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Message from the Chair of the Board of Trustees


Dear Members of the Santa Clara University Community,

Father Engh today announced his decision to step down as President of Santa Clara University on June 30, 2019, after completing his tenth year of service and at the conclusion of the 2018-2019 academic year.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to thank Father Engh for his exceptional leadership and contributions in furthering the important mission of our University. His achievements and legacy span diverse areas of University life as he championed Santa Clara 2020, our integrated strategic plan, and accelerated numerous key priorities that will have lasting impact.

First and foremost, Father Engh was instrumental in enhancing Santa Clara’s already strong tradition of academic excellence. Under his leadership over the past ten years, we have substantially expanded the size and caliber of our faculty and student body while simultaneously broadening access and achievement. Santa Clara has seen rising GPAs and SAT scores for its incoming classes and produced an increasing number of Rhodes, Truman, Schwarzman, Stanford Knight-Hennessy, Fulbright, Udall, and Goldwater Scholars. The Board of Trustees is particularly proud of the progress that has been made in terms of diversifying our campus. Under Father Engh’s tenure, we have doubled the number of first-generation college LEAD Scholars Program participants, and formed the Office for Diversity and Inclusion and Blue Ribbon Commission on Diversity and Inclusion.

Father Engh has passionately embraced the University’s vision to educate global citizens and leaders of conscience and compassion. He played a major role in advancing student life to educate the whole person within the Jesuit, Catholic tradition and cultivate in Santa Clara students the desire and tools to build a more just and sustainable world. His accomplishments in this realm are too many to count (I encourage you to read the press release on this news at To name just a few, during his tenure, the University expanded programs and fellowships in the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship; enhanced the award-winning Center for Sustainability; launched the Johnson Scholarship Program, which encourages students to explore their personal potential and leadership skills; and built meaningful connections with the local Santa Clara community by launching the Entrepreneurs’ Law Clinic, and later doubling its capacity to provide legal services to entrepreneurs, and the Thriving Neighbors Initiative of the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education, a program dedicated to scholarship, teaching, and sustainable development, among other programs.

Importantly, under Father Engh’s leadership, we have added valuable student resources and prioritized state-of-the-art modern facilities like the Edward M. Dowd Art & Art History Building and the Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation to support advanced teaching and scholarship. We have also upgraded other important facilities on campus and made significant improvements to our athletics program, all of which contribute to the University’s national standing. In total, we have developed or renovated approximately 900,000 gross square feet of new program space – one-third of the entire campus environment.

Many of you have gotten to know Father Engh personally. He has developed a deep connection with students and alumni by attending countless student and University events and activities. During his tenure, Father Engh has guided the University with honor, integrity and humility, qualities that have ensured Santa Clara remains an exemplar of Jesuit education. We are pleased he will be with us for the upcoming year, sharply focused on driving forward the University’s strategic goals and building on our tremendous progress. With our talented and capable leadership team, I know that we won’t miss a beat and will continue to advance our priorities to ensure Santa Clara’s long-term success.

Turning to the transition, the Board of Trustees will form a Search Committee and commence the process of finding Santa Clara University’s next Jesuit President, consistent with the University’s bylaws. The Search Committee will be comprised of representatives from the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and members of the Jesuit community. The Committee will consult with the University community, and will consider the University’s deep roots, values and long-range goals to guide the search and selection process. We look forward to keeping you updated as the search process progresses.

In June 2019, at the end of the 2018-2019 academic year, Father Engh will take a sabbatical, after which he will meet with the Jesuit Provincial regarding his next assignment. He will remain available to assist his successor in any capacity. The Board of Trustees and I are grateful that Father Engh has provided us with the time to identify a successor, and for his strong desire to ensure a seamless transition and continuity of leadership for the University. He will always be part of the Santa Clara community, and the Board of Trustees thanks him for his exceptional leadership and progress in extending the University’s legacy.


Paul Gentzkow
Chair, Santa Clara University Board of Trustees