Santa Clara University


Provost's Office News & Events


Provost's Office News & Events

Provost's Office News & Events

  •  New Department Prepares Students for Studies and Careers in Environmental Fields

    Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011

    Santa Clara University will welcome a new department this fall to strengthen the training students receive in environmental studies and sciences. SCU approved the creation of the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences (ESS) in response to the growing need and interest in understanding and solving environmental problems. 

    “The establishment of a new Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences demonstrates and deepens Santa Clara University’s commitment to fashioning a world that is just, humane, and sustainable,” says Michelle Marvier, the new chair for ESS.
    When the university first offered environmental science and environmental studies as majors in 1999, only one student studied it. Today, 122 students are majoring in either environmental science or environmental studies and 20 more are minoring in environmental studies.
    As a part of creating ESS, the university will also transform the environmental studies companion major into a stand-alone major, giving the university depth to offer a robust coursework that focuses on societal responses to environmental problems.
    “In the past, students could major in environmental studies only in addition to some other primary major. Environmental studies is now recognized as a coherent and rigorous curriculum that includes environmental law, policy, and economics, as well as sustainable development,” says Marvier.
    Students who study environmental studies can pursue careers that are involved in the social, political and economic dimensions of sustainability, and environmental change.
     “The changes will help attract new students to the university who are interested in majoring in environmental studies and sciences, which are fields that are rapidly growing,” says Leslie Gray, executive director of Environmental Studies Institute.
    Santa Clara University’s Environmental Studies Institute will continue to operate as a separate entity and focus on outreach programs in the community such as AmeriCorps, sustainability across the curriculum, campus sustainability, healthy food systems, and urban gardening.
  •  New Tenure-Stream Faculty Join Santa Clara

    Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011

    Please welcome the fifteen new tenure-stream faculty members who are joining the University in fall 2011.

    College of Arts and Sciences
    Michael Hickson (Philosophy)
    Virginia Matzek (Environmental Studies)
    Harry Odamtten (History)
    Lee Panich (Anthropology)   
    Ryan Reynolds (Art and Art History)                       
    Anna Sampaio (Ethnic Studies)
    Katherine Saxton (Biology)   
    Christina Zanfagna (Music)               
    Jesuit School of Theology
    Paul Janowiak, S.J. (Theology)
    Leavey School of Business
    John Ifcher (Economics)        
    Haibing Lu (Operations Management and Information Systems)
    Wei Shi (Marketing)  
    David Zimbra (Operations Management and Information Systems)
    School of Engineering
    Prashanth Asuri (Electrical Engineering)     
    Zhiwen Zhang (Electrical Engineering)              
  • Comes to SCU

    Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011

    As part of an ongoing effort to promote work life balance, Human Resources and the Provost’s Office are pleased to report that the University entered into a pilot project with

 provides an accessible online resource to connect individual faculty and staff with vetted care providers. The company has a particular strength in child and senior care, but addresses the full lifecycle of care needs. The service enables individuals to search nationally to find and select the best care possible based on detailed profiles, background checks, and references.
 also offers elder care planning and management. It provides individual consultations, research on provider options, comprehensive written care plans, access to a national credentialed provider network, rate negotiation, and assistance in identifying backup care.
    The idea for this partnership emerged through a series of work-life workshops that were sponsored by the Provost’s Office. During these sessions, a number of faculty and staff shared that it is difficult to find and retain qualified child and elder care providers. In hope of reducing this burden, the University sought out the help of Early indications suggest that users are satisfied with the resource.’s Senior Care Counseling program has been especially well-received. A number of employees have shared that they are grateful for the guidance the senior care counselors have provided.
    If you have not already done so, consider visiting the website. Access is free for all faculty and staff. Please visit and use your email address to register. If you have questions, contact Ed Ryan or Caroline Zelaya.
  •  Board of Trustees Approves Two Academic Program Changes

    Saturday, Jun. 4, 2011


    The Board of Trustees approved two academic program changes, along with various revisions to the Faculty Handbook, at its meeting last Friday.
    The academic program changes are:
    ·          Creation of a new Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences. The Board acted on the recommendation of the Academic Affairs Committee, which recommended that this new department become effective in fall 2011. The current Environmental Studies Institute will continue as a separate entity.
    ·          Creation of a stand-alone major in Environmental Studies. The College of Arts and Sciences currently offers a stand-alone major in Environmental Sciences and a companion major in Environmental Studies. The Academic Affairs Committee recommended making Environmental Studies a stand-alone major, effective in fall 2011.
    The changes to the Faculty Handbook include:
    ·          Revisions of Section These changes clarify the ways in which different categories of faculty can participate in searches for tenure-track and tenured faculty. They were recommended by the Faculty Affairs Committee and endorsed by the Faculty Senate on a vote of 90-31 before approval by the Board of Trustees.
    ·          Revisions (passim) of Sections 3.7.4, 3.7.7, and 3.7.8. These changes update Handbook sections related to research compliance structures and procedures. They were recommended by the Faculty Affairs Committee and endorsed by the Faculty Senate on a vote of 108-10 before approval by the Board of Trustees.
    ·          Revisions of Section These changes clarify that Grievance Committees do not have jurisdiction over decisions involving denial of tenure, promotion, or reappointment of faculty. The clarifications are framed in terms of the different categories of faculty created by the new faculty appointment model approved last year. They were recommended by the Faculty Affairs Committee, endorsed by the Faculty Senate, and approved by the Board of Trustees.
  •  Santa Clara University Names New Provost

    Monday, May. 9, 2011

    Santa Clara University announced the selection of Dennis Jacobs as the new provost and vice president for academic affairs. He will begin his duties this summer.

    Jacobs will be the chief academic officer of Santa Clara and provide leadership and management of all aspects of academic and student life programs, information services, and athletics. Jacobs, who comes to Santa Clara from the University of Notre Dame, where he served as vice president and associate provost for undergraduate studies since 2004, will report directly to University President Michael Engh, S.J.
    “With enthusiasm I welcome Dennis Jacobs to Santa Clara University and look forward to working with him to advance the University and its strategic plan,” said Michael Engh, S.J. “His record of success augurs well for continued and greater success here in the Silicon Valley.”
    At Notre Dame, Jacobs worked to implement the core curriculum, launched new study abroad programs, and established the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement to cultivate scholars and enhance research opportunities for students. He initiated a Residential Scholars program to help bridge the divide between academic and residential life. He also helped recruit a more diverse undergraduate student body through a variety of strategic initiatives including modifying Notre Dame’s financial aid packaging.
    “I feel privileged to have this opportunity to be a part of the next exciting chapter at Santa Clara University,” said Jacobs. “Santa Clara has all the academic ingredients to make a significant and lasting impact here in the Silicon Valley and globally.”
    Jacobs is drawn to Santa Clara’s holistic approach to education informed by its rich Jesuit and Catholic tradition. “The aim is to develop outstanding leaders and professionals who are committed to form a more humane, just and sustainable world,” said Jacobs. “Santa Clara is distinctive in the way it blends an ethical perspective and the principles of social justice with intellectual inquiry and technological innovation.”
    In addition to guiding the vision of Notre Dame’s undergraduate program, Jacobs has been a chemistry and biochemistry faculty member at Notre Dame since 1988. His research has focused on studying reactions relevant to semiconductor processing in the microelectronics industry. For the past decade, he has taught a community-based learning course in which student teams visit families who live below the poverty level to test for lead contamination in their homes.
    Jacobs has published extensively and received numerous grants and awards. Among his many accolades are the Kaneb Teaching Award at Notre Dame, Carnegie Scholar of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and the prestigious Professor of the Year for Doctoral and Research Universities awarded by CASE, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. The CASE award honors dedication to teaching, commitment to students and creative approaches to education. It is the only national award to acknowledge teaching excellence.


  •  Council on Aging Partnership

    Friday, Apr. 15, 2011

    Santa Clara University is pleased to announce a partnership with the Council on Aging Silicon Valley (COA) to offer a program designed for baby boomers, older adults, and family caregivers. COA’s Aging Education and Preparation (AEP) program includes two components: 

    • Educational Workshops: Workshops cover a wide range of topics related to aging, including guidance on making important decisions that will prepare you (or the older adults in your life) for a happy, independent, healthier lifestyle. Speakers include professional gerontologists, therapists, attorneys, physicians and nutritionists.
    • Private Consultation: Once you have attended the workshops, you will have a chance to meet with an aging consultants who can provide additional referrals and recommend the next steps in your specific aging journey. Consultation services only available to AEP enrollees.

    All of the workshop will take place at Santa Clara University. Enrollment is limited. To register, please call Danielle Myers-Rickard at COA at 408-350-3237. If you have questions, please feel free to email Ed Ryan at or the Council on Aging at


  •  New Tenure-Stream Faculty Join Santa Clara

    Saturday, Sep. 4, 2010


    Please welcome the 16 new tenure-stream faculty joining the University in fall 2010.
    College of Arts and Sciences
    Naomi Andrews (History)
    Christopher Bacon (Environmental Studies)
    Justin Boren (Communication)
    Maria Del Socorro Castaneda-Liles (Religious Studies)
    Karen Fraser (Art and Art History)
    Sharmila Lodhia (Women’s and Gender Studies)
    George Mohler (Mathematics and Computer Science)
    Daniel Turkeltaub (Classics)
    Leavey School of Business
    Ye Cai (Finance)
    Sanjay Jain (Management)
    Jaume Villanueva (Management)
    Ravi Shanmugam (Marketing)
    Arunima Sinha (Economics)
    School of Engineering
    Ahmed Amer (Computer Engineering)
    Daniel Strickland (Mechanical Engineering)
    School of Law
    David Hasen

    Maria Castaneda-Liles, who is joining the Department of Religious Studies, received her undergraduate degree in Sociology (with minors in Ethnic Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies) from Santa Clara University.
  •  AY 2009-10 Blog Posts

    Wednesday, Jun. 30, 2010

     Access AY 2009-10 Provost's Office blog posts here.

  •  The Board of Trustees Approves Revisions to the Faculty Handbook

    Friday, Jun. 4, 2010
    In June 2010, the Board of Trustees approved several revisions to the Faculty Handbook.
    Faculty Apointments
    Following two years of extensive consultation and hard work by the Faculty Affairs Committee, and a Faculty Senate vote of 108-18, the Board of Trustees approved proposed Faculty Handbook revisions related to categories of faculty appointment and policies applicable to non-tenure-track faculty.
    The revisions establish four appointment categories: tenured and tenure-track faculty; faculty on renewable-term or continuing appointment; faculty on fixed-term appointment; and faculty with other kinds of appointments. The revisions establish fair and consistent appointment practices across academic units; recognize a new category of renewable-term faculty in order to meet persistent programmatic needs, provide greater stability of appointment, and reduce the burden that repetitive searches place on departments; and set reappointment and promotion procedures for Lecturers and Senior Lecturers.
    Given the magnitude and complexity of the changes, they will take at least one academic year to implement fully. An undetermined number of fixed-term positions will be converted over time to renewable-term positions based upon a careful determination of programmatic need and available funding.
    The Board of Trustees approved the new faculty appointment policies, effective immediately, with four stipulations:
    ·          Conversion of fixed-term positions to renewable-term positions shall not be automatic and shall follow a plan to be developed by each College and School and approved by the Provost.
    ·          Lecturers with fixed-term appointments as described in Sections through shall be subject to all provisions that apply to adjunct lecturers but shall not be converted to “adjunct” titles until September 1, 2011, or the expiration of their current contract, whichever occurs later.
    ·          The third paragraph of Section, which sets a limit of six years for certain types of fixed-term appointment, shall go into effect on September 1, 2011. The period of service counted shall include years of service prior to that date.
    ·          Noting that “Specific targets are appropriate for planning documents but not policy documents,” the Board did not approve two passages in the proposed revisions: *
    o       Section 3.1.1: “Ordinarily, tenured and tenure-track faculty shall constitute no less than one-half of the faculty holding appointments for a full academic year in any department.”
    o       Section “Faculty with a renewable-term or continuing appointment shall ordinarily not constitute more than one-third the number of tenured and tenure-track faculty in any department. In extraordinary circumstances and with the approval of the dean and Provost, their number may exceed this target.”
    The Academic Affairs Committee of the Board expressed its willingness to consider quantitative norms in the future if they are accompanied by a strong rationale and a careful analysis of need and financial impact.
    In the fall, the Provost’s Office will work with the academic deans, the Faculty Affairs Committee, and the Faculty Senate Council to develop an implementation plan for the new appointment policies. In addition, open forums will be held in the fall to discuss the changes.
    Patent Policy
    The new patent policy, previously approved by the Faculty Senate on a vote of 70-7, replaces the current Section 3.7.5 of the Faculty Handbook. It clarifies that the University owns all inventions except those making only “incidental” use of University resources; requires disclosure of inventions to the University; sets procedures for filing and prosecuting patent applications; and extends the policy to staff, students, postdoctoral fellows, and others using University funds, facilities, or other resources. It is anticipated that this policy will accelerate the development of patents.
  •  New Dean Named for the Leavey School of Business

    Thursday, Apr. 1, 2010

    In March 2010, S. Andrew Starbird, a 23-year faculty member and expert in food safety at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business, was named the school’s new dean.  As interim dean for the past year, Starbird has led the business school faculty in developing a new approach to entrepreneurial education, formalizing new goals for international business education, and creating two new academic programs.  

    As dean, Starbird plans to revise the curriculum of both the undergraduate and graduate business programs, including providing additional support services to undergraduates. One new program already underway is the Santa Clara Initiative for Financial Innovation and Risk Management, focused on corporate social responsibility, socially responsible investing and responsible risk-management products. Another is the California Program for Entrepreneurship, a six-month mentoring and training program for select startups, which aims to create 20 new California businesses within 20 months.