Plans in motion for new buildings and more opportunities
THE SANTA CLARA
October 2, 2014
Blueprints for new dorms and research buildings are among Santa Clara’s ambitious goals to expand the university.
By 2020, the school aims to increase its student population, improve educational quality and boost its national reputation.
“Santa Clara 2020,” originally announced by President Michael Engh, S.J., in February, is an “integrated strategic plan” outlining a vision for Santa Clara’s future. The plan took nearly a decade to design.
One aspect of the project is intended to improve various university departments and provide students with opportunities for deeper experiential learning.
According to Dennis Jacobs, provost and vice president for academic affairs, who is overseeing the entirety of the plan, three “creative zones” will be built as collaborative areas on campus.
A new art and art history building; a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) facility; and a professional hub near the business school will allow for collaboration within multiple disciplines.
The STEM facility will house laboratories for research. It will include the Center for Science, Technology and Society, which pairs social entrepreneurs with Silicon Valley mentors. It will also house the Maker Lab, which trains students to use engineering equipment.
The STEM building is intended to “create space for students to partner with each other and build things and innovate,” Jacobs said. According to Jacobs, students in the STEM building will be able to conduct research that tackles global issues.
“These are real challenges, and our students are using their innovative minds and connecting with Silicon Valley ingenuity to create solutions,” Jacobs said.
The professional hub will be another area where students can come together to discuss business plans and sustainable enterprises.
In accordance with the plan, Santa Clara also aims to increase the undergraduate student body from 5,400 to 6,000 individuals by 2020.
“As we add more students, it gives us the opportunity to appropriately add more faculty, potentially add more majors, (and) create more opportunities for clubs and other organizations,” Jacobs said.
Another aspect of the plan outlines the additional facilities that will be constructed, such as classrooms and residence halls, in order to accommodate for the increased student population.
Two new residence halls will be built to house an additional 600 students added to the undergraduate population. One will be constructed where the current art and art history building is located, and the other will be built in place of the parking lot adjacent to Sobrato Hall.
In order to fund this ambitious development project, the comprehensive campaign will raise endowment money, or funds that are gifted to the university and designated for future growth. The endowment will increase the amount of financial aid the university will offer, Jacobs said.
“We are not building this plan on the back of tuition,” said Jacobs. “We’re really looking for benefactors for gifts and donations to help us achieve this.”
With the aspirations to build a more humane, just and sustainable world, the university will continue to refine “Santa Clara 2020” through the end of this year.
“We are still working on what goes in the plan,” said Michael Hindery, vice president for finance and administration, who is involved in working out the cost. “There have been hundreds of ideas, needs and wishes of people, and we are narrowing those down to what our priorities are.”
According to Jacobs, the Board of Trustees will be meeting later this month to discuss the cost of the 2020 plan.
Contact Mallory Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.