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“It is central to our shared Jesuit, Catholic mission to support those in our community who are vulnerable and marginalized. None of us can be satisfied until everyone feels respected, included, and valued. We all have collective ownership of our campus climate.”

Michael E. Engh, S.J., President


After a series of forums, meetings and conversations, SCU President Michael Engh, S.J. and project coordinator Elsa Chen, in consultation with Campus Climate Study co-chairs Margaret Russell and Ray Plaza, senior leadership including Cabinet and Deans, the Planning Action Council University Policy Committee, and many others, took the outcomes of the survey and formulated ten priority areas that will receive careful attention and action in 2019.


Cultivate and enhance a culture of respect and belonging, grounded in our mission and values

Goal: Develop and support opportunities for honest, open and respectful engagement about difficult topics and across differences, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, political perspective, position and rank, administration and non-administration.  Encourage dialogues of discernment and care to foster free expression and active listening.

A quarter of Climate Survey respondents reported experiencing exclusionary, intimidating, offensive or hostile conduct.  Santa Clara must be an environment of tolerance, respect and inclusivity. Our Catholic, Jesuit values implore us to take all measures necessary to promote a healthy, welcoming campus climate for everyone.

This priority is focused on creating opportunities to enhance our awareness, giving people the tools to engage in constructive dialogue and deep listening, and other actions to foster a campus climate that embraces differences and celebrates the interconnectedness of every member of our community.  It is grounded in the Jesuit tradition of eloquentia perfecta - writing, speaking, and listening skillfully to promote the common good.

Coordinator:  Margaret Russell, Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Associate Professor of Law

Spring 2019 Progress Report:

  • Community Conversations: Planning is underway for a series of daytime opportunities throughout AY 2019-20 in which diverse groups of staff, faculty, and students can “break bread” and engage issues of concern in an environment of listening, honesty, and respect. This series will begin in the fall, and the sessions will be at the noon hour or in the late afternoon. 
  • Facilitators Network: This is a developing resource for community members to request guidance and training in learning the tools of deep listening and fruitful communication.
  • Communicating across Differences: At Faculty Senate meetings and the Diversity Forum, Margaret Russell offered to facilitate conversations about communicating across differences. Since then, several people reached out and have met. In addition, Margaret helped to facilitate a discussion between the student leaders of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Students Supporting Israel (SSI).
  • Collaborations Across Campus: As co-chair of the Working Group on Honoring Ohlone History at SCU, Margaret Russell is collaborating with other stakeholders to strengthen SCU’s acknowledgement and actions.


Goal: Reduce sexual misconduct, and support community members who have experienced sexual misconduct, by reinforcing clear, effective, and transparent processes for responding to reports and by increasing community-wide education and awareness

A quarter of Climate Survey respondents reported experiencing some type of inappropriate sexual conduct or behavior. Five percent reported unwanted sexual contact. Santa Clara must ensure that appropriate systems are in place to encourage reporting and provide timely and effective responses to sexual misconduct.   

This priority is focused on examining how SCU provides direct support to sexual assault survivors, as well as on building greater awareness of this critical issue among the entire Santa Clara community.

Coordinator: Tiger Simpson, Assistant Director and Violence Prevention Program Coordinator, Wellness Center

Spring 2019 Progress Update:  

April 2019 was Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Tiger Simpson and the team in the Wellness Center led numerous initiatives regarding Interpersonal Violence (IPV) prevention and awareness throughout April, including these programs:

  • It’s On Us Pledge Drive
    • Bystander Intervention Tabling by the Violence Prevention Educators (VPE) in Benson\
    • Sexual Health Tabling by the VPEs, co-sponsored by Safe Sex SCU
    • Consent tabling and events by the Violence Prevention Educators in Benson and Swig
    • Screening of the movie Rape in the Field, in Graham Hall, co-sponsored by MCC
    • Greek Life Sexual Assault Awareness Summit, co-sponsored by ASG and the Office of Student Life
    • First Date with the Violence Prevention Educators and the Rainbow Resource Center  
  • Take Back the Night
  • Supporting Survivors Panel

 More events took place in May and June and are being planned for the future.

  • On May 14th, Tiger Simpson hosted a Resource Training Seminar for one of our multicultural sororities
  • On May 29th, the Wellness Center hosted a One Love Facilitator training. One Love focuses on preventing violence that occurs within dating relationships.
  • Students were trained and certified as facilitators for the One Love Workshop that we host as a part of first year orientation
  • Bystander Intervention Training for Orientation Leaders (May 15th)
  • Tiger and OML’s Joanna Thompson, also heading a Priority Group, hosted a Bias Response and Bystander Intervention Training for the Library staff on June 5th
  • The Violence Prevention Educators (VPEs) are setting up meetings with Greek Leaders to discuss their response procedures to instances of sexual violence
  • The VPEs are also working with student survivors to host feedback gathering sessions
  • A interdisciplinary committee is being formed to get buy-in from campus stakeholders.  

Goal: Foster a positive classroom environment for all students, regardless of race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, disability status, socioeconomic status, religion, political views, etc.

Among the students who responded in the survey that they had experienced exclusionary, intimidating, offensive or hostile conduct, nearly a third (32.1%) reported that they had experienced it in a class or laboratory.  Central to a healthy climate on campus is a healthy climate in the classroom.  We must be attentive to the classroom experience of both faculty and students. It must be challenging and rigorous, and serve as an incubator for critical thinking, all within an atmosphere of respect, inclusivity and tolerance.

This priority is focused on facilitating a conversation about the elements and attributes of a positive learning environment; as well as supporting faculty and students with tools and programs that can help.  

Coordinator: Eileen Elrod, Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Professor, Department of English

Spring 2019 Progress Report:

Tremendous progress has been made with faculty throughout campus to enhance the learning environment for our students.

  • Institute for Teaching Excellence. With support from a private donor, this year the SCU Faculty Development Program launched an innovative teacher-training program in conjunction with ACUE (Association of College & University Educators). Thirty faculty members across discipline and rank took part in an academic-year long “hybrid learning experience” to apply the scholarship of learning on topics such as student engagement, course and assignment design, civility in the classroom, active learning across the disciplines, inclusive teaching practices, efficient and equitable grading and more. Thirty more will participate next year.
  • Faculty Communities of Practice: In summer 2019 and AY 2019-20, Faculty Development and the Faculty Collaborative for Teaching Innovation will pilot a four-part Faculty Community of Practice on Classroom Climate program that aims to provide faculty with an environment that supports faculty collaboration around shared goals, vocabulary and teaching practices that improve our classroom climate through equitable learning. The College of Arts & Sciences, School of Business, and School of Engineering are partners in this effort.
  • Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in STEM (TIDES) delegation: Seven participants from the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Engineering, and Faculty Development will engage in the AAC&U TIDES Institute that aims to increase learning outcomes and retention of students historically underrepresented in the computer/information sciences and related STEM disciplines.
  • Inclusive Excellence Post-Doctoral Fellows: This partnership between the College of Arts & Sciences and Office for Diversity and Inclusion is designed to address the need for a more robust “pipeline” of diverse faculty members. SCU has hired 6 IE Post-docs on 2-year terms since 2017 in Ethnic Studies, History, Mathematics, Modern Languages, Political Science and Psychology. There will be 5 new post-docs in Women & Gender Studies, Anthropology, Art & Art History, Chemistry and Biology in AY 2019-20. On a related note, the Jesuit Post-Doctoral Diversity Program Consortium, overseen by SCU, is now in its second year and has brought together six Jesuit universities dedicated to expanding diversity within the professoriate. 
  • Faculty Senate Engagement: Eileen Elrod, Margaret Russell, and Elsa Chen met with Faculty Senate Council in November 2018 and January 2019 to discuss how faculty could advance a Positive Classroom Climate. Faculty Senate Council representatives shared information about practices and initiatives taking place in several departments, and brainstormed about ways to improve campus climate in their departments. 
  • An Anti-Racist Teaching website was designed by experienced Ethnic Studies faculty colleagues and made available to all faculty
  • Improvements to New Faculty Orientation in 2019-20 will include a plenary session on inclusive teaching, culture of belonging and diversity, a plenary student panel on classroom climate, and New Faculty Cohort sessions on positive classroom climate and inclusive teaching practices 
  • A new Department Chair Leadership Formation program has been developed by Eileen Elrod and consultant Beth Killough, and is scheduled to be implemented in AY 2019-20. The program’s focus areas cover several Campus Climate follow-up priority areas, including effective communication (engagement across differences), creating a community of belonging and inclusiveness, and conflict management and relationship building.


Goal: Build a sense of belonging early as new members join the Santa Clara University community, and reinforce on an ongoing basis throughout their time at SCU

Sixty-five percent of undergraduate respondents who considered leaving Santa Clara suggested that it was because they lacked a sense of belonging. Belonging takes shape on the very first day a student, faculty or staff member arrives on campus and is either reinforced or diminished every day thereafter. We must work to create an atmosphere that is welcoming to all; that embraces a person’s unique contributions to the Santa Clara community; and intervenes when a person feels excluded.   

This priority is focused on strengthening the work we do to make everyone IN the community feel PART of the community.

Coordinator: Laura Jacobus, Adjunct Lecturer, Leavey School of Business & Adjunct Clinical Faculty, Law School.

Spring 2019 Progress Update:

  • The Orientation Working Group and OSL staff are working on redesign of Summer Orientation (scheduled to launch fully in 2021, with components to be pilots in 2019), with an emphasis on belonging. Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies Jim Bennett is taking the lead on this – he was working with Alissa Novak, Associate Director for the Center for Student Involvement, who left the university at the end of Spring Quarter. Vice Provosts Jeanne Rosenberger and Elsa Chen, along with numerous staff members from the Office of Student Life,  are also involved in this undertaking.
  • New student Immersions and Excursions program is being implemented with support from an external donor as part of a new Signature First Year Experiences program. This is headed by Tedd Vanadilok, Director of the Office for Student Involvement.
  • New Faculty Orientation cohort groups are also being redesigned to increase community building. Eileen Elrod is heading this effort. 
  • Over the course of the year, Student Life has been piloting efforts towards "moMENtum" Male Student Development initiative.
  • In partnership with Associated Government and the Center for Student Involvement, the Bronco Posi initiative was launched in Winter 2019.
  • Members of the Lecturers Best Practices Task Force have expressed an interest in integrating some of the LBPTF’s ideas about enhancing the culture of respect for lecturers into Campus Climate follow-up activities. Conversations are ongoing.

Additional Actions to Implement:

  • Review and improve first-year student orientation to enhance a sense of belonging
  • Develop opportunities for students with diverse interests to connect with other students through immersion programs and excursions starting with orientation
  • Review and improve New Faculty Orientation, New Faculty Retreat, and ongoing cohort groups for new faculty to increase community building
  • Foster opportunities for informal interaction between faculty, staff, and students

Goal: Support strategies that allow students and employees with disabilities to experience success and inclusion at SCU

Santa Clara is committed to breaking down barriers faced by those with physical, emotional or learning disabilities.  Where resources or accommodations already exist, access to them must be easy and universal. Where resources don’t exist, Santa Clara should work to identify, plan and develop better support for community members with disabilities.  Above all, we must work toward creating a stigma-free campus climate where everyone feels comfortable describing the challenges the face and is able to receive the support they need.

This priority is focused on using the feedback from the Climate Survey as a springboard for a comprehensive audit of what is being done and what needs to be done further to provide support to those with disabilities.  

Coordinators: Maude Nazaire, Director, Disabilities Resources and Belinda Guthrie, EEO & Title IX Coordinator

**Originally this committee was co-chaired by Maude Nazaire and Associate Director of Disabilities Resources Neelam Agrawal, but Agrawal left the university in Winter Quarter so Guthrie agreed to assist. Due to an excessive workload in the understaffed Disabilities Resources office that Nazaire heads, limited progress on this priority has occurred so far **

Additional Actions to Implement:

  • Address obstacles to accessibility including those described in campus climate survey responses
  • Provide additional online resources for community members to stay abreast of laws and expectations regarding ADA, and other compliance-related matters
  • Ensure that managers and faculty are well-educated about the need to respect approved accommodations and confidentiality
  • Offer opportunities to create a more inclusive classroom environment for students with approved accommodations
  • Promote Disabilities Resources as a service connected to the overall student experience rather than a standalone office/service students seek on their own
  • Rebrand the Disabilities Resources Office. Remove the word ‘disability’ and identify a new name to reduce the stigma associated with persons with disabilities
  • Expand outreach at high-visibility campus events (orientation, involvement fair, family weekend, Staff Faire, etc.




Promote and advance diversity & inclusion initiatives

Goal: Identify and articulate University-wide and unit-specific diversity priorities and advance them through concrete action steps

Academic excellence is achieved through a diverse and inclusive campus climate. The Office for Diversity and Inclusion and many other units on campus are at the forefront of this work, guided by the work of Unity 4, the Blue Ribbon Commission and Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion.

This priority is focused on supporting the good work that has already been underway and helping the Santa Clara community better understand, engage, and support D&I initiatives.

Coordinator: Ray Plaza, Director, Office for Diversity and Inclusion

Spring 2019 Progress Update:

  • Chief Diversity Officer: Conversations are actively taking place with the incoming President and Provost about the timing, search, structure, funding, and support for a new senior-level university diversity leader. The President-Elect has confirmed that this person, when hired, will have a seat in the President’s Cabinet. This recommendation was made by the Blue Ribbon Commission on Diversity and Inclusion and reinforced by the Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion, in response to Unity 4’s recommendations. 
  • Campus Climate data analysis has been conducted by ODI in response to requests related to WASC accreditation, STEM, Law School Diversity Committee, Mission Examen process, Residence Life and other institutional initiatives
  • Diversity and Inclusion Committees within campus units: D&I committees are in place in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Engineering, and School of Law and working on “local” initiatives. For example:
    • The School of Engineering’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee has conducted multiple workshops and meetings with SoE staff and faculty, facilitated by Derisa Grant, a diversity and inclusion expert. These were well-attended by faculty.
    • The Interim Dean and D&I committee members met with LEAD scholars to listen to their perspectives and concerns as students of color and first-generation students in the School of Engineering.
    • The School of Law is reviewing the campus climate data that was specific to the Law School. In addition, they are discussing ways to fold in faculty training on classroom bias into their Fall workshops.
  • Quarterly Diversity Forums have continued to be held each quarter, hosted by ODI, the Office of Student Life, and the Student Council on Inclusive Excellence
  • ODI has co-sponsored speakers/presentations throughout campus (LERC, Latin American Studies, Culture Power Difference Group, BLSA, Library Book of the Quarter and other campus partners). Among these speakers has included:  Culture Power Difference: Dennis Childs, Ruben Guevara; Latin American Studies: Mario Garcia; BLSA: Ashley Kirkwood, and general speakers such as Kelli Taylor, Josephine Bolling McCall and Tommy Orange.
  • A Working Group on Honoring Ohlone History at SCU was created in Winter Quarter 2019, with Margaret Russell and Rebecca Schapp as co-chairs. The President’s Office presented a charge to the committee and provided a budget to support its meetings. The members of the committee, including representatives from the Ohlone community, have been selected and the group has convened and set up a schedule for future meetings. 
  • The first-ever SCU PowWow was held in April, coordinated by the Native American Coalition for Change student group, with logistical support from ODI
  • The deSaisset Museum has embarked on a major renovation and redesign of its California History Permanent Collection exhibit, in consultation with an advisory group including four Ohlone members. According to museum director Rebecca Schapp, “We were committed to revising the cultural content of the display to better reflect modern understandings of the Mission Era and the complex relationship between the Spanish, our Catholic Mission and the local Ohlone Indian tribe.” The new exhibit is scheduled to open in November 2019.
  • Inclusive Excellence Post-Doctoral Fellows and Jesuit Consortium (highlighted under Positive Classroom Climate)
  • Planning underway for the 2021-22 tenure-track Facully search processes




Review and improve policies and processes to address concerns expressed in Campus Climate Survey

Goal: Respond to bias incidents with clear, effective, and transparent processes

Many Climate Survey respondents felt the university’s response to incidents of intolerance is not rapid enough and should be communicated better.

This priority focuses on strengthening the mechanisms that exist for the community to report incidents; for SCU to acknowledge and respond to those incidents; and to streamline the communications apparatus so the community receives timely and accurate information, while remaining mindful of privacy and confidentiality concerns and the intentional educational mission when addressing students who commit bias behaviors.

Coordinator:  Joanna Thompson, Director, Office for Multicultural Learning

Spring 2019 Progress Update:

  • Increased bystander intervention education has begun, through workshops for the new cohort of Orientation Leaders and a training for the Library staff/student assistants. These workshops/trainings are presented by Joanna Thompson (criminologist) and Tiger Simpson (violence prevention educator).
  • Plans to thoroughly review the Bias Incident Response protocol over the summer are being put into place so that an awareness campaign can be rolled out starting Fall 2019. This is being adapted from a protocol currently being used within Residence Life.

Additional Actions to Implement:

  • Appoint a Bias Incident Response Team to provide timely response and communication following bias incidents
  • Increase education about options to report incidents of bias and informs persons about the educational process that the university engages in with students who commit bias behaviors
  • Provide clear, consistent, thorough and timely campus communication to the campus regarding bias incidents
  • Review, and as appropriate, increase awareness campaigns about bias, with a goal of eliminating bias-related incidents on campus

Goal: Implement actions to address challenges in compensation and benefits, including affordable housing, for University faculty and staff

The challenges associated with the high costs of living and working in the Bay Area were expressed passionately in the Campus Climate Study. Santa Clara is taking actions to provide more affordable housing but recognizes that this is a multi-faceted challenge requiring a multi-faceted approach.  

This priority is focused on taking a holistic approach to compensation, benefits and housing. It is about fostering a dialogue for greater insight and understanding, while developing specific programs to assist.       

Coordinator: Michael Crowley, Vice President for Finance & Administration

Spring 2019 Progress Update:

The Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration (VPFA) have been working with various groups on campus to create fair, equitable, and sustained solutions to salary and housing challenges that have been raised by our faculty in the Campus Climate Survey and other forums. VPFA Michael Crowley, Provost Dennis Jacobs, Vice Provost for Planning Ed Ryan, and Senior Associate Provost for Research and Faculty Affairs Amy Shachter have played instrumental roles in this effort. 

  • Faculty Salaries: For the 2019-20 academic year, the University has allocated funding to support $250,000 in market-based, data-driven salary adjustments for tenure-track faculty and $400,000 in adjustments for Senior Lecturers and Renewable-term Lecturers. 
  • Faculty Positions: Through the most recent budget cycle, the University funded six new tenure-track lines and two new renewable-term lecturer lines. In addition, the University transitioned 16 Academic-Year Adjunct appointments to Renewable-term Lecturer appointments. Combined with the 11 positions transitioned last year, these new renewable-term positions provide greater career stability for approximately 20% of our Academic Year Adjunct Lecturers.
  • Faculty Appointments: As we implemented new academic-year adjunct lecturer reappointment procedures this spring, 33 of the 41 (80%) eligible candidates were offered reappointment either to a fixed-term or a Renewable-term Lecturer position for next year. Furthermore, over 25% of our Academic Year Adjunct Lecturers will be continuing on multi-year contracts.
  • Faculty and Staff Housing: Progress continues on planning for new construction of affordable faculty-staff housing on Campbell Avenue near campus and the Caltrain, bus, and future BART stations. When it is complete, the supply of university-owned faculty-staff housing will be dramatically increased. A survey of all faculty and staff, which provided very useful information, was conducted at the end of March. This month, faculty and staff are participating in information sessions and focus groups to gather additional input for planning purposes. On May 14, the San Jose City Council voted to allow the rezoning necessary for the project to proceed. 
  • Staff compensation: As funding is made available, Human Resources is implementing recommendations stemming from the staff compensation study. This study, led by the Department of Human Resources, was driven by the University’s commitment to recruit, retain, develop, and engage a diverse and talented workforce by maintaining a competitive salary structure and performance-based pay system. $1.2m has been allocated for FY 2019-20, and $1m was allocated FY 2018-19.


Goal: Reduce, de-escalate, and resolve conflicts with clear, fair and expeditious processes

Conflicts are inevitable within a community as large as Santa Clara.  How those conflicts are addressed and mitigated, however, has an enormous impact on the health of the campus climate. Some Climate Survey respondents shared details about conflicts that made their working or living environment uncomfortable. Some expressed dissatisfaction with the outcomes or timeliness of actions taken by the university to help resolve conflicts.

This priority is focused on examining the systems in place to reduce, de-escalate and resolve conflicts and proposing measures to make these systems more responsive, transparent and better understood by the community.    

Coordinator: Matt Duncan, Associate Dean for Student Life

Spring 2019 Progress Update:

  • The Provost’s Extended Area Group brainstormed ways to address this issue at its Winter Quarter meeting. Ideas included:
    • Finding ways to de-escalate conflicts before disputes worsen and erupt
    • Training faculty and staff to engage in “peacemaking” and be role models for handling conflict
  • Vice Provost Elsa Chen continues to work on implementation of recommendations of the Task Force to Promote Informal Approaches to Conflict Resolution
    • Chen has identified experts who can act as resources for individuals or groups needing mediation and dispute resolution services. With Interim Provost Lisa Kloppenberg, she is working on finding more external resources that we can use.
    • Two members of the Provost’s staff (Elsa Chen and Assistant Provost for Strategic Initiatives Teresa Kopriva) participated in formal training on “Facilitating Difficult and Dynamic Groups” at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University in June 2019. Chen and Kopriva are working on a plan to introduce some of the skills taught at this workshop to more administrative leaders, staff, and faculty members at SCU.
    • Working with EO/Title IX Director Belinda Guthrie, Chen is working to standardize and make more transparent the processes of informal dispute resolution involving faculty members

Additional Actions to Implement:

  • Review existing processes for clarity, transparency, and fairness, proposing revisions as needed

Goal: Address employee concerns about fairness and opportunities for advancement

Over twenty percent of faculty and staff respondents said they observed hiring or promotion practices that they thought to be unjust. A healthy campus climate depends on the community having confidence in fairness in our practices around hiring, promotion, and treatment of employees. Employees should experience personal and professional fulfillment and development through their work.

This priority is focused on a comprehensive examination of this issue and consideration of steps necessary to ensure fairness and opportunity.    

Co-Coordinators: Shirley Mata, Employee Development Manager, Human Resources Department and Don Heider, Executive Director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Spring 2019 Progress Update:

  • Information Gathering: Coordinators are continuing to meet informally and formally with staff and faculty to understand the issues and perceptions around hiring and promotion practices and development opportunities
  • Hiring Manager Training: Human Resources continues to communicate with and coach hiring managers on the policies, procedures and guidelines for ensuring a fair recruitment process. Resources are also available on the SCU Website and in eCampus
  • Inclusive Search Training: The Office for Diversity and Inclusion and Human Resources continue to host training sessions every other month, mandatory for all hiring managers and search committee chairs (as highlighted above under Diversity Initiatives)
  • Professional and Leadership Development: HR is gathering input, and reviewing and updating offerings through HR’s Learning and Leadership Development to ensure alignment with university goals and objectives
  • Staff Compensation: (highlighted above under Compensation, Benefits, and Housing)