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Presidential Search and Bylaws Update


Dear Members of the Santa Clara University Community, 

We are pleased to announce that the search for Santa Clara University’s next President is commencing. The Board of Trustees has appointed several Board members to serve on the newly-formed Search Committee, and has named Vice Chair of the Board Fr. Matthew Carnes, S.J., to chair the Committee. Larry Sonsini, Chair of the Board of Trustees, will also serve on the Search Committee. Work will begin over the summer months to make further appointments to the Committee, and we will be soliciting nominations from the faculty and staff community. The Search Committee will also reach out to the ASG leadership and the undergraduate and graduate student community in order to create opportunities for student engagement and involvement in the search process. This summer we will also establish the search timeline and process.

We also wanted to share an important update related to the search. On June 28, the Board voted to amend the University’s bylaws to remove the requirement that the University’s President must be a Jesuit priest. By expanding our eligible applicant pool, this amendment opens up an exciting and unprecedented opportunity for the University to recruit a broad set of candidates across diverse backgrounds who have the necessary skills to lead our University. Importantly, our amended bylaws require that the appointed President “shall be fully familiar with, and committed to, the purposes, identity, and mission of Santa Clara University as a Jesuit, Catholic university.” The Search Committee, and our entire Board of Trustees, are fully committed to ensuring that our next selected President is aligned with our Jesuit values and well-positioned to lead with those values while guiding the University forward. We expect to attract highly experienced candidates who have demonstrated strong leadership as well as economic and academic acumen.

The Search Committee has been charged with conducting an open, inclusive, and transparent process, and it intends to consult extensively with the University community and regularly communicate its progress. As a first step, as noted above we will be reaching out to the Faculty Senate Council and Staff Senate, as well as the broader faculty and staff community, to solicit several nominations. One tenure-line faculty member, one non-tenure track faculty member, and two staff members will be appointed to the Committee. We will also engage an external search firm over the summer to help find highly qualified candidates.

While these early conversations will help identify the key qualities and priorities for the next President, we anticipate most of the work on the search will take place in the Fall when the full University community is available to be part of the conversation. The Committee will welcome nominations from all in the community throughout the first portion of the Fall quarter. In the meantime, you can share any suggestions or comments with us at

In the coming days, we will launch a website that will house all information on the presidential search process. This should go live by the end of the week. 

We recognize that many in the University community are taking well-deserved rest following a challenging year, or are devoting their attention to projects and priorities that had been deferred due to the pandemic. We wish you all the best over these summer months.

Thank you for your support of this process and for your commitment to Santa Clara University.


Larry Sonsini, HON '04                          Fr. Matt Carnes, S.J., M.Div. '03
Chair, SCU Board of Trustees                Chair, Presidential Search Committee
                                                               Vice-Chair, SCU Board of Trustees