Message from the President

As this newsletter “goes to press,” I shall be in India visiting businesses, cultural sites, and Jesuit schools with friends of the University, some of whom have ties to the country. This trip follows on the heels of a few days spent in Washington, DC attending sessions with Congressional delegations on Capitol Hill, meeting with presidents from the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), and celebrating a special alumni event honoring Secretary Leon Panetta and Secretary Janet Napolitano. It was a very full few days with much to report back in the coming weeks.

In this message I wish to share a few highlights from my State of the University address, which I delivered to the campus community in February and is now available online. Reflecting on our accomplishments and opportunities, we are an institution of great momentum, and we have ample evidence of our mission-driven activities that reflect that momentum. One area is that of information technology and how it is affecting higher education. At Santa Clara, we have launched several pilot projects that leverage technology to enhance teaching and learning. To name a few, the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics just launched the University’s first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), offering a course in business ethics. Our newly formed Faculty Collaborative for Teaching Innovation has implemented initiatives with collaborative classrooms, mobile technologies, and in ongoing conversations with Apple. Without jeopardizing the student-focused and personalized education we have come to expect at Santa Clara, faculty and staff are spearheading projects that adapt technology to provide the best instruction possible for our students. Critical to the implementation and assessment of these projects will be investigating how enhanced technology fits within our Jesuit tradition of student-centered pedagogy. We will not compromise the best of our heritage; rather we will build on the opportunities before us so as to strengthen it.

In the area of research and our impact on public policy, over a year ago the Ford Foundation funded a research project to explore how Jesuit colleges and universities serve undocumented students. Fairfield University, Loyola University of Chicago, and Santa Clara partnered in this study. Our participation continued our University's long commitment to assisting undocumented students. The Ford Foundation funded this and other research to ground its public policy recommendations concerning undocumented immigration. As part of my trip to DC last week, I was present with the Santa Clara delegation of students and faculty along with other AJCU delegations when we met with Congressional leaders for the presentation of this research and associated recommendations. As President Obama and the Congress tackle the issue, I am pleased that Santa Clara has contributed to possible solutions that are humane and just. Such research provides the nitty-gritty work required to help our nation live up to its highest ideals.

These are just a few examples of growth and dynamic education that matter greatly to me. We are using the latest technology, the most recent research, the best training in our respective fields to build a more just, humane, and sustainable world. We have created momentum here, and we acknowledge these indicators of success at Santa Clara.


Michael E. Engh, S.J.