Santa Clara University


Landscaping of the Alameda, closed to traffic in 1989, was completed in 1994. Photo courtesy of the Santa Clara Magazine.


The Leavey School of Business in the 1990's 

The decade started off with new leadership—James. L. Koch, fifth dean of the Leavey School of Business, took the helm in 1990. Under his direction, plans were drawn up for major improvements to Kenna Hall, which had not been renovated in 25 years. Between 1991 and 1994—during an economically difficult time—more than $1.5 million in contributions earmarked for technology and facilities improvements enabled the business school to outfit classrooms and labs with state-of-the-art computers and computer peripherals, a project that was completed in early 1994. 

The core curriculum that was established during the 1980s was expanded upon during the Nineties, requiring the inclusion of international and technological dimensions of the contemporary world. A new business school curriculum, both for undergraduate and MBA, was also put into place in 1993 and 1994, respectively. 

Above: President
Paul Locatelli, S.J.

“We must educate for a global society, which means gearing our curriculum to international issues,” wrote then-President Paul Locatelli, S.J. in the Fall 1990 issue of the Santa Clara Magazine, “We must educate for a multicultural society, which many business executives and educators are saying is the key to our future; we must educate for technological and communication innovation as we move further into the information age; we must educate for ethical decision making across all walks of life and work.” 

In 1996, Barry Z. Posner was named the sixth dean of the business school. A best-selling author, popular speaker, and management scholar, Posner and his faculty leadership teams added depth to business curriculum with initiatives designed to bring Silicon Valley to campus and strengthen the quality and reputation of faculty scholarship. Among these efforts were: 

• The quarterly Leavey Lecture and Santa Clara Leadership Lecture series, where more than one hundred business leaders, from Nobel laureates and Fortune 500 CEOs, to Scott Adams (author of the Dilbert) and high-tech innovators such as Mozilla’s Mitchell Baker shared their experiences and insights with SCU’s undergraduate and MBA students. 

• The Accelerated Cooperative Education (ACE) program, introduced in Fall 1998 for high-achieving first-year students. Receiving a Dean’s Scholar stipend, ACE students participated in leadership seminars, were mentored by Silicon Valley executives at such companies as Hewlett-Packard, and held internships at Silicon Valley companies. 

• The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), launched in the summer of 1998 under the direction of Marketing Professor Al Bruno, was a response to student interests and the needs of the Silicon Valley business community which eagerly sought students with new ideas and innovative thinking to staff start-ups of all kinds. 

• The Executive MBA program, initiated in Spring 1999 as a fifteen-month program, was designed for participants averaging fifteen years of experience. Completing intensive coursework involving case studies, panels, team projects, and one-on-one conversations with executives from Silicon Valley’s top firms, students worked with real-time problems of high-tech companies. 

• The Certificate of Advanced Accounting Proficiency (CAAP) program, intended to provide the accounting education needed to sit for the CPA, was also launched in 1999. 

Above: Seven of the nine University chair-holders are
pictured here in 2000, including the business school's
André Delbecq.

In addition to improved programs and curriculum, the business school added multiple endowed chairs. “The gift of an endowed professorship has many beneficiaries,” said President Locatelli, S.J. “For the University, it is a lasting tribute that appreciates in value. For the faculty member, it is an opportunity for stimulating teaching and scholarly recognition. For the students, it is a gift of top-quality teaching. For the donor, it is a permanent recognition of generosity and a signal of confidence in the University’s future and in the young people who will become tomorrow’s leaders.” In 1990, seven endowed chairs existed to recognize the great work of Leavey School of Business faculty. That number grew to twelve by the end of the decade recognizing long-time supporters and friends of the Business School Robert and Barbara McCullough, Stephen and Patricia Schott, Gerald and Bonita Wilkensen, Mario Belotti, and William T. Cleary. 

“The Leavey School of Business, at the heart of Silicon Valley, vibrates with the same dynamism that pulsates throughout our region’s companies,” wrote Dean Barry Posner at the end of the decade. “Our students and alumni, our faculty and distinguished friends keep pace with the extraordinary energy and imagination of Silicon Valley.” 

By tapping into this energy, the business school prepared to enter the new millennium with a new mission: to develop men and women of competence, conscience and compassion who provide leadership in the technologically advanced and rapidly changing global environments of the twenty-first century. 

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