Welcome and best wishes for this academic year. As one student said to me, "Happy New Year!"
Goals for 2010-2011
Over the course of multiple planning sessions, I have outlined for the deans and my staff seven priorities that will guide our work this year. In my Convocation address, I shared with you that one of those priorities is the adoption of the revised Strategic Plan by the Board of Trustees. After nearly two years of drafts, revisions and widespread discussion, the University Strategic Plan will be vetted by the trustees at their meeting on October 14-15. Once we have addressed any trustee concerns, I will distribute the document to the University community. I fully expect the trustees to give final approval at their meeting in February, 2011. I want to thank the many hands and voices that brought this Plan into being.
A second priority will be to undertake and successfully complete the search for a new Provost. After consultation with the Faculty Senate Council officers and with the Chair of the Board of Trustees, I am forming a search committee for a new Provost. Don Dodson and others will advise me as the process moves forward. Given the importance of this position, I will keep the University community informed as the search proceeds.
My other priorities for the year are to:
- complete our WASC visitation process here and the JST campus;
- continue the three reviews that WASC suggested, namely, the review of governance, inclusive excellence, and communications;
- complete successfully the NCAA re-accreditation process;
- complete the administrative integration with JST with SCU; and to
- renew and strengthen relationships that Paul Locatelli, S.J. had forged with friends and benefactors.
Grand Reunion Weekend, October 8-10
As we begin the new school year, I would like to remind you about the Grand Reunion Weekend being held on campus from Friday, October 8 through Sunday, October 10. Details about the weekend will follow shortly. In the meantime, check out the Grand Reunion website for the schedule of events.
New Assignment for Jim Purcell
I am pleased that Jim Purcell has taken on new duties as Special Assistant to the President, effective September 13. Now that Jim has officially retired as Vice President for University Relations, I have asked him to focus on fundraising efforts for JST. He will be responsible for developing short- and long-term fundraising strategies to ensure a healthy financial outlook for JST. Jim can be found in Walsh Hall, Room 105 at x1970.
Behind the scenes over the last year, a whole cadre of people have been working tirelessly to integrate the operations of JST and SCU. The herculean efforts of staff and faculty at both campuses under the leadership of the President's Staff and the JST executive team have paid off. They met unexpected challenges and rose to the occasion to get the job done. While the complex integration of people, programs, and systems continues, I thank the many people involved for their hard work and collegial collaboration in bringing JST into the fabric of the Santa Clara family.
Mass of the Holy Spirit
On October 6 at 12 p.m. in the Mission Church, we will hold our traditional Mass of the Holy Spirit, followed by a picnic lunch on the St. Ignatius Lawn. The Mass of the Holy Spirit is a cherished tradition in Jesuit colleges and universities, dating back to the first Jesuit school in Messina, Sicily in 1548.
At the Mass, we call on the Spirit of God to be with us in all of our works, activities, and endeavors in the coming year. We gather as a community to rededicate ourselves to our mission, and ask God's blessings on our University Community. While this is a Roman Catholic liturgy, we appreciate the diversity of faiths within our community, and we welcome one and all to join in prayer.
With the new academic year come more opportunities to meet over coffee. This fall I will host four President's Coffee Sessions, two for faculty and two for staff. If you have not attended a session in the past and would like to attend one this quarter, please contact Anne McMahon in the President's Office.
Staff sessions are scheduled for:
- November 1, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
- November 29, 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Faculty sessions are scheduled for:
- October 27, 8:00-9:00 a.m.
- November 17, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Hunger Issues Forum
On September 10, Santa Clara hosted the 3rd Annual Hunger Issues Forum. The Forum addressed the state of hunger in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, and highlighted the need for advocacy and legislation.
Among the speakers at this year's forum were Congressman Mike Honda, and Dean Drew Starbird who presented the latest data from the Hunger Index. The Index is a measure of the gap between the unmet needs for meals for residents of the two counties, and the ability of government agencies and food-assistance groups to provide food. The Hunger Index is just one example of the ongoing collaboration between the Food and Agribusiness Institute, Leavey School of Business, and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties to help solve the problem of hunger in our community.
This past weekend students returned to campus, moving into their home-away-from-home full of energy and maybe a bit of anxiety. I wandered around the residence halls, stopping in to welcome students here and there. My visits reminded me of why we are here - to educate and encourage, motivate and mentor our students. I wish you a good start to the new academic year. May it be a rewarding one for you and all the students of Santa Clara.
What's Ahead on My Calendar
- September 24 – JST Board of Directors Meeting
- September 25-28 – Board of Fellows Trip to Washington, D.C.
- September 30 – AJCU Arts & Sciences Deans Meeting, at Santa Clara
- October 6 – Mass of the Holy Spirit
- October 7-9 – AJCU President's Meeting, Chicago
- October 8 – Leon Panetta opens the President's Speaker Series
- October 8-10 – Grand Reunion Weekend
- October 10 – Dedication of the Paul L. Locatelli, S.J. Student Activity Center
- October 14-15 - Board of Trustees Meeting
- October 16-17 – Open House
- October 18 – Law School Convocation, celebrating its Centennial Year
Michael E. Engh, S.J.