Santa Clara University (SCU) has embarked on a search for its next President. Recognized as one of the top Catholic universities in the U.S., SCU seeks a proven and visionary leader who embodies our commitment to Jesuit values, and who will lead the University to new levels of success.
Santa Clara University seeks a visionary, inspirational, and engaged leader with a deep commitment to the values of a Jesuit, Catholic education—someone who possesses the ability and experience to build and articulate a comprehensive, unifying vision among all constituents. This is a pivotal and transformational moment for higher education and for Santa Clara as the University considers the possibility of the appointment of its first lay president. The next president will bring decisiveness; discernment; a strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging; and exceptional leadership in mobilizing and operationalizing the path forward.
Founded in 1851, and located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Santa Clara University blends high-tech innovation with an emphasis on personal, humanistic formation and social consciousness that animate the Jesuit, Catholic educational tradition. In the 2022 “Best Colleges” rankings of U.S. News & World Report, Santa Clara was ranked at No. 55, or the top 15% of 400 top national universities. Through more than 50 majors, minors, and special programs in six schools and colleges, the University seeks to educate citizens and leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion, who cultivate knowledge and faith to build a more humane, just, and sustainable world. At the undergraduate level, Santa Clara offers degrees in arts and sciences, business and engineering. A substantial graduate program supports degrees in arts and sciences, theology, business, education and counseling psychology, engineering, and law. The University is home to more than 5,850 undergraduate students, 3,000 graduate students, 900 faculty, over 1,050 staff, and more than 104,000 alumni living worldwide.
As the University emerges from the pandemic, it finds itself in a strong financial position. Santa Clara has an annual operating budget of approximately $545 million and an endowment of over $1.5 billion. Today, the University has virtually no deferred maintenance and recently opened state of the art facilities to enhance student learning and faculty research. The beautiful and historic 106-acre campus is adjacent to San Jose, the 10th largest city in the U.S., and community members are able to take advantage of the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the most culturally and environmentally diverse regions in the world.
The new president will strengthen and energize the community, galvanizing it around a distinctive and compelling vision in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition of cura personalis—educating each person to flourish in mind, body, and spirit—and cultivating a social consciousness and commitment to justice that will infuse all aspects of the University. This vision will be built by and in support of a campus community grounded in mutual trust, respect, transparency, community, and collaboration where creativity and innovation can thrive. The president will lend their personal leadership and character to cultivating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community where all members feel valued and have a sense of belonging, as well as a campus where environmental sustainability is central to decision-making and planning. Of paramount importance will be the creation of a sustainable business model that delivers affordable education opportunity, extending a transformative Jesuit education to ever wider circles of students and supporting its long-term health and the wellbeing of its students, faculty and staff. In addition, the president will foster deep relationships with alumni, business leaders, and the broader Silicon Valley community to leverage the tremendous support and opportunities afforded by this vibrant, entrepreneurial, and innovative region.
To achieve these objectives, Santa Clara seeks a president with vision, reflective discernment, an engaged and collaborative style, strategic and operational leadership, creativity and innovative spirit, exceptional communication skills, and energy and integrity to inspire and unite the community around a common vision for the future. The president will have experience as a leader of an enterprise of similar size and complexity and with a substantial record of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. The successful candidate will identify deeply with, and be able to serve as a compelling communicator of, the distinctive character and mission of a Jesuit, Catholic university, and have a proven history of productive and collaborative relationships with internal and external University constituencies, possess a transparent, inspiring and decisive leadership, and be adept at building consensus. An earned doctorate or terminal degree is desired. There is an openness to nontraditional candidates who, through previous experience and leadership in transformational undertakings and commitment to excellence in higher education, would garner the respect of the campus and broader communities.
For information on how to apply for this position, inquire, or submit nominations, please refer to the section Procedure for Candidacy.
Opportunities and Expectations for Leadership
Several areas where the new president will be expected to contribute immediately to Santa Clara’s success:
Define a compelling and distinctive vision for the future of Santa Clara grounded in its Jesuit and Catholic mission and values
The new president will arrive at Santa Clara at a pivotal moment where a convergence of demographic, sociocultural, economic, and intellectual dynamics are compounded by the lingering impacts of the pandemic. These dynamics, along with the opportunities and consequences of remote learning, the need for transformative, anti-racist, and equity-minded educational models, and the evolving financial constraints and business models needed to support higher education, require extraordinary leadership and problem solving. Engaging with the trustees, campus leaders, faculty, students, staff, alumni, and families, the president will draw on Santa Clara’s distinctive Jesuit, Catholic identity to find creative and innovative ways to address these issues. In particular, the president will be able to build on the Jesuit tradition of reflection, discernment, and action to educate the next generation of agents of hope and change in Silicon Valley and the world. At the same time, the president will support the creativity and innovation of the University’s faculty and staff, encouraging and animating them as they bring their gifts to address the most pressing issues of our times.
Santa Clara is at the late stage of its historic, comprehensive $1 billion fundraising campaign, and finds itself in a new U.S. News & World Report category, moving from regional distinction to a ranking of No. 55 among national colleges and universities. This creates an exceptional opportunity for a new president to create with the community a new vision for the University's future—one that is compelling, distinctive, contemporary, and in deep alignment with its Jesuit, Catholic character of personalized, humanistic education while continuing to build a reputation of national prominence. The foundation of this vision must be built upon and further strengthen Santa Clara's legacy of excellence in undergraduate teaching balanced with its commitment to graduate education and scholarly and creative activity as embodied in its teacher-scholar model. Santa Clara is known for conceiving and accelerating new technologies, encouraging creativity, caring for the environment, engaging with communities, and cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset to shape the next generation of leaders and global thinkers. This must remain a distinctive characteristic of its future. Nurturing a campus culture where faculty and students are empowered and supported in their pursuit of a blend of innovation and social consciousness, grounded in the Jesuit educational tradition, will be of paramount importance to Santa Clara's new president.
Build a campus community and culture based on mutual trust and respect, transparency, communication, and collaboration
Like so many institutions across the country, Santa Clara continues to recover from the continued impact of the pandemic. The disruptions and dislocations of the past year have opened up greater attentiveness to the need to address the deep social divisions in society today, both inside and outside the University. The community feels an urgent desire to make transformative change around issues of race, respect, and inclusion, and it is engaged in an important, honest, and sometimes difficult reflection that has challenged it to do better. This is a community in need of a leader who is naturally empathetic and compassionate and has a unique ability to communicate, heal, and unite the community, bringing it together around a common purpose and understanding.
Santa Clara's president will be expected to reinvigorate the campus culture, drawing on the University’s Jesuit mission and history and forging new paths to mutual trust, inclusivity, respect and civil discourse, and to strengthen relationships among faculty, staff, students, alumni and administration. This requires a willingness to engage with stakeholders in a truly consultative way, listen thoughtfully and generously with a deep desire to understand various viewpoints, make careful and thoughtful decisions in a timely manner, clearly communicate those decisions and the rationale for them, and put those decisions into action to establish and maintain a strong sense of progress and forward momentum. The president must be willing to engage the campus in difficult conversations and lead the individuals involved, and the community, toward resolution through openness, transparency, and mutual respect. Underlying these efforts must be a steadfast commitment to collaboration and to creating an inclusive environment where a wide range of viewpoints and perspectives is sought out, engaged with, listened to, considered, respected, and valued.
Cultivate a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus community where all members feel valued and have a sense of belonging
The president will bring to Santa Clara a record of vigorous engagement, leadership, and progress in advancing institutional diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. The president will promote an understanding of the essential role these core values play in a Jesuit, Catholic university and how a commitment to these values extends to every facet of the University, including its mission, faculty and staff hiring, development and retention, student recruitment and support, curriculum and programmatic offerings, scholarly and creative activity, and partnerships across Santa Clara and in the external community. The president will ensure policies and initiatives that reflect the mission of Santa Clara and for processes of hiring, supporting, and retaining faculty and staff to reflect the needs and aspirations of its increasingly diverse student body. The president will infuse the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging into all aspects of Santa Clara's planning and decision making as the University strives to become an anti-racist campus.
In the spirit of the Jesuit value of cura personalis, the president will be especially mindful and attentive to the unique needs and concerns of faculty, staff, and students. Issues such as the high cost of living in the Bay Area, campus climate and belonging, shared governance and effective participation and leadership for all members of the Santa Clara community, and mental health and wellness are high on the agenda. The president must be able and willing to engage in conversation and take decisive action to address these important concerns and create an environment where all members of the community feel seen and valued and have a sense of true belonging.
Secure Santa Clara's financial strength and create a sustainable business model
The president will oversee the development and execution of plans to ensure Santa Clara's long-term financial strength and resilience. Overseeing annual budgeting, enrollment, capital planning, new program development and entrepreneurship, the president's influence and need for capable, strategic, and adept leadership of Santa Clara's financial well-being cannot be overstated.
The president will take action to grow campus resources in creative ways. Santa Clara's aspirations and commitment to accessibility will require the creation of forward-looking and evolving business models to ensure Santa Clara's financial strength. The president will be expected to lead the campus in proactively identifying, spearheading, and shaping innovative opportunities to grow campus resources and partner with the Board of Trustees to engage in long-range financial planning for the institution.
The president serves as the chief storyteller to help advance the University's fundraising priorities. The president will deftly share and communicate Santa Clara's successes and aspirations in a way that draws on its unique history in the Santa Clara Valley, cherishes its Jesuit traditions of reflection, Catholic faith, social impact, and transformative education, and inspires, motivates, and galvanizes support from diverse stakeholders. Growing annual fund contributors as well as cultivating transformational gifts will enable the University to carry out today's most important work as well as allow Santa Clara to lay the roadmap for its future.
Build deep relationships with the community, leveraging the tremendous opportunities in the Silicon Valley and beyond
Santa Clara University is situated in one of the most entrepreneurial, innovative, socially aware and philanthropic regions in the country. It is a global center for technology and innovation, home to some of the world's most prominent companies, outstanding educational institutions, and independent research institutes. Additionally, more than 40% of Santa Clara's alumni stay in the San Francisco greater Bay Area region after they graduate, providing opportunities for long-term engagement. Great strides have been made to capitalize on the connections in the region but there is room to further strengthen and deepen ties to the community for the benefit of its students, faculty, and staff. The new president will be a relationship builder who exhibits a natural desire and ability to engage actively and meaningfully with all sectors in the community—corporate, not-for-profit, government, community organizations, and alumni—in support of Santa Clara's mission and priorities. This activity will contribute to Santa Clara's distinctive place in the region—and indeed across the nation and the globe—and help define and shape its vision for the future.
Santa Clara is home to three centers of distinction: Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education. The centers provide strong avenues to further advance Santa Clara's social justice mission and forge stronger connections to the Silicon Valley community. The president will help shape the University's vision and goals for a more robust relationship with Silicon Valley, lead in creating entrepreneurial opportunities grounded in the Jesuit charism of social innovation and impact and play a visible and active role engaging with leaders in the Valley. Given the region’s tremendous philanthropic opportunities, the president's activities in the community will also support the University's fundraising efforts.
The president must comfortably embrace this public role, integrating seamlessly into the community and providing mission-driven leadership to the community and the region. The president will also be expected to engage nationally and globally in support of the University’s commitment to global responsibility and connectedness.
Continue to advance SCU’s leadership in environmental sustainability
Santa Clara University is a leader in advancing the issues of environmental sustainability in campus operations, curriculum, programming, research, and community engagement, particularly with historically excluded communities. Recently awarded for the fourth consecutive year by the Sierra magazine as a ‘Cool School’, Santa Clara University has consistently ranked as a leader in sustainability initiatives. The next president will continue to build on the University’s past accomplishments and commitments and continue to make sustainability a central strategic priority. Silicon Valley needs Santa Clara University as an educational and thought leader for creating a regenerative economy that works for everyone.
Professional Qualifications and Personal Qualities
Santa Clara University seeks in its new president a leader with the vision, worldview, collegial and collaborative style, strategic and operational leadership, and energy and integrity to inspire others and unite the community around a new vision for the future. The new president will embrace and be guided by Santa Clara’s Jesuit, Catholic values and mission, and will be able to embody and articulate these values in ways that offer compelling evidence of the distinct character of the education and impact the University fosters in the world. Candidates should have an understanding of academic excellence and research, a history of substantial leadership, the ability to build and cultivate consensus and make difficult decisions, as well as accomplishment in fostering and supporting a climate of community, inclusive excellence, and mutual respect.
In June 2021, the Board of Trustees voted to amend the University’s bylaws to remove the requirement that the University’s president must be a Jesuit priest. As documented throughout this profile, the board members expect that the new president will be familiar with, and committed to, the purposes, identity, and mission of Santa Clara as a Jesuit, Catholic university.
The ideal candidate will have many if not all of the following qualities:
- Leadership and vision: A dynamic, innovative approach, exhibiting unimpeachable integrity, excellent judgment, decisiveness, courage of conviction, compassion, humility and the ability to put others before themselves; a strong, visible, and engaged presence and the interpersonal agility to inspire and galvanize a community around a shared, inclusive, forward-thinking vision; a successful record of accomplishment in recruiting, supporting, and retaining strong leaders and of developing them into successful leadership teams; the ability to lead through and empower teams and to delegate, as well as the ability to lead by influence, with a character and purpose that inspire and empower.
- Commitment to Jesuit mission: Familiarity with and an intuitive grasp of the University's Jesuit and Catholic character, including its deep commitment to engagement with the world’s most challenging issues, reflection at the personal and communal levels in the context of faith and transcendence, careful discernment, and action in pursuit of the flourishing of each person and of the common good; engagement with the Catholic intellectual tradition, which explores novel questions across disciplines, boldly engages new realities, wrestles with questions of faith and meaning in our time, connects the transformative education of students with the promotion of justice and care for the marginalized, and encourages dialogue between faith and reason, and which welcomes members of the community from all faith traditions and humanistic commitments, as well as the ability to advance the academic quality and distinctiveness of the University in a way that is consistent with its values as a Jesuit and Catholic institution and that can dialogue with the local and global Catholic Church.
- Commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging and social justice: A demonstrated record of accomplishment and impact in advancing issues related to diversity, equity, belonging, and inclusion; experience encouraging a culture of diverse thought and comfortably participating and leading conversations about social issues that impact the community, as well as a successful track record in removing barriers to inclusion and in affirming diversity in all its forms.
- Business acumen: Superior knowledge and a record of successful engagement with the business and financial operations of a complex organization; outstanding fiscal acumen, including a record of sound budgetary stewardship and resourcefulness in developing ways to generate revenue through new avenues.
- Commitment to environmental sustainability: A demonstrated record of advancement related to environmental sustainability issues that will ensure that Santa Clara University continues as a leader on these issues in practice, teaching, research, and community engagement.; a strong understanding of the importance and urgency of sustainability issues, as well as a creative and integrative approach to the multidimensional ways that Santa Clara University can address them.
- Skilled community builder: Demonstrated experience building bridges across an institution and creating a culture of transparency, mutual trust, and respect; an ability to listen carefully and to invite and consider the concerns of all members of a community; the interpersonal skills to engage a community in healing through an empathetic, compassionate, and pastoral approach; an affirmative outreach, positive, optimistic outlook and "can do" spirit, as well as a track record of engaged leadership with an accessible, inclusive, and personal approach.
- Collaborative and consultative leadership: The ability to balance the strong executive leadership needed to ensure that decisions are made in a timely and fair manner with sensitivity to the context of doing so within an effective system of shared governance; a natural inclination to seek appropriate input for major decisions, reaching out to faculty, staff, and students and encouraging their engagement in campus matters; a demonstrated record of collaboration and inclusive decision-making characterized by exceptional communication and relationship-building skills; a collaborator and convener with the capacity to build consensus, as well as the ability to harness the power of the staff and faculty to operationalize a shared and empowered governance model.
- External engagement skills: Exceptional community engagement and public relations skills, in particular the ability to connect with audiences large and small and a genuine enjoyment of and enthusiasm for engaging deeply across a broad and diverse public; experience generating significant resources, including philanthropic support, as well as an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit to further advance Santa Clara's relationship with Silicon Valley and beyond.
- Understanding of academic issues and trends: Strong understanding of the dynamics of the higher education landscape, including knowledge of changing university financial models, enrollment trends and intercollegiate athletics.
- Academic credentials: An earned doctorate or terminal degree is desired. There is an openness to nontraditional candidates who, through previous experience and leadership in transformational undertakings and commitment to excellence in higher education, would garner the respect of the campus and broader communities.
About Santa Clara University
Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University sits in the heart of Silicon Valley—the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial region. The University’s stunningly landscaped 106-acre campus is home to the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asís. Ranked among the top 15 percent of national universities by U.S. News & World Report, SCU has among the best four-year graduation rates in the nation and is rated by PayScale in the top 1 percent of universities with the highest-paid graduates. SCU has produced elite levels of Fulbright Scholars as well as four Rhodes Scholars. With undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, and graduate programs in six disciplines, the curriculum blends high-tech innovation with social consciousness and humanistic formation grounded in the tradition of Jesuit, Catholic education.
The University pursues its vision by creating an academic community that educates the whole person (cura personalis) within the Jesuit and Catholic tradition, making student learning and personal formation the central focus, continuously improving the curriculum and co-curriculum, strengthening scholarship and creative work, and serving communities in Silicon Valley and around the world.
Santa Clara University will educate leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion, and cultivate knowledge and faith to build a more humane, just, and sustainable world.
The University is committed to the following core values, which guide the institution in carrying out its mission and realizing its vision:
SCU seeks an uncompromising standard of excellence in teaching, learning, creativity, and scholarship within and across disciplines.
Search for Truth, Goodness, and Beauty
SCU prizes scholarship and creative work that advances human understanding, improves teaching and learning, and adds to the betterment of society by illuminating the most significant problems of the day and exploring the enduring mysteries of life. In this search, Santa Clara University's commitment to academic freedom is unwavering.
SCU strives to integrate academic reflection and direct experience in the classroom and the community, especially to understand and improve the lives of those with the least education, power, and wealth.
Commitment to Students
Teachers and scholars, mentors and facilitators all endeavor to educate the whole person; nurturing and challenging students intellectually, spiritually, aesthetically, morally, socially, and physically, preparing them for leadership and service to the common good in their professional, civic, and personal lives.
Service to Others
The University promotes a culture of service, not only to those who study and work at Santa Clara University, but to society in general, especially to its most disadvantaged members as work is done with and for others to build a more humane, just, faith-filled, and sustainable world.
Community and Diversity
Santa Clara University cherishes a diverse and inclusive community of students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni(ae) "a community that is enriched by people of different backgrounds, respectful of the dignity of all of its members, enlivened by open communication, and caring and just toward others."
The University treasures a Jesuit heritage, which incorporates all of these core values. This tradition gives expression to the Jesuit educational mission and Catholic identity while also welcoming and respecting other religious and philosophical traditions, promoting the dialogue between faith and culture, and valuing opportunities to deepen religious beliefs.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Santa Clara
Advancing inclusive excellence is a campus-wide imperative inherent in Santa Clara University's Jesuit values and traditions. Over the years, students, faculty, staff, and alumni have worked collectively and creatively to advance the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Of particular importance today are efforts to advance the welcome, respect, support, and belonging in the curriculum, student and residence life, faculty and student recruitment, and new student orientation. Along the way, a number of key structures, organizations and resources were created:
- LEAD Scholars Program
- Council on Inclusive Excellence
- Office for Multicultural Learning
- Office for Diversity and Inclusion (ODI)
- Blue Ribbon Commission on Diversity and Inclusion
- Task Force on Diversity
- Campus Climate Study
- The Ohlone History Working Group Report
- Advancing Racial Justice Dashboard
- Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Santa Clara University offers students more than 50 majors, minors, and special programs for law and teaching. The graduate programs span business, engineering, education, counseling psychology, law, theology, and pastoral ministries.
Santa Clara University has six nationally recognized schools and colleges.
- College of Arts and Sciences
- School of Engineering
- Leavey School of Business
- School of Education and Counseling Psychology
- School of Law
- Jesuit School of Theology (Located in Berkeley, CA, about 50 miles away)
The College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering, and the Leavey School of Business offer undergraduate degrees.
All Santa Clara University schools have graduate programs, though the College of Arts and Sciences supports only one, the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries. All of the Schools and the College have activities that include a focus on global learning and social justice. Over one-third of the University's students participate in at least one program abroad during their time at Santa Clara University. The University also offers minors in International Business and International Studies, as well as a full range of study-abroad options to grow students’ global perspectives.
Centers of Distinction
Santa Clara University has three Centers of Distinction that encourage the pursuit of knowledge in service of humanity, and create opportunities to share the Jesuit values and talents within SCU, throughout the communities, and around the world.
- Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education: The Ignatian Center brings together Santa Clara University's most characteristically Jesuit programs to communicate and share the University's core values both on and off campus. The Center also sponsors neighborhood engagement and immersion projects throughout the surrounding communities and the world.
- Markkula Center for Applied Ethics: The Markkula Center supports campus engagement with ethical issues and brings the University's resources to bear on real-world problems faced by individuals and organizations in Silicon Valley and around the world.
- Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship: The Miller Center focuses on accelerating entrepreneurship to end global poverty and protect the planet.
At the Center of Innovation
Santa Clara University is distinct in its blending of a 170-year commitment to faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice, with an ongoing focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. The University's Silicon Valley location puts students in the heart of a global center for advanced technology and innovation. Santa Clara University students learn from professors who are business leaders and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, as well as through real-world internships that give them direct, hands-on experience in emerging technologies.
The new addition of the Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation, one of the largest STEM facilities in the nation at over 270,000 square feet, provides the latest equipment, resources, and vast, flexible spaces for students and professors to conduct the cross-functional, innovative work needed to solve humanity’s most pressing problems. The opening of SCDI in the fall of 2021 comes at an opportune moment, as Santa Clara University has seen its undergraduate STEM enrollment increase 85% in the past decade. In addition, the College of Arts and Sciences launched the REAL program in the summer of 2018, allocating over half a million dollars annually to fund over 100 undergraduate students as they pursue creative work, undergraduate research, paid internships, or individualized projects of their own choosing.
Over the past 10 years, Santa Clara University has attained new levels of academic achievement. Expanding academic offerings by creating nearly 20 new degrees, certificates and online degree programs has resulted in increases in the size, diversity and caliber of the student body. Many of its academic programs have been ranked among the top in the country.
U.S. News & World Report (2022)
- #55 in best national universities
- #37 in best undergraduate teaching
- #110 in best value schools
- #49 in best undergraduate business programs
- #9 in entrepreneurship
- #15 in accounting
- #17 in management information systems
- #39 in management
- #42 in finance
- #114 in best undergraduate engineering programs
- #135 in overall undergraduate computer science programs
- #15 in undergraduate accounting programs
- #20 in part-time MBA Programs
- #51 in "650 Top Colleges"
The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education (2020)
- #87 out of more than 800 U.S. colleges and universities
- #22 in best universities for a bachelor's degree
Poets & Quants (2020)
- #2 for undergraduate accounting degrees
- #33 in undergraduate business programs
- #5 best Catholic university in the U.S.
Complementing current academic programs, Santa Clara Athletics is a key component of the Jesuit philosophy of the education of the whole person—body, mind, and spirit. Through participation in intercollegiate athletics and recreation, students learn critical life lessons and values, including sportsmanship, discipline, teamwork, overcoming adversity, preparation, trust in others, and selflessness. With 20 intercollegiate sports, SCU's Division I teams have a history of excellence in the West Coast Conference and on the national stage, with national championships and student athletes going on to become All-Americans, Olympians, World Cup champions, and Hall of Famers. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the Bronco Women Soccer team won their second national championship in May 2021.
Now, with the Stephen C. and Patricia A. Schott Athletic Excellence Center (opened in fall 2021), student athletes have a new dedicated space to work out, train, practice, eat, and study together, while also opening much-needed facility options for events and for the more than 3,000 students participating in clubs and intramural sports.
Santa Clara University is a recognized leader in the Jesuit and U.S. higher education for integrating sustainability campus operations, curriculum and community outreach. We are ranked in the top tier of schools nationally by the Sierra Club and Princeton Review, and have achieved a STARS Gold rating. The University’s sustainability efforts include:
- A commitment to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions and zero waste as a means to model sustainability as an institution;
- Investment in courses, faculty professional development and co-curricular programming including the Turn Climate Crisis project to prepare our students for significant challenges such as the climate crisis and diminishing natural resources;
- Support of innovative sustainability research through the Sustainability Research Initiative, which has fostered a distinctive research focus on justice and sustainability by increasing faculty research and enhancing research collaborations; and
- Support of community-based research for environmental justice in BIPOC communities, on-campus and urban gardening education in San Jose’s predominantly Latinx Washington neighborhood, community-based learning opportunities, and other engagement with the business, nonprofit, and government sectors in Silicon Valley.
The Division for Student Life invests in programs and services that directly impact the student experience. The Division provides transformative experiences for first- and second-year undergraduates; delivers innovative learning opportunities that integrate the intellectual, social and personal development of students throughout their time at SCU; advocates for the development and sustainability of an inclusive and respect-filled campus community; and responds to the welfare needs and conduct issues of students. Santa Clara University's approach to student life reflects its Ignatian values of respecting its students as individuals and working with them to maximize their personal development and academic pursuits.
Undergraduate applications have grown by nearly 60% over the past 10 years. For the Class of 2025, SCU welcomed 1,589 first-year students from a pool of 16,849 applicants. These students come from 44 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, Samoa, Armed Forces Pacific, Armed Forces Africa, and 31 non-U.S. regions. The University enrolled a transfer class of 199 students from a pool of 1,000 applicants.
Santa Clara University consistently attracts high caliber students in the top rungs of their class. The most recent official measure of class ranking shows that 88% of Santa Clara first-year students were in the top 25% of their high school classes, up from 82% the previous year. In addition, 52% of the class of 2025 were in the top 10% of their high school class.
The growing diversity of the undergraduate student population is demonstrated in the Class of 2025 profile. The class includes 53% men and 47% women, and over 52% of the class identify as students of color: 4% are Black or African American, 21% are Asian American, 18% are Hispanic or Latino, less than 1% are Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 40% are White, 9% are two or more races, while 2% are not indicated; 10% percent are the first in their family to attend college, and 9% are Pell Grant eligible.
Tuition and Fees and Financial Aid
In 2021-22, tuition and fees for undergraduates is $55,224. Seventy-three percent of SCU students receive financial aid.
Retention and Graduation Rates
SCU's high retention and graduation rates continue to reflect Santa Clara University's long-standing excellence in degree outcomes. The University consistently has one of the highest retention rates in higher education. Most recently, 93% of first-year students returned to SCU for their second year. The retention rate for Black or African American students was 94%; Hispanic or Latino students had a 98% retention rate.
The four-year graduation rate of SCU undergraduate students who entered in 2016-17 was 86%—among the highest rate among comprehensive universities nationally. The graduation rate for Black or African American students was 86%; Hispanic or Latino students had an 86% graduation rate.
Student-Centered Teaching and Learning
SCU has an average class size of 21 students. The student to faculty ratio is 10.5 to 1.
As the University emerges from the pandemic, it finds itself in a strong financial position. Santa Clara's operating budget is $545 million; its endowment is valued at $1.5 billion; and it has an Aa3 Moody's bond rating.
Ten years ago the University embarked on a very aggressive building phase. During that time, the University developed or renovated approximately 1.35 million gross square feet of new program space at Santa Clara (approximately 42% of the campus). Today, the campus has virtually no deferred maintenance and recently opened state of the art facilities to enhance student learning and faculty research.
Innovating with a Mission, the Campaign for Santa Clara University, publicly launched in 2018, advances the institution's distinctive Jesuit education and forges the next generation of ethical leaders. Top priorities include investments in student scholarships and access, faculty and teaching, and the Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation. To date, the campaign has raised nearly $800 million towards its $1 billion goal.
Larry W. Sonsini, Chair, Board of Trustees
Larry Sonsini, senior and founding partner of the law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, was elected to a three-year term as chairman of the Santa Clara University Board of Trustees on June 28, 2021.
As CEO and chairman of Wilson Sonsini for more than 35 years, Sonsini is widely regarded as a leading expert in the fields of corporate governance, corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, and IPOs, particularly as they pertain to the technology industry in Silicon Valley and beyond.
Sonsini is devoted to the success and importance of higher education and its accessibility to a larger and diverse student body. He serves on the Board of Visitors of U.C. Berkeley, his alma mater, chairs the American College of Governance Counsel, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the American University of Rome.
Sonsini has great affection for Santa Clara University, which began with his close relationship and respect for Paul Locatelli, S.J., the University’s president from 1988 until 2009. He deeply believes in the value of Jesuit teachings and mission as an important part of contributing to the improvement of an inclusive society and the education of the whole person. Prior to becoming chairman, Sonsini served as vice chairman of the University's Board of Trustees.
In addition to his deep body of work as the founding partner of his law firm, Sonsini has held multiple roles with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), including serving as a member of the board of directors and as chairman of its 2009 Commission on Corporate Governance.
Over the course of his career, Sonsini has served in the role of special adviser for a multitude of technology companies, including Google, Apple, Netflix, Salesforce, Tesla, and Genentech, as well as an advisor to a variety of venture capital and private equity firms in Silicon Valley.
Sonsini earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley. He holds an honorary doctorate degree from Santa Clara University’s School of Law.
For more information about Santa Clara's governance and leadership, see:
Campus and Location
Located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, Santa Clara University has built a community that distinctly blends entrepreneurialism and innovation with a 170-year commitment to faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice.
Silicon Valley, the area that runs south of San Francisco through the city of San Jose, is known globally as a place where ideas are born. Many of the most significant scientific and technological advances in computing, as well as a broad range of fields from medicine to law, have come from this region. The Silicon Valley location contributes significantly to making the University a growing center for technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Its students benefit from being immersed in the innovation and energy of Silicon Valley, and from faculty along with internship and study opportunities drawn from businesses in the area.
SCU's campus spans 106 lush acres with world-renowned gardens and beautiful, state-of-the-art facilities surrounding the iconic Mission Church. The campus is adjacent to San Jose, the 10th largest city in the United States, and is a short drive to the beaches of Santa Cruz and to San Francisco, situating the University in one of the most culturally and environmentally diverse regions in the world.
Integral to SCU's mission is a deep and ongoing engagement with the surrounding communities in Silicon Valley and well beyond. Santa Clara University's community programs, activities, and initiatives are distinct in that they help strengthen the connection between the University, its neighbors and the world, while creating opportunities for all Santa Clara University students to learn, serve, and grow.
Santa Clara's Jesuit School of Theology (JST) is located in nearby Berkeley, California. The Jesuit School of Theology is both a graduate school of Santa Clara University and a member of the Graduate Theological Union, a vibrant consortium encompassing eight graduate schools of theology in the Bay Area, most of them within a few minutes' walk of Santa Clara's campus in Berkeley. A JST education is enhanced by its world-famous consortium library, its close relationship with the nearby University of California, and proximity to the artistic and cultural diversity of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Santa Clara University plays a unique and vital role in Silicon Valley. The Thriving Neighbors Initiative of the University's Ignatian Center and the Leavey School’s My Own Business Institute run a joint program aimed at creating new businesses in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in San Jose. The University also operates the Entrepreneurs’ Law Clinic to deliver high-quality legal services to area entrepreneurs.
Santa Clara University welcomes its neighbors to experience campus culture through a varied list of enrichment programs and public events, such as exhibits, performances, athletics, and public forums featuring some of Silicon Valley’s most notable visionaries—often its own alumni.
The global community is also central to Santa Clara University's culture and curriculum. The University's quest to understand and interpret global issues permeates its academic programs. For example, Miller Center is the largest and most successful university-based social enterprise accelerator in the world. Founded in 1997, Miller Center has mentored more than 900 social enterprises, which in turn have positively impacted more than 320 million lives in developing countries. The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics is the largest center of its kind in the nation, with over 10 focus areas, including business ethics, government ethics, internet ethics, and bioethics. In addition, the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley has established and is expanding a Global Theology Initiative that connects the University with six other Jesuit-sponsored, English-speaking theology centers in Manila, Nairobi, Toronto, Boston, New Delhi, and Pune.
The University recognizes its obligation to transform how students see the world and their places in it. Grounded in ethics and social justice, a Santa Clara University education empowers students to help find solutions to global problems and to affect change in their communities.
Procedure for Candidacy
All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume, and a letter of interest addressing the responsibilities and requirements described in this profile.
For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by December 3, 2021. Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.
Nominations and inquiries can be directed to the WittKieffer consultants supporting this search:
Suzanne Teer, Shelley Arakawa, J.D., and Alejandra Gillette-Teran at SantaClaraPresident@wittkieffer.com
Equal Opportunity/Notice of Nondiscrimination
Santa Clara University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and California State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. Applications from members of historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged. For a complete copy of Santa Clara University’s equal opportunity and nondiscrimination policies, see https://www.scu.edu/title-ix/policies-reports/
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Santa Clara University does not discriminate in its employment practices or in its educational programs or activities on the basis of sex/gender, and prohibits retaliation against any person opposing discrimination or participating in any discrimination investigation or complaint process internally or externally. The Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is Belinda Guthrie, Director of Equal Opportunity and Title IX, 408-551-3043, email@example.com, www.scu.edu/title-ix. Inquiries can also be made to the Assistant Secretary of Education within the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
Clery Notice of Availability
Santa Clara University annually collects information about campus crimes and other reportable incidents in accordance with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. To view the Santa Clara University report, please go to the Campus Safety Services website. To request a paper copy please call Campus Safety at (408) 554-4441. The report includes the type of crime, venue, and number of occurrences.
Americans with Disabilities Act
Santa Clara University affirms its' commitment to employ qualified individuals with disabilities within the workplace and to comply with the Americans with Disability Act. All applicants desiring an accommodation should contact the Department of Human Resources, and 408-554-5750 and request to speak to Indu Ahluwalia by phone at 408-554-5750 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.