Skip to main content

News Stories

  • Chief Academic Officers of Jesuit Institutions Come to Santa Clara

    This past week, I had the privilege to host 23 of the provosts from America’s 28 Jesuit Colleges and Universities. Our guests toured the Santa Clara campus, met a number of our students, and learned about some of our signature programs. Through the three-day meeting, the group of provosts shared their institutions’ aspirations and challenges with each other. Although there is great variety in the size and scope of the 28 colleges and universities, there is remarkable similarity across the mission and focus of our institutions. We are fortunate to have 27 sister institutions from which we can learn much and with which we can partner in mutually beneficial ways.

  • Civil Discourse

    Over the past academic year, a confluence of events throughout the nation has raised tensions on our campus, as well as at colleges and universities throughout the nation. As challenging as these times may be, I view this as an authentic opportunity for our students to develop the capacity to engage in constructive civil discourse around differences of opinion and lived experience. Towards that goal, Santa Clara University has introduced a number of programs to promote a greater understanding of the rights and responsibilities associated with free speech and protest. (click heading to read more)

  • Ban on Unauthorized Recordings

    In response to faculty concerns regarding unauthorized recording in the classroom and potential resultant threats to academic freedom and personal safety, changes have been implemented this year to the student conduct code. On p. 12-13 in the Student Handbook, the new policy specifies that “[m]aking a video recording, audio recording, or streaming audio/video of private, non-public conversations and/or meetings, inclusive of the classroom setting, without the knowledge and consent of all recorded parties” may result in disciplinary action. Violations of this policy can be reported through the reporting website.

  • Wellness and Mental Health

    In our efforts to educate the whole person, we seek ways to promote the emotional health and resiliency of our students and to build a college community where each young adult can learn and thrive. Santa Clara University has recently become a JED Campus, a national initiative to empower schools with a framework and customized support to achieve these important goals. A JED steering committee, chaired by Jeanne Rosenberger, Vice Provost of Student Life, and including students, staff, faculty, and administrators from many units across campus, is working to develop and implement a comprehensive strategic action plan for mental health on our campus.

  • An Introduction to the Incoming Class of 2021

    In September, Santa Clara will welcome a new cohort of first-year students to campus– the Class of 2021. As we prepare to receive these new students into our campus community, I am pleased to provide a brief introduction by way of some descriptive statistics.

  • SCU Achieves Its Highest Six-Year Graduation Rate; Retention Rates Remain Strong

    I am pleased to announce that efforts across the university in recent years have yielded the highest six-year graduation rate on record at Santa Clara University: 88.6%, as achieved by the fall 2010 cohort. Four-year graduation rates also remain quite strong at 84% (fall 2012 cohort). Our retention rate for first-time, full-time, degree-seeking undergraduates stands at 96.0% (fall 2015 cohort), while the retention rate for Cal Grant recipients at Santa Clara has reached a historic high of 99.1%.

  • New Classroom Spaces Increase Inventory, Facilitate Teaching Innovations

    The university started the fall quarter with an increase in available classrooms resulting from the completion of the Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building and renovation of Alameda Hall, bringing the current inventory of general purpose classrooms across campus to 84. In addition to increasing the overall number of classrooms, the new spaces feature improvements designed to enhance the quality of teaching and learning. Many facilitate the use of innovative pedagogies and instructional practices, including active learning approaches.

  • Recent Developments Mark Progress in Advancing University STEM Initiative

    The STEM initiative is an exciting, complex undertaking to promote discovery and innovation across science, mathematics, and engineering. Several developments have occurred since my last update, including the award of convergence grants to seven cross-disciplinary teams, the selection of an architect and progress in facility planning, and the appointment of committees that will help move the initiative forward.

  • Office for Diversity & Inclusion Promotes Inclusive Faculty Hiring, Development

    The Office for Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) is an invaluable resource to the Santa Clara community, fostering diversity and inclusion in faculty recruitment and retention in a variety of ways. Since its inception in 2013, ODI has provided numerous services and programs to support inclusive faculty hiring and development opportunities for faculty members and early-career teacher-scholars from historically underrepresented groups.

  • SCU to Welcome 378 New International Students from 50 Countries

    This fall, Santa Clara is projected to welcome 378 new international students from 50 countries to campus who will join the approximately 1,300 international students already at our university. Please join me in welcoming these newest members of our community and take a moment to share information that may be unfamiliar to international students--and is worth reviewing with all incoming students--about expectations for academic integrity, classroom engagement and participation, and collaborative learning.

  • 9/15 Awards Celebration to Honor Faculty Accomplishments, Award Recipients

    I invite members of our faculty to join me for the Faculty Awards Celebration after the President’s Convocation on Thursday, September 15. This is a wonderful time for us to come together before the start of the academic year, celebrate our collective work as teaching scholars, recognize important milestones achieved by colleagues, and announce the recipients of some of our highest honors for extraordinary teaching, scholarship, and service. The event, hosted in the Benson Memorial Center, will begin around 5:00 p.m., immediately following the President’s Convocation. Please RSVP if you will attend.

  • Academic Affairs UPC Update: Program and Policy Changes; New Degree Program

    I am pleased to announce that a number of proposals for academic program changes, policy changes, and new programs considered by the Academic Affairs University Policy Committee were approved in the final months of the 2015-16 academic year. Among them are expanded options for students pursuing a second bachelor’s degree, stand-alone major and department status for Ethnic Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies, a name change and updated curriculum for Liberal Studies, and the creation of a new undergraduate Neuroscience degree program.

  • Brett Solomon Appointed Interim Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion

    June 27, 2016

    I am delighted to announce that Associate Professor Brett Solomon will serve as Interim Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion for the 2016-17 academic year. While continuing her engagement as a teaching scholar in Santa Clara’s Liberal Studies Program, Dr. Solomon will bring wisdom and commitment to the promotion of excellence through diversity at Santa Clara University during this interim year in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

  • Four Promoted to Senior Lecturer

    June 27, 2016

    Four faculty members have been promoted to senior lecturer for their outstanding contributions to their students and the University through ongoing commitment to teaching and student learning.

  • Classes Cancelled for 9/28 Mass of the Holy Spirit

    June 27, 2016

    At the beginning of each academic year, the Santa Clara University community celebrates the Mass of the Holy Spirit. This fall, the Mass of the Holy Spirit will be celebrated at noon on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, in the Mission Church. To enable the campus community to attend the Mass, classes will not meet between 11:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. that day. Classes that usually meet from 11:45 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. will be cancelled. Classes scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. will begin at 1:15 p.m.

  • Koret Foundation Supports LEAD Scholars

    May 3, 2016

    The LEAD Scholars program has received a grant of 1.5 million dollars from the Koret Foundation to support expansion and enhancement of the program for first generation students. This is an immense honor for which the University is grateful and the SCU community is proud.

  • Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion

    May 3, 2016

    Aldo Billingslea announced yesterday that, after extensive discernment, he has decided not to seek another term as Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion. I am very grateful to Aldo for his many significant contributions to our inclusive climate at Santa Clara.

  • Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

    May 3, 2016

    Diane Jonte-Pace, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, will be taking a much-deserved sabbatical leave during the 2016-17 academic year to work on a number of important writing projects. I am pleased to announce that Elsa Chen, Associate Professor in Political Science, has agreed to serve a one-year term as Interim Vice Provost for Academic Affairs until Diane returns.

  • El Salvador - Next Steps for Santa Clara University

    May 3, 2016

    As you may recall from the Provost’s Update of March 30, university-sponsored travel to the violence-torn country of El Salvador, including travel to our Casa de la Solidaridad program, has been suspended. I am forming two groups: a Risk Assessment Delegation and a Working Group to consider connections and continuity in the University's relationship with El Salvador.

  • Unity 4 Reminder and Update

    April 13, 2016

    All members of the Santa Clara Community are invited to attend the spring quarter Unity 4 Forum, a campus discussion on diversity, on Wednesday, April 20th from 7:00 – 8:30 pm in the Music Recital Hall.

  • STEM Update

    April 13, 2016

    The University’s STEM Initiative seeks to promote scientific discovery and technological innovation through greater collaboration between math, natural sciences, and engineering.

  • Common Reading for First-Year Students

    March 30, 2016

    Each summer, Santa Clara University invites incoming first-year students to read a common book or series of articles prior to attending new student orientation.

  • Alumnus Honored as Schwarzman Scholar

    March 30, 2016

    I wish to congratulate Santa Clara University alumnus Jesse Caemmerer, who has been chosen for the inaugural class of Schwarzman Scholars for the Master’s degree program at Tsinghua University in Beijing starting in August 2016.

  • Classroom Update

    March 30, 2016

    A number of new learning spaces will be available in fall 2016.

  • Update on Activities in El Salvador

    March 30, 2016

    After extensive consultation following Santa Clara University's suspension of the Casa program in El Salvador, Santa Clara University has decided to perform a comprehensive, on-the-ground risk assessment of our programs in the country.

  • Academic Integrity Pledge and Related Initiatives

    Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015

    Santa Clara University is implementing an Academic Integrity pledge as part of an effort to enhance its long-time commitment to integrity of all kinds – and to academic integrity in particular.

  • STEM Planning

    Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015

    In the coming weeks, STEM faculty and staff will be engaged in conversations about the STEM program developed by HOK, the consultant that worked with the University on STEM visioning and programming.

  • Innovation Discussion

    Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015

    In response to the Academic Affairs UPC’s recommendation to improve alignment between academic and signature programs with respect to innovation, a group of faculty and staff will begin to meet quarterly to promote communication and collaboration across campus.

  • Classroom Spaces

    Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015

    The University is continuing to increase the number of classrooms on campus.

  • Welcome to New Deans

    Wednesday, June 24, 2015

    Three new deans begin their terms of service this summer. Debbie Tahmassebi began her appointment as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences on June 15, 2015. Caryn Beck-Dudley, Dean of the College of Business at Florida State University, will begin her appointment as Dean of the Leavey School of Business on August 1, 2015. Carol Ann Gittens, began serving as interim dean of the School of Education and Counseling Psychology on June 15, 2015. A national search for the next dean of the School of Education and Counseling Psychology is underway.

  • Stem Leadership

    Wednesday, June 24, 2015

    Over the course of the 2014-­15 academic year, the University engaged in visioning and programming for the STEM project. In the 2015-­17 academic years, the University aims to develop an implementation plan for the STEM initiative; work with a design firm to develop facility plans for the STEM complex; and engage in extensive fundraising efforts to support the realization of the STEM vision. Additional work to develop appropriate facility and resource management models will begin this summer.

  • Rhodes Scholar's Success A Testament to SCU Faculty and Staff

    Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014

    Aven Satre-Meloy, Class of 2013, was recently awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. In the coming months, a series of workshops for faculty will focus on encouraging students who are interested in pursuing fellowship opportunities.

  • New Learning Spaces

    Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014

    In support of the teaching scholar model, the Provost's Office has been working to generate new and enhanced learning spaces.

  • Vision Statement for STEM

    Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014

    In January, the STEM Steering Committee will be inviting you to comment on a draft of the STEM Vision Statement. The Vision Statement will inform the forthcoming programming phase. Your input will be greatly appreciated.

  • Student Evaluation of Teaching

    Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014

    The Faculty Affairs committee, after reviewing data from the pilot studies and consulting broadly with faculty through a survey, has recommended approval of the new instrument. On their recommendation and the subsequent recommendation from the School of Law, I have approved the adoption of the new instrument for implementation this fall term. I have asked Eileen Elrod to take the lead on behalf of the Faculty Development Program in providing support for the development of strategies for incorporating multiple sources of evidence in teaching evaluations.

  • Stem Visioning and Programming Story

    Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014

    I am pleased to provide an update on our planning process to develop a compelling vision and comprehensive space program for the future STEM complex. The visioning process has begun this fall and will be immediately followed by a programming phase which is anticipated to conclude by summer 2015.

  • Online/Hybrid Course Redesign

    Thursday, October 9, 2014

    During the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years, the University has offered intensive training sessions in online and hybrid curriculum design through the CADE (Competency Assessment in Distributed Education) program designed by JesuitNet, a branch of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). While online/hybrid training requires an initial investment of time and resources, the program provides enhanced flexibility for faculty, expanded offerings in summer session, and improved access for students -- especially graduate students who live and work at a distance from the university. An invitation to faculty to participate in online/hybrid CADE training opportunities in winter and spring 2015 is forthcoming.

Provost's Update Banner with Fountain 560px

May 18, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to inform you that I have appointed Professor Elsa Chen to serve as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. Through this position, Elsa will play a vital role in the development of programs and services to support the academic mission of the University. Elsa will be responsible for overseeing the areas of Faculty Affairs, Research, Undergraduate Studies, Faculty Development, Global Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion, and Teaching Innovation, as well as assisting me in supporting the deans and enacting academic policies. The Vice Provost also oversees the Hub Writing Center and the de Saisset Museum, and serves as the Provost’s designee on the Academic Affairs Committee.

Since 2015, Elsa has graciously served the University in a number of critical roles, including Interim Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Chair of the University’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion, Interim Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Development, and Co-Director of the Faculty Collaborative for Teaching Innovation. Prior to her current service, Elsa served on the Academic Affairs Committee and the College of Arts and Sciences’ Rank and Tenure Committee. She also directed the Domestic Public Sector Studies Programs and contributed significantly to the Women of Color Network, the President’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, and the steering committee of the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education.

Recently promoted to the rank of Professor of Political Science, Elsa is the recipient of the 2011 President’s Special Recognition Award, the 2012 Inclusive Excellence Award, and the 2015 David E. Logothetti Teaching Award in the College of Arts and Sciences. She has an A.B. from Princeton, a M.P.P. from Harvard, and a Ph.D. from UCLA. Prior to joining the Santa Clara faculty in 2000, she worked as a policy analyst in the criminal justice program at RAND.

Please join me in congratulating Elsa Chen on her new appointment as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

Sincerely,

Dennis C. Jacobs
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs