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Mission Priority Examen Update - September 20, 2019

Dear Members of the University Community,

Welcome back to campus for the 2019-20 academic year!  We hope that you had a restful, enjoyable, and productive summer. As Fr. O’Brien mentioned in his Convocation remarks, we wish to share with you an update on the Examen process. For those of you who are new to the University or who are unfamiliar with the Examen, each of the 27 Jesuit colleges and universities has been undertaking a process of reflection or self-study, to consider how it can live its Jesuit and Catholic higher education mission in more authentic and impactful ways.  For more information, the Examen website provides an outline of the entire Examen process and offers some FAQs in case you would like to know more about the background to the project. 

Fr. O’Brien stresses in his first-day video that the mission of SCU is a shared enterprise - each of us sharing in it, contributing to it, communicating it, in our own particular ways.  Our hope is that the Examen will help us do this even more intentionally, in ways which are inclusive, sensitive, and which reflect the rich diversity of the people who together make up this remarkable endeavor called Santa Clara University.

Our Examen process is ongoing.  On behalf of the Steering Committee for the Mission Priority Examen project, we are deeply grateful for your engaging, collegial, and thoughtful participation in this important exercise. During the Winter and Spring Quarters, we met with numerous groups and individuals including faculty, staff, students, administrators, alumni, and trustees. The Steering Committee was very inspired by the richness of the conversations, the terrific ideas and reflections offered, and the universal commitment to helping SCU move forward productively embracing our Jesuit Catholic identity and mission. So, first and foremost:  thank you!

We are now pleased to share with you the University’s Mission Priority Examen Self-Study Report. We warmly encourage you to read the report in anticipation of our Peer Visiting Team’s visit to campus on October 21-22. 

For context as you read through the report, the Self-Study is the Steering Committee’s overall reflection on what we heard in the various listening sessions that members of the University attended. Rather than preparing a comprehensive or quantitative assessment of mission-related activities—of which there are many—, the Committee has collectively written the report in a spirit of hopeful invitation to continue the sincere reflection on how our University can live out our Jesuit educational mission together with even greater depth. 

The meaningful conversations that began last Winter Quarter will continue when our Peer Visiting Team will be on campus to meet with the community and learn more about our Mission Priority Examen process and the University’s mission. These conversations will be yet another important opportunity for each single member of our community to share ideas, concerns, and hopes for our University’s mission at this time.

To date, we have scheduled two open listening sessions to which each member of the whole campus community is warmly invited to attend. 

Session 1

Monday, October 21
Executive Conference Room, St. Joseph’s Hall

Session 2

Tuesday, October 22
Nobili Dining Room

We look forward to hosting the Peer Visiting Team and giving them the opportunity to hear directly from you about your hopes and dreams for Santa Clara University’s mission.

As always, please feel free to contact us — — if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about our SCU Mission Priority Examen.

With best wishes for a rewarding academic year,


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