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April 2010 Update

Tuesday, Apr. 20, 2010

Off-Campus Student House Fire

This past Sunday, we received the difficult news that a fire broke out and destroyed an off-campus student residence early Sunday, April 18. Fortunately, no one was injured; however, the students lost all their possessions – some students had only what they were wearing when they left the house. The University has responded quickly in providing meal tickets, basic school supplies, and university housing to the displaced students. Student Life is also mobilizing a gift card collection drive so the students can purchase clothing, shoes and other incidentals. If you are able, I encourage you to donate gift cards to places like Target, Kohl's, or JC Penney. The Office of Student Life in Benson 205 is prepared to receive and distribute donations of gift cards directly to the students. Many thanks to the Student Life staff for their service to our students in this time of need. This is yet another example of our community's willingness to act compassionately amidst adversity.

Student Achievements

Last week I had the privilege of attending the DeNardo Lectureship Recognition Dinner honoring the DeNardo Science Scholars, DeNardo Senior Prize winner, and their faculty mentors. Thanks to our benefactors Gerald and Sally DeNardo, the Science Scholars program supports the undergraduate research experience of outstanding science students with Santa Clara University faculty mentors. The Senior Prize in Science Research recognizes outstanding research accomplishment by a Santa Clara University undergraduate pursuing a career in the health sciences.

Congratulations go to graduating DeNardo scholar Michael Hayes; continuing scholar Fernando Meza-Gutierrez; our newest scholar Guy Hotson; and DeNardo Senior Prize winner Timothy Butler. With the guidance of faculty mentors Steven Suljak, Leilani Miller, John Birmingham, and Justen Whittall, and the support of the DeNardo's, these students represent the best of undergraduate research in health sciences.

International Conference on Jesuit Higher Education

On April 22-24, 2010, Jesuits and colleagues in Catholic, Jesuit higher education from around the world will gather for a conference with Father Adolfo Nicolas, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, at the Universidad Iberoamericana, the Jesuit University in Mexico City. Archbishop Jean-Louis Brugues, O.P., secretary for the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education, will also be addressing the conference participants.

The title of the conference is "Networking Jesuit Higher Education for the Globalizing World: Shaping the Future for a Humane, Just, Sustainable Globe." Its purpose will be to link Jesuit higher education globally to better serve students, society and the Church. Topics will include Catholic, Jesuit identity and mission, theology and culture, ecology, and poverty. One outcome is to establish a global network to continue addressing global challenges together through the internet.

This will be the third international conference - 1985 and 2001 - when colleagues of Jesuit higher education from around the world gathered with Father General to improve the content and quality of Jesuit higher education and now to network better. For more information, check out the conference web site .

Several representatives from Santa Clara will be attending the conference with me. Paul Crowley, S.J., has authored a paper for discussion on Jesuit Theology, Scientific Culture and the Challenge of Climate Change, while Ron Hansen, the Gerard Manley Hopkins S.J. Professor in English, and Steven Saum, editor of the Santa Clara Magazine, will be covering the conference for the magazine.

In memoriam - Lisa Telford

As many of you know, our community mourned the loss of one of our graduate students earlier this month. Lisa Telford, an SCU alum and a graduate student in Counseling Psychology, died unexpectedly on April 7. Lisa would have completed her studies for a master of arts in Counseling Psychology this spring. To honor her, Santa Clara will be awarding her degree posthumously at the Graduate Commencement ceremonies on June 11. I am grateful for our community of compassion that shared in Lisa's loss. In particular, I think of the care and concern that the faculty, staff and students of the Counseling Psychology Department have shown in supporting Lisa's family and her memory.

University Planning

As I communicated to all faculty and staff last week, Phase I of the Capacity Study is now complete. The results of the study will be used to model different scenarios of faculty size and composition, faculty utilization, and institutional needs, among other variables. The modeling will inform the feasibility of reaching our goals and aspirations.

The Provost is hosting open meetings for faculty and staff to hear the presentation on the Phase I results as briefed to the Planning Action Council on April 13. The open meetings will be held on:

  • Wednesday, 4/21/10 – 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., Saint Clare Room (Harrington Learning Commons)
  • Thursday, 4/22/10 – 1:00-2:00 p.m., 106 Lucas Hall
  • Thursday, 4/22/10 – 5:00-6:00 p.m., 106 Lucas Hall

The Phase One study will be reviewed also by the deans, the WASC Teaching Scholar Model sub-committee, the Faculty Senate Council, the President's Staff, and the Board of Trustees at their June meeting. Final editing of the Strategic Plan and its metrics will take place over the summer, and the revised documents will be returned to the Trustees for adoption at their October meeting.

Faculty Affairs

At the recent Faculty Senate Council meeting, the council reviewed recommendations regarding changes to the Faculty Handbook. The Faculty Affairs Committee put forward the recommended changes after lengthy and substantive discussion over the course of a year or more. One set of proposed changes relates to the status of lecturers, senior lecturers and adjunct faculty appointments. Another set includes recommended handbook changes relating to the Jesuit School of Theology. I am looking forward to hearing progress on these matters in the coming weeks.

What's Ahead on My Calendar

  • April 22-24 – International Conference of Jesuit Higher Education
  • April 26 – Rank and Tenure Celebration
  • April 27 – Faculty Coffee Session
  • May 6 – Faculty Coffee Session
  • May 10 – Staff Coffee Session
  • May 19 – Staff Coffee Session
  • May 22 – Law School Commencement
  • May 22 – JST Commencement

 Michael E. Engh, S.J.


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