Skip to main content

Mission Priority Examen - Community Update

Dear Members of the University Community,

On behalf of the Mission Priority Examen Steering Committee, we would like to provide an update on progress on our project and the steps we are taking to produce our SCU self-study report. The purpose of the study is to reflect on what we have done, what we are doing and, most importantly, what we can do to live out our Jesuit, Catholic educational values more impactfully.

Part of any examen is to begin with gratitude. The Steering Committee would like to express our sincere thanks for the openness and good will of the campus community in the process. Over the last month, we have had the privilege of meeting with over 100 faculty, staff and students, from a broad cross-section of the University.  We are grateful to those who attended the six open outreach meetings. We also thank the many University leaders and groups who graciously welcomed us to their staff meetings, senate meetings, and standing meetings of one form or another.  More meetings, involving other groups are to follow, and we continue to seek and warmly welcome all comments, suggestions, and questions through our email address, For more information about the process, please check out our website at

Without exception, in all conversations to date, the richness and frankness of the discussions among people who care deeply about our unique identity and heritage have been striking.  We have heard a profound desire for a clear articulation of what our Jesuit, Catholic mission means in our particular place and time, in our unique Santa Clara community in all its diversity.  Many people have expressed great interest in ongoing personal and professional enrichment in our Jesuit, Catholic mission, to help them apply it more directly to their work and life.  And we have heard how much people care about SCU’s Jesuit, Catholic values and want to steward and grow those values thoughtfully and inclusively.

Our work as a Steering Committee is far from over, but these are some of the common  themes emerging from the community. This process is just the beginning: clearly, our community is asking for more opportunities for meaningful conversations with one another about our University’s Jesuit, Catholic mission can better translate in appropriate and sensitive ways into the personal, departmental, and collective roles of every member of this community.

From here, the committee will consider the extensive feedback from the Examen listening sessions, along with relevant SCU data from other sources, such as National Survey of Student Engagement, Higher Education Research Institute survey, and the Campus Climate Survey, as we begin work on compiling the 25-page self-study report. The report will identify 2-3 mission priority areas that we might pay attention to over the next five years.  The Steering Committee is on track to complete the self-study report by June for submission to the President, and who will pass it on to Fr. Scott Santarosa SJ, Provincial of the USA West Jesuit Province and then on to the Jesuit Superior General, Father-General Arturo SJ.

The Peer Visiting Team is scheduled to visit campus on October 21-23. We are grateful for the colleagueship of each member of this diverse and experienced team: Nancy Tuchman, Loyola University Chicago; Patricia Killen, Gonzaga University; Jennifer Abe, Loyola Marymount University; David Quigley, Boston College;  Joseph Michael O’Keefe, S.J., Fordham University.

Thank you again for your participation in the Examen process, and if you wish to share with us more of your feedback, please contact one of us directly or email In our shared mission, we welcome and indeed need the insights of as many people as possible.


Tom Plante (Co-Chair)
Dorian Llywelyn, S.J. (Co-Chair)

On behalf of the Steering Committee:
Martin Connell, S.J., Rector, JST
Eileen Elrod, Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Development
Heidi Leupp, Trustee
Yesenia Magdaleno, Class of 2020
Anne McMahon, Assistant to the President, Communications
Laura Nichols, Associate Professor, Sociology
Keith Warner, OFM, Sr. Director, Education & Action Research, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship