News Stories

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 a small El Salvador Risk Assessment Delegation to visit El Salvador, carefully evaluate safety risks, and provide me with a risk assessment report in June 2016.

In addition to creating this Delegation, the University is exploring creative ways to further Santa Clara’s relationship with our vital community and institutional partnerships in El Salvador during the suspension of university-sponsored travel. I am appointing an El Salvador Working Group on Connections and Continuity, to be co-chaired by Mike Nuttall, Interim Executive Director of the Ignatian Center, and Diane Jonte-Pace, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

More than 50 members of the University community – both on campus and in El Salvador – participated in a forum on April 13 to discuss how Santa Clara can “continue to foster the myriad of partnerships that have developed in El Salvador over the years.” A wide range of suggestions for supporting connections and continuity in the University’s relationship with El Salvador were proposed during that discussion.

The Working Group will review the suggestions gathered at the University-wide forum, consult further with affiliated groups and individuals both on the Santa Clara campus and in El Salvador, and recommend a handful of prioritized approaches that Santa Clara University might pursue to advance its engagement with El Salvador. For each approach, the group will sketch out the structures and support necessary for success. Consultants will include UCA colleagues, Praxis site partners, SCU staff in El Salvador, leadership of Catholic Relief Services, CRISPAZ and other groups in San Salvador, as well as members of the SCU community on the home campus. The Working Group will provide recommendations to me by July 1, 2016.  

Mike Nuttall has reached out to the campus community to invite feedback on the suggestions from the April 13 forum. Please feel free to send additional ideas and recommendations to Mike and Diane through this link: