Santa Clara University


Santa Clara University

Strategic Plan 2001

Proud of its past and confident in its future, Santa Clara University celebrates its 150th anniversary during the 2000-2001 academic year. This sesquicentennial year also marks the fifth year of a strategic planning process that has sharpened Santa Clara's focus, heightened its vitality, laid the groundwork for increased external support, and augmented its recognition as a Jesuit university with a special mission and role in our society.

The strategic plan adopted by the Board of Trustees in May 1996 and updated in February 1998 proposed a general set of directions and initiatives that has served Santa Clara well. This second update of the strategic plan reaffirms the goals of the previous versions while incorporating some editorial changes and placing greater emphasis on the following priorities: education for citizenship, the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning, the expansion of residential learning communities and community-based learning programs, and support for faculty members in their work as teaching scholars.

The essence of the plan lies not so much in the words on paper as in a frame of mind and an orientation to action. As Father Paul Locatelli said in his 1995 convocation speech, what is important is a process and culture of thinking and acting strategically, more than the drafting of lengthy plans. It is ensuring consistency between what we say about ourselves and who we are and what we do at every level of the University.

Three themes pervade the plan and invite our continuing commitment: excellence, distinctiveness, and connectedness.

  • In the words of the Statement of Purpose, excellence challenges us to ensure rigorous and imaginative scholarship; excellent teaching in and out of the classroom; and educational programs designed to provide breadth and depth, to encourage the integration of different forms of knowledge, and to stimulate not only the acquisition but also the creative and humane use of knowledge.
  • We are challenged by distinctiveness to honor our heritage as a Catholic, Jesuit institution, to promote and exploit our particular strengths, and to take advantage of the unique cultural, social, and geographical opportunities afforded by our region.
  • Connectedness challenges us to bridge different forms of knowledge, to educate the whole person, and to relate what we know to what we do. Connectedness also invites us to unite heterogeneous segments of the University community and to ally the University with the broader society we serve.

Three directional statements complement the existing Statement of Purpose and Guiding Principles. These three statements describe the kind of university we hope to become (Strategic Vision); our core purpose and the constituencies we serve (University Mission); and the beliefs we must live out if we are to be successful (Fundamental Values). If we are to exercise what these statements require, we must examine Santa Clara's strengths and weaknesses unflinchingly and commit ourselves to closing any gaps between ideal and reality. Our success in doing so will enable us to achieve national recognition as a distinctive university of exceptional quality.