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Acting President Lisa Kloppenberg

Lisa Kloppenberg brings to the University extensive administrative experience, a passion for the practice and study of law and a strong commitment to Jesuit, Catholic values.

SCU Provost Lisa Kloppendberg

She joined the Santa Clara community in 2013, serving as dean of the law school and as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs before being named to the role of Acting President in March 2021. 

Kloppenberg was drawn by the Jesuit mission and values of SCU, its location at the heart of Silicon Valley and the inspiring and innovative people she encountered at the University. During her time as dean, Santa Clara’s School of Law accomplished a number of strategic priorities, including right-sizing enrollment; balancing budgets; designing a more competency-based curriculum with greater experiential learning opportunities to prepare students for the changing workforce; developing stronger connections to Silicon Valley and completing successful fundraising for the Howard S. and Alida S. Charney Hall of Law, which opened in 2018. Kloppenberg has served on numerous committees at SCU and formed many collaborative relationships across campus.

“I am amazed by the ways our faculty and students improve the world with their teaching, research, immersive learning, and service in the Bay Area and around the globe. I look forward to building on our momentum to help shape the future of Santa Clara University.”

Lisa Kloppenberg


Earlier in her career, Kloppenberg served for a decade as dean and professor of law at the University of Dayton, a Catholic and Marianist university that received national recognition for the “Lawyer as Problem Solver” curriculum under her leadership. 

Kloppenberg earned tenure at the University of Oregon and is a national expert in conflict resolution and constitutional law. She is the author of several books and articles, including a well-respected text that teaches law students to be effective advocates in negotiation, mediation, and other methods of resolving disputes without going to court. 

Kloppenberg is committed to advancing numerous priorities as Acting President, including improving access and affordability of Santa Clara’s distinctive education; supporting faculty and staff who live and work in an area with high costs of living; fostering a culture of respect, transparency, and accountability on campus; completing the University’s $1 billion comprehensive campaign and extending outreach to Silicon Valley and neighboring communities. She sees opportunities for curricular innovation, increased research addressing the world’s complex interdisciplinary problems, and strengthening our collective work to advance Santa Clara’s Jesuit mission. 

Kloppenberg was born and raised in California. She and her husband, Mark Zunich, are blessed with three adult children, two of whom have SCU degrees. She is very grateful to be a member of the Santa Clara University community.