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January 2010 Update

Friday, Jan. 15, 2010

Humanitarian Crisis in Haiti

The humanitarian disaster underway in Haiti calls out to us to respond in prayer and action. At this time, the most important need is for financial contributions. Many agencies, including Catholic Relief Services, Jesuit Refugee Services/USA, and Partners in Health, are accepting donations. Please visit Campus Ministry’s Disaster Relief website for some donation sites. I encourage you to be as generous as you can given your own circumstances.

Please keep the people of Haiti and all the relief workers in your prayers.

Enrollment for 2010-2011

Special Thanks go to the admissions team during this critical time of year in the application review process. The prospects for the Class of 2014 are very promising – combined, the Early Action and Regular applicant pools number 11,696, a 14% increase over last year. I am pleased with and proud of the hard work and dedication that Mike Sexton and his team have put into this process.

Search for Vice President for University Relations

I am happy to announce the formation of the search committee for the Vice President for University Relations. The committee will begin the important work of finding a successor to Jim Purcell, who will be stepping down after 13 successful years as Vice President. Jim has agreed to assist in the transition of his successor.

The members of the search committee are Paul Gentzkow (trustee), Michael McCarthy, S.J. (faculty), Godfrey Mungal (faculty), Fred Smith (staff), Charmaine Warmenhoven (trustee), Patricia Boitano (regent), and Bob Warren (administration), who will serve as chair. The new Vice President for University Relations will lead the University in building relationships and strategically positioning us for the next capital campaign. Thanks to the Faculty Senate Council and the Staff Senate for recommending faculty and staff representatives to the committee.

Sustainability and Climate Neutrality

This January, Santa Clara completed another milestone in our obligations as a signatory to the American College and Universities Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).

When Santa Clara signed the Climate Commitment in 2007, we recognized the need to “model ways to eliminate global warming emissions, and to provide the knowledge and the educated graduates to achieve climate neutrality.” On January 15, the Office of Sustainability submitted Santa Clara University’s “Climate Neutrality Action Plan.” As a Jesuit and Catholic University, we have the responsibility to provide leadership in developing a more sustainable way of living. This action plan is another manifestation of our ongoing efforts.

The solar panels installation and our newly-instituted Zipcar program on campus are other concrete examples of how we are incorporating renewable energy sources and reducing carbon emissions in everyday operations. I commend the Office of Sustainability and University Operations for spearheading these initiatives.

Budget Preparation

A few words about the budget for 2010-2011. On February 12, the Board of Trustees will review the proposed budget as put forward by the Trustees Finance Committee. Soon after the Trustees meeting, I will inform the University community of the outcome. The Trustees Finance Committee, Bob Warren and his team, and the University Budget Council have tackled many challenging financial questions in light of current economic conditions. I appreciate the complexities of the issues at hand and want to reassure you of Santa Clara’s fiscal stability.

Of Many Things

To continue with the integration of Jesuit School of Theology (JST) and SCU, our Board of Trustees meeting on February 12 will include a special joint meeting with the JST Board of Directors. This will be an opportunity to convene both boards at the same time to hear a progress report on integration.

Thanks to the Office of Marketing and Communications, the new President’s Office website is now available. My hope is that many people visit the site and gain deeper knowledge about SCU and our work.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the many coffee sessions with faculty and staff over the last few months. The openness of our conversations has been especially welcome. I look forward to the remaining sessions for this quarter and will alert you to additional sessions when they are scheduled in the Spring.

What’s ahead…

I close with a calendar of a few events on the near horizon:

  • January 21 – Faculty Coffee Session
  • January 29 – AJCU Presidents Meeting, Washington, DC
  • February 10 – Staff Coffee Session
  • February 12 – Meetings of the Board of Trustees and the JST Board of Directors
  • February 24 – Staff Coffee Session
  • February 24 – State of the University Address
  • February 25-March 1 - Alumni Events in New York City and Boston

 Michael E. Engh, S.J.

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