Shared governance noted in speech to faculty and students
THE SANTA CLARA
February 20, 2014
Santa Clara President Michael Engh, S.J., spoke to members of the university in the annual State of the University address, in which he discussed both concerns facing the university and accomplishments that have been achieved by the community.
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges has requested Santa Clara to address four areas of concern: the integration of the Jesuit School of Theology into Santa Clara, improvements in assessment, attention to diversity and inclusion and progress in shared governance and communication.
“Santa Clara has made significant progress on the first three,” said Engh. “The Jesuit School of Theology has been integrated into the university on many levels, assessment has become a regular feature in the operation of the university and we have opened an office for diversity and inclusion, (which is) staffed with fine leaders.”
While the university has not yet achieved as much progress regarding shared governance of the university between faculty, staff and the administration, Engh said that he is committed to the cause of shared governance.
In order to achieve this, there have been ongoing conversations between Board of Trustees, the administration, faculty and staff, as well as increased communication between faculty and staff.
Engh has taken the time to meet one-on-one with members of the university community, particularly faculty members. Engh also addressed the University Strategic Plan, which was adopted in 2011 as a long-term plan of action to address the most pressing priorities of the university.
“Since the adoption of the University Strategic Plan in 2011, it has brought greater clarity and specificity to our dreams at Santa Clara,” said Engh. “Fifty faculty members have spent hundreds of hours in identifying concrete objectives in the plan.”
Engh said that there will be four town hall meetings that will present an overview of the entire plan, which he encouraged both students and faculty to attend.
The university’s recovery from the 2008 economic recession was also part of the discussion.
“As Santa Clara continues to recover from the recession, we have seen our endowment dramatically restore its losses and our fundraising gaining significant traction,” said Engh. “The Board of Trustees passed another balanced budget, one that happily includes a 3 percent merit pool increase in faculty and staff salaries.”
Engh also cited signs of recovery in the form of a greater number of monetary gifts to Santa Clara. This includes the recent $12 million gift from 1972 Santa Clara alumnus Edward Dowd towards the construction of the $26 million Art and Art History building.
Engh concluded his address by discussing how the university is committed to reaching out to its students to create an accepting atmosphere.
“We want to hear the needs and the stories of others so we can live more respectfully and create a home where all are welcome,” Engh said. “These ideals motivate us to live our commitment to our values, to face our differences and disagreements, and to achieve even more for Santa Clara.”
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