Santa Clara University


Provost's Office News & Events


Provost's Office News & Events

Back to Blog

Provost's Update Winter Quarter No. 2

Friday, Mar. 21, 2014

 Dear Colleagues,

Congratulations on the completion of Winter Quarter. On behalf of our students, I want to thank you for the dedication, professionalism, and care with which you help Santa Clara University provide a truly transformative educational experience.

This installment of the Provost's Update highlights three ongoing efforts to continually improve the educational programs at Santa Clara. Your feedback and participation in these initiatives is greatly appreciated. At the end of this update, I invite you to help us recognize those members of our community who have served our students and the University in exemplary ways.

I hope that our Law School colleagues were able to re-energize during their recent spring break. For those of you who are preparing for spring break, I wish you rest and relaxation.

With appreciation for all you do,

Dennis Jacobs


A task force has completed its report on how Santa Clara University could improve its system for student evaluations of teaching (SET). The Provost's Office has launched a pilot study in which the proposed SET instrument was administered in 46 winter quarter courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In the coming weeks, the proposed SET instrument will be administered in a sample of Law classes as our law students conclude their spring semester.

The pilot data will allow for examination of the reliability of the proposed instrument and for studying other psychometric properties of the instrument as a whole and of its individual items. The results of the study will be shared with the task force and the campus community early in the spring quarter. I will be interested in receiving your feedback on the task force report and the pilot study.


More than 100 people attended the four campus-wide town hall meetings held in February and March. The town hall meetings followed 12 disciplinary cluster conversations in which nearly 500 faculty and staff participated during the previous few months. A set of frequently asked questions will be posted on the integrated strategic plan website early in the spring quarter.

In April, the campus community will be invited to participate in conversations to further refine the implementation of the integrated strategic plan. Faculty and staff will lead and engage in a series of discussions on themes such as excellence in teaching and learning; entrepreneurship and innovation in service of humanity; and ethics, justice, sustainability, and compassion.

I encourage you to participate in these conversations, which will help shape the University's future. More information will be posted on the integrated strategic plan website in April.


SCU Study Abroad continues to expand participation in 2013-14. Of the 358 applications that were submitted for Fall 2014:

  • 81% of applicants were approved for their first choice
  • 13% of applicants were accepted but redirected to their second choice
  • 6% of applicants did not meet minimum qualifications or were not recommended by reviewers

In addition to study abroad applicants, 18 students applied for Washington Semester, and all applications were approved. Applications for Study Abroad in summer 2014 are currently under review, and applications for winter/spring 2015 will be reviewed in June.

As the President's update recently noted, the 2013 Open Doors Report issued by the Institute of International Education ranked Santa Clara eighth among Leading Master's Institutions for the total number of students studying abroad on mid-length (one quarter/semester) programs, and fortieth among Leading Master's Institutions in the total number of Study Abroad students. I am grateful to the fifty faculty and staff members who have assisted with the selection process by reading and evaluating the student applications this year. Your work contributes to the University's ongoing efforts to enhance global engagement and understanding.

More information about efforts of the Global Engagement Office is available online.  


We seek your nominations for awards that honor members of the campus community who have made exemplary contributions to the University in the areas of inclusive excellence, teaching, or scholarship/creative work.

The deadline for nominating faculty and staff for an Inclusive Excellence Award is Monday, April 14th. Award criteria and nomination information are available at the link below.

The deadline for nominating faculty for the University’s teaching and research awards is Monday, April 28th. Award criteria and nomination information are available at the links below.