Santa Clara University

Office of the President

President's Updates

 
 
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  •  Friday, Mar. 14, 2014

    Petition to Maintain Cal Grant Funds

    Dear Members of the Santa Clara University Community,

    In a recent op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, “Cal Grant cuts will cut into California's future,” I made the case that the proposed cuts to the Cal Grant program will hurt California and young people of this state. Today, I ask that you join me in encouraging our lawmakers to make no such cuts to this important program. The Cal Grant program serves low-income students across California, and to give some perspective, 547 students, or 10% of our undergraduate student body, at Santa Clara University receive Cal Grant funds.

    I invite you to consider signing an online petition addressed to the governor and legislature, requesting that Cal Grant funds remain intact. You can access the petition by visiting http://chn.ge/1hZ7L1P directly or by visiting www.studentsfirstalliance.org and clicking on the link to sign the petition.

    For more information, read the op-ed in the March 11 Los Angeles Times here, and below.

    Sincerely,

    Michael E. Engh, S.J.
    President


    Cal Grant cuts will cut into California's future

    By Michael E. Engh, S.J.
    March 10, 2014

    Since 1955, California has provided a vital funding bridge to higher education for needy students. I know about this firsthand. It was only because of the state's Cal Grant program that I was able to attend college at what is now Loyola Marymount University, and many students at Santa Clara University, where I am president, are benefiting from the grants today.

    But the Cal Grant program, which has provided funding for more than 2.3 million students in the state since it was launched, is in jeopardy.

    The 59-year-old program has always been a partnership between the state and its public and private colleges and universities, and that partnership has greatly expanded opportunities for the youth of this state. It has allowed students from low-income families to attend higher education institutions of their choice, whether they opted for a public university like UCLA or San Jose State University, or a private one like Loyola Marymount or Santa Clara.

    That parity for public and private institutions was an essential part of the whole Cal Grant program, which was originally devised specifically to help enable qualified California high school graduates to attend private, nonprofit institutions if they so chose, rather than public ones. But that kind of choice is in jeopardy because of cuts to the Cal Grant awards available to students who choose private schools over state schools.

    Over the last decade, the amount of grants offered to students attending private institutions has been severely eroded by inflation. More recently, state budget cuts have slashed the maximum award to such students by 6%. And for the 2014-15 school year, things will be even worse: Incoming students at private, nonprofit universities will face an additional 11% cut, which will bring the maximum grant to $8,056, the lowest in 16 years.

    The cuts to Cal Grants were a shortsighted patch to the state budget when the economy was in dire straits. By making it possible for students to attend private institutions as well as public ones, the grants have reduced enrollment pressure on California's public colleges and universities. Not only does the state save by not having to subsidize these students in its public schools, but it also doesn't have to build additional campuses to accommodate more students.

    California needs more well-trained workers, not fewer, if its economy is going to grow, and California's public universities alone won't be able to meet the demand. A recent report by the Public Policy Institute of California estimates that by 2025, California will be short 1 million college-educated workers. These workers not only are essential to the state's labor pool, but they also buy things from California businesses, pay local and state taxes, and go on to create more jobs. Cutting Cal Grant opportunities to needy students now is almost certain to harm the state in the future.

    Ultimately, cutting Cal Grants is cutting opportunity and equity for California's young people. The program is integral to low-income students and their families. All California families pay taxes to support this program, and if their children have financial need, they should have access to the program's benefits, whether they choose to attend a public or a private institution.

    In his State of the State address in January, Gov. Jerry Brown noted that California's economy is recovering and that the budget is in surplus. The state certainly needs to be prudent in its spending, but investments in educating Californians will produce excellent returns.

    Attending Loyola was what allowed me to achieve my California dream of becoming a teacher, an academic and a priest. Brown and the Legislature should act to ensure that today's youth have the same opportunities to turn their dreams into reality.

  •  Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014

    Santa Clara Earns National Recognition for Global Education

    I am pleased that Santa Clara received national recognition for our global education program. In the report, 2013 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, published by the Institute of International Education (IIE), Santa Clara ranked nationally in three categories:

    • No. 8 among Leading Master's Institutions for the total number of students studying abroad on mid-length (one quarter/semester) programs (305 students). Nationally, 41.2% of US students who study abroad do so for a duration of nine weeks or more.
    • No. 28 among Leading Master's Institutions hosting the greatest number of International Students (943 students). Nationally, California is the state that receives the highest number of international students.
    • No. 40 among leading Master’s institutions in the total number of Study Abroad students (398 students).
  •  Monday, Feb. 24, 2014

    Board of Trustees Meeting, February 14, 2014

    The Board of trustees voted on and approved several action items at their winter meeting on February 14. As you know, one of the actions was the decision on the appeal submitted by the Faculty Senate. The full decision was emailed by Bob Finocchio, chair of the trustees, to all faculty and staff shortly after the meeting.

    The board also approved a balanced budget for 2014-2015, which I am pleased to report includes a merit pay pool of 3% for faculty and staff. This is very good news, especially given that this represents an increase in the merit pool over the last few years. I am grateful to the budget and finance team for their work in preparing a fiscally sound budget.

    In other actions, the board elected a new trustee, Wim Roelandts ‘04 Hon. A veteran of the Silicon Valley tech industry, Mr. Roelandts served as president, CEO and Chair of the board at Xilinx. He and his wife, Maria Constantino-Roelandts, have been staunch supporters of Santa Clara, and we are grateful to Mr. Roelandts for joining the board.

    The board also approved the conferral of degrees on those students who have completed their course of study for commencement in June.

    The meeting included presentations by Provost Dennis Jacobs, Jim Lyons, Vice President for University Relations, and Michael Weiler, S.J., Provincial of the California Province of the Society of Jesus. Provost Jacobs gave an update on the Integrated Strategic Plan, and Jim Lyons presented on planning for a capital campaign. Father Weiler briefed the trustees on developments in the Province and in the Society across the country. He facilitated a very engaging conversation with the trustees, sharing with us his insights and encouragement.

    In other reports, Judith Martinez, president of the Associated Student Government, updated the trustees on student activities on campus; Juliana Chang, president of the Faculty Senate Council, reported on faculty issues; and Kirk Syme, chair of the Board of Regents, gave an update on the work of the Regents since the fall.

  •  Monday, Feb. 24, 2014

    What's Ahead on My Calendar

    • February 26 - President’s Office Open House
    • February 27 - “Lunch with an Administrator”
    • February 28 - Town Hall Meeting
    • March 1 - Cardinal’s Award Dinner, Los Angeles
    • March 5 - GTU Council of Presidents Meeting
    • March 8 - Golden Circle Theatre Party
    • March 10 - “Lunch with an Administrator”
    • March 17 - Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Dinner, Los Angeles
    • March 19 - Founder’s Day
    • March 19 - Silicon Valley Leadership Group Quarterly Meeting
    • March 20 - L.A. Santa Claran of the Year, Los Angeles
       

     

  •  Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014

    19 February 2014

    Dear Faculty and Staff,

    At the State of the University address this afternoon, I announced the creation of a dynamic website that provides details about Santa Clara 2020, the University's new Integrated Strategic Plan. By integrating the University's enrollment, facilities, and strategic plans in an unparalleled fashion, it honors our historical mission while building upon our core strengths and opportunities.

    I encourage you to explore the website and visit it periodically to learn about all efforts, large and small, to advance the vision and strategic directions of Santa Clara 2020. In addition, I invite you to attend one of the town hall meetings scheduled on the following days when the Integrated Strategic Plan will be presented and discussed with the campus community. 

    Town Hall #1
    Tuesday, February 25 from 12:15-1:30 p.m.
    Location: Recital Hall

    Town Hall #2
    Friday,February 28 from 11:45 a.m.-12:50 p.m.
    Location: Recital Hall

    Town Hall #3
    Monday, March 3 from 3:30-4:45 p.m.
    Location: Williman Room

    Town Hall #4
    Thursday, March 6 from 12:15-1:30 p.m.
    Location: Kennedy Common

    I hope you will attend one of the town hall meetings and explore the website to learn more about Santa Clara 2020.

    Michael E. Engh, S.J.
    President

     

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