Skip to main content

Impact 2030: Santa Clara University's Strategic Plan


The world needs Santa Clara University to be looking to the horizon—to the frontiers as did our Jesuit founders—in a timeless search for truth, reflective discernment, and transformative action. Impact 2030 will help define the Jesuit university of the future.

—Julie Sullivan, President

Impact 2030 builds upon Santa Clara University’s ascent as one of the nation’s leading institutions of higher learning. It fulfills our promise to equip all talented students with the knowledge and ethical clarity our complex and globalizing world will demand of them.

—Larry Sonsini, Chair, Board of Trustees

Download Full Plan PDF

The World Needs Santa Clara University

The Santa Clara University vision and mission place at the center student learning within the Jesuit, Catholic tradition, in order to educate citizens and leaders of competence, conscience and compassion, and build a more humane, just, and sustainable world. Our charge has never been more vital, needed, and relevant.

As the global Jesuit university located in Silicon Valley, we sit at the intersection of innovation and humanity, ideally positioned to address epochal shifts in global society, education, and technology.

Profound and rapid changes in our world mean students are coming to Santa Clara University with far different expectations, needs, and skills than in past decades. They will graduate into a rapidly changing world that requires that we anticipate how to prepare our students, what to prepare them for, and what the University community must seek to learn, discover, and create in our scholarship.

Impact 2030 reflects our commitment to meet these challenges and advance our University’s mission and values boldly—to be a community of people for and with others, in kinship and solidarity, dedicated to using our talents for the betterment of humanity and our common home.

It reflects our need to leverage our strengths in innovation, education, and ethical leadership to prepare students to address the promise and pitfalls of technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning; to innovate solutions to pressing economic, health, and educational-access challenges; and to meet the crucial need to “care for our common home,” embodied in Laudato Si’ and Laudate Deum, the guiding environmental missives from Pope Francis.

What a Jesuit university gives us is the power and audacity to imagine what a better version of ourselves and our world could be.

—Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator, S.J., Dean, Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University

Our community is uniquely positioned to ensure this learning takes place in an environment of practical, living justice—one that ensures that the generations ahead will flourish and be made better by our contributions now.

While our community of scholars is uniquely positioned to cultivate the next generation of educated, impactful citizens and leaders, doing so requires a strategic plan with vision and clarity—one that builds upon our strengths, and increases our capacities in areas of need and opportunity.

Recognizing these callings, President Julie Sullivan initiated the Impact 2030 strategic planning process in a January 31, 2023, letter with a challenge to the entire University community to develop a course of action that is “specific and inspiring, actionable and bold.”

Guided by the University’s Planning Action Council, faculty, students, staff, Jesuits, administrative leaders, trustees, alumni and friends responded to the call. More than 2,000 have engaged in focus groups, open forums, surveys, planning sessions, work group analyses and more—contributing ideas, debating and discussing priorities, and defining a multiyear roadmap for success.

Impact 2030 is a plan that leverages our time-tested Jesuit educational model and momentum as a leading national university. On Feb. 9, 2024, the Board of Trustees unanimously adopted Impact 2030.

A Strong Foundation

We embark on this strategic plan from a position of immense strength, starting with our nationally recognized teacher-scholar model that enables faculty to be at the cutting edge of their disciplines and keep student learning at the forefront. Our deliberate and mindful embrace of the liberal arts—a vital touchpoint for all students through core classes in religion, social justice, critical thinking and diverse cultures—is also a prized foundation for producing well-rounded citizens of the world.

Ranked 13th among all U.S. universities in undergraduate teaching, up from 23rd in 2019

—U.S. News & World Report

Additionally, we are able to draw and expand upon the national reputation and industry leadership demonstrated by our three Centers of Distinction, which serve as interdisciplinary models for:

  • Applying ethics in the fields of business, technology, medicine, and more (Markkula Center for Applied Ethics)
  • Educating, mentoring, and supporting the work of more than 1,400 social entrepreneurs from more than 100 countries, and engaging students who go on to apply for and attain Fulbrights and other awards (Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship)
  • Infusing our Jesuit mission and Ignatian spirituality into all corners of our campus (Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education)

Our Jesuit School of Theology (JST) is well-positioned to help lead expansion internationally. JST regularly attracts, educates, and forms community for lay and religious leaders from more than 40 countries around the world—many of whom return to their home countries and lead dioceses or religious orders that shape ministry and service in entire regions.

Our programs and offerings for entrepreneurship and innovation are also boundless sources of current and potential strength—from the startup-building and resource-rich offerings of our cross-disciplinary Ciocca Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, to the courses and other programs at the Leavey School of Business, which teach how an “entrepreneurial mindset” benefits students in every major across campus.

And finally, our “secret sauce”: the passion of our more than 100,000-strong alumni and our extended Bronco family. We are a community that cares for the whole and seeks the holy—in ourselves, in our neighbors, and in our work.


A University Rising

Our incredible progress following the adoption and implementation of our previous strategic plan, “SCU 2020,” shows we are in an enviable position. Since the previous plan was launched, SCU has achieved: 

National prominence

  • Top 15% of all U.S. universities; becoming nationally ranked for the first time in 2019
  • Top 50 in “Best Colleges for Future Leaders” by TIME magazine
  • 94% student retention rate and 89% graduation rate, both among the highest in the nation
  • 2 Rhodes Scholars and 3 Knight-Hennessy Scholars
  • 44 Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship winners

A more diverse student body

  • Increase in the percentage of enrolled students of color from 44% to 58% of the student body
  • 145% increase in first-generation students in our LEAD Scholars Program
  • Recipient of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award, three years in a row

A secure foundation

  • Completed on Jan. 27, 2024, a 9 ½ year, $1 billion campaign, becoming only the fourth Catholic university—three of which are Jesuit—to reach this milestone
  • Over $280 million raised for new scholarship funds
  • Three quarters of a million square feet in new and renovated classrooms, labs, residence halls, and arts and athletic facilities


Impact 2030 Approach

At the heart of Impact 2030 are four broad strategic priorities that emerged from our strategic planning process. These four strategic priorities expand our impact globally, encompass vast curricular ambitions in areas like health care and ethical AI, commit to providing access to a world-class Santa Clara education for anyone accepted to our University—regardless of financial circumstance—and build upon the power of our committed and passionate Bronco community to develop and sustain belonging and lifelong connections for the diverse classes of our future.

Together, the four strategic priorities provide a vivid blueprint for our ambitions in the coming years. They shore up areas for improvement in Silicon Valley outreach, graduate education, and demographic and socio-economic diversity, and build upon our established teacher-scholar model that is an expression of our Jesuit values and highly regarded liberal arts foundation.

Following the strategic priorities, we have identified a series of foundational commitments. We must invest more in our University’s human capital and improve business and financial planning practices to enhance our organizational capacity for sustained success. Many of these commitments reflect an expansion of financial goals begun in recent years, with metrics and action steps to ensure we fortify our people, technologies, budget capacity, and sustainability operations for Impact 2030 to succeed.

Through the four strategic priorities and foundational commitments, Impact 2030 reflects a confident University—nationally recognized for educational excellence, with an inspiring and compelling Jesuit vision and mission, cutting-edge interdisciplinary facilities, and a geographic location recognized as the world’s leading center of innovation. We are rooted, and we are rising together.

Four Strategic Priorities for Expanding Our Impact

Impact 2030 identifies four Strategic Priorities to fulfill our promise and potential to become the world’s leading Jesuit university:

  1. Reach on a Global Scale
  2. Solutions for the Universal Good
  3. Opportunity for All Talented Students
  4. Belonging for All Broncos