; to consult with faculty, staff, and students to identify existing needs; and to clarify next steps. The planning group includes:
    • Paul Abbayad, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
    • Caryn Beck-Dudley, Dean, Leavey School of Business
    • Sanjiv Das, Professor, Department of Finance
    • Chris Kitts, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Associate Dean, School of Engineering
    • Kevin Kraver, Director of Business Development, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship
    • Lisa Millora, Senior Assistant Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Provost’s Office Relations, Provost’s Office
    • Laura Norris, Director, Entrepreneurs' Law Clinic
  •  Academic Integrity Pledge and Related Initiatives

    Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015

    Santa Clara University is implementing an Academic Integrity pledge as part of an effort to enhance its long-time commitment to integrity of all kinds – and to academic integrity in particular.  The pledge, to be affirmed by students, was designed to deepen the understanding of and commitment to honesty and academic integrity throughout the various communities in which students participate.  

    The Academic Integrity Pledge states:

    "I am committed to being a person of integrity. I pledge, as a member of the Santa Clara University community, to abide by and uphold the standards of academic integrity contained in the Student Conduct Code."

    The Pledge was initially proposed by Santa Clara students after they conducted extensive research on honor pledges at other colleges and universities. The Academic Integrity Pledge was approved in 2014 through the University governance processes after discussions with faculty, staff, and students, culminating in a recommendation to the Provost by the Academic Affairs University Policy Committee.  The pledge has been incorporated in the Student Conduct Code in the Student Handbook, and will be affirmed by students in signing ceremonies in Residential Learning Communities and other locations.

    Faculty are encouraged to incorporate the pledge into syllabi, exams, and class discussions. 

    Piloting the Pledge

    During 2014-15, 35 faculty and approximately 1500 students participated in pilot project involving the use of the academic integrity pledge in classrooms and on syllabi. Assessment of the pilot resulted in several notable findings including the following:

    • Use of the pledge “created new opportunities for student reflection and support for developing a stronger culture of academic integrity.”
    • Faculty members play a very important role in developing and reinforcing a culture of academic integrity.

    The assessment report is forthcoming.

    Other current initiatives related to Academic Integrity include the following:

    • Enhancing Education about Academic Integrity: An informal working group led by Jennifer Nutefall, University Librarian, is collaborating with the Office of Student Life in reviewing and/or creating tutorials or online modules designed to reduce plagiarism and to educate students and faculty about appropriate and inappropriate collaborations. Faculty and students will be invited to pilot these tutorials in the coming months.
    • Reviewing the University’s Adjudication and Appeal Process: A task force appointed by the University Coordinating Committee will be reviewing and updating the University’s procedures for adjudication and appeals related to allegations of violation of academic integrity. Task force members include: 
      • Matthew Duncan - Associate Dean for Student Life
      • Tyler Krueger, Law Student
      • Hohyun Lee - Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering 
      • Kathleen (Cookie) Ridolfi - Professor, Law School
      • Austin Smith - Chief Justice of Student Court, Associated Student Government
      • Manuel Velasquez - Charles J. Dirksen Professor Business Ethics, Management
    • Receiving and Investigating Reports of Violations:  The Office of Student Life (OSL) continues to encourage faculty to report violations of academic integrity. The OSL investigates reports of violations and recommends non-academic sanctions. Assistant Deans Jeffrey Baerwald and Lester Deanes, can be contacted with questions. The University’s current Academic Integrity policy and a flowchart summarizing the process of reporting, investigation, sanction, and appeal, is available online
  •  Unity 4

    Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015

    In late May 2014, students from the Unity 4 group presented a formal proposal to the University administration detailing concerns about campus climate. On June 15th, Father Engh offered an initial response

    Efforts are underway on many fronts to begin addressing the compelling concerns articulated by the group.  These include regular discussions between Unity 4 representatives and senior administrators; the display of posters in every classroom to explain how students can report bias incidents; the establishment of a Bias Incident Response Team; and a new orientation initiative to introduce all first-year students to the responsibilities of being a member of a Jesuit community.  Please be on the lookout for additional updates including an opportunity for students, staff and faculty to attend the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in San Francisco this May.

    The formal Unity 4 proposal and response documents can be found online.

  •  Classroom Spaces

    Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015

    The University is continuing to increase the number of classrooms on campus.  

    • Guadalupe Hall: Opened in fall 2015, Guadalupe Hall provides the University with 14 classrooms for graduate education (including Education, Counseling Psychology, and Engineering), and helps relieve classroom pressure on the main campus
    • Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building: Opening in fall 2016, the Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building will feature fifteen classrooms, studios, and lab spaces. Ten of the learning spaces will replace existing classrooms and studios in the old Fine Arts Building, and five will be new classrooms that are additions to the University’s inventory.

    • Fine Arts Building: The old Fine Arts Building will be renovated to yield 4-6 classrooms, a few lab spaces, and some office spaces available for use from fall 2016 to the completion of the STEM complex.

    • Charney Hall of Law: In fall 2017, the University will finish construction on the new home for the School of Law. The University will then be able to recover twelve classrooms in Bannan Hall and add them to the general inventory.

    At the same time, two classrooms on campus will be eliminated to create enhanced informal living and learning spaces. Dunne Residence Hall will be renovated and Kennedy Commons will be removed in summer 2016. The removal of Kennedy Commons will create open space between Walsh-McLaughlin, Dunne, and Swig Halls. Originally intended as a shared space for the Residential Learning Communities and as a learning laboratory to test sustainable building components, Kennedy Commons has served the University well: sustainable and cost effective elements have been incorporated into new construction across campus, and lessons learned from the Kennedy structure have led to improved community spaces within the RLCs.

    The  Advisory Committee to the Provost on Learning Spaces has recommended that the University prioritize the following principles in classroom design: 1. Visibility (to to ensure that students can see each other, the instructor, and any projections or monitors); 2. Environment (to ensure temperature and lighting conducive to learning) 3. Usable walls (multiple wall boards or writeable walls); 4. Adequate size (adequate space to facilitate diverse pedagogies); 5. Appropriate technologies and tech support; and 6. Alignment of pedagogy with design (for example, flexible classrooms with moveable chairs, desks or tables to support active learning).

  •  Mass of the Holy Spirit - Class Cancellation

    Wednesday, Jun. 24, 2015

    At the beginning of each academic year, the Santa Clara University community celebrates the Mass of the Holy Spirit. As a University community rooted in the Jesuit Catholic tradition, many of us call on the Spirit of God to be with us in all our works, activities, and endeavors. While the Mass is a Roman Catholic liturgy, we honor the diversity of faith perspectives within our community, and we welcome one and all to join in the celebration.

    This fall, the Mass of the Holy Spirit will be celebrated at noon on Wednesday, September 30, 2015, in the Mission Church. To enable the campus community to attend the Mass, classes will not meet between 11:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. that day. Classes that usually meet from 11:45 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. will be cancelled. Classes scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. will begin at 1:15 p.m.

  •  Open Forum on Faculty Compensation

    Wednesday, Jun. 24, 2015

    On May 27th, the Faculty Affairs Committee, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of Vice President for Finance and Administration sponsored an open forum on faculty compensation. Discussion topics included guiding principles for faculty salary planning, housing assistance, and implementation of salary adjustments for merit, promotion, market, and equity. The slides are available in the Faculty Affairs Committee’s shared drive.

  •  Welcome to New Deans

    Tuesday, Jun. 23, 2015

    Three new deans begin their terms of service this summer. Debbie Tahmassebi, former Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Chemistry at the University of San Diego, has been appointed Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Santa Clara University, effective June 15, 2015.

    Tahmassebi has served, at the University of San Diego, as associate dean of program development in the College of Arts and Sciences, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and special assistant to the Provost. Her contributions there included the development and support of new College programs and initiatives, oversight of assessment efforts, expansion of undergraduate research, and record growth in sponsored programs. In 2012-13, she was selected as an American Council of Education Fellow to work with President David Burcham at Loyola Marymount University. More information is available in the University’s official press release.

    Caryn Beck-Dudley, Dean of the College of Business at Florida State University, has been named Dean of the Leavey School of Business. Her appointment will begin on August 1, 2015. A well-established scholar in employment law and the design of ethical organizations, Beck-Dudley has served as dean of two major business schools over the past 13 years. At Florida State University she developed a compelling strategic plan for the business college, expanded its entrepreneurship and analytics programs, established novel programs for veterans, and led an ambitious fundraising campaign for a new building. With expertise across business, law, and ethics, Dean Beck-Dudley brings a remarkable record of strategic leadership, innovative program development, and fundraising success to the Business School. Her extensive experience will be invaluable as Santa Clara University enhances its engagement with Silicon Valley. More information is available in the University’s official press release

    Carol Ann Gittens, former Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, and associate professor in the Liberal Studies program, began serving as interim dean of the School of Education and Counseling Psychology on June 15, 2015. Gittens has directed SCU’s undergraduate pre-teaching advising program as well as the interdisciplinary minor in urban education. From 2007-2012, Gittens was founding director of SCU’s Office of Assessment. She held a leadership role in SCU’s efforts related to accreditation, established new methods of evaluating institutional effectiveness and student learning, and designed and managed a multi-year, assessment plan for the revised Core curriculum.

    A search for the next dean of the School of Education and Counseling Psychology is underway. Committee members include:

    • Ujala Akram (Assistant Dean for Marketing/Enrollment Management, ECP)
    • Marco Bravo (Associate Professor, Education)
    • Lisa Goldstein (Professor, Education)
    • Harold Hoyle (Lecturer, Education)
    • Peter Pabst, S.J. (President of Cristo Rey School in San Jose)
    • Teri Quatman (Associate Professor, Counseling Psychology)
    • Ed Ryan (Vice Provost for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness)
    • Jerry Shapiro (Professor, Counseling Psychology)
  •  Classrooms and Construction

    Tuesday, Jun. 23, 2015

    As announced in the Provost’s update in December 2014, new construction across the street at 455 El Camino (Guadalupe Hall) will provide 15 classrooms for the School of Education and Counseling Psychology and for Graduate Engineering. This will free up some general use classroom space for undergraduates and allow the University to create some new classroom space in the Engineering Center. The new Art and Art History building (scheduled to open in fall 2016) will provide 5 additional classrooms beyond the current total for general campus use. The Fine Arts building currently occupied by Art and Art History will be upgraded and maintained temporarily for classroom use until more classrooms are available through new construction.

    As you know, several classrooms have been designed or redesigned for greater flexibility and enhanced technology over the last three years.  Redesigned classrooms include Kenna 109 and 308; O’Connor 110, 204, and 210; Graham 163 and 164, Varsi 114,  Engineering 602, and Alumni Science 220.  (Varsi and the two Grahams were new classrooms). This summer three new classrooms will be created:  two in the former Frugal Innovation Lab and one in Engineering 101, the former Graduate Engineering Office. As we upgrade current classrooms and plan future classrooms to meet the University’s needs, the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Learning Spaces will continue to provide ideas and feedback on classroom needs and features. A complete list of the members of the Committee on Learning Spaces is online.

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