Julie H. Sullivan Will Be the First Woman President of Santa Clara University in California

Santa Clara University has announced that Julie H. Sullivan has been named the thirtieth president of Santa Clara University. When she takes office on July 1, Dr. Sullivan will become the first layperson and first woman to serve as president in the 171-year history of Santa Clara University. In June 2021, the Santa Clara University board of trustees updated the university’s bylaws to remove the requirement that its president must be a Jesuit priest.

“I am deeply honored to have been selected as the next president of Santa Clara University, a true national leader in higher education,” said Dr. Sullivan. “Throughout my career, I have been witness to the transformation that happens when you develop not only knowledgeable, but faithful, compassionate citizens of the world. At Santa Clara University, I have found a home rich in history and primed for the future, with its robust social consciousness distinctively driving tomorrow’s innovations. I’m looking forward to getting to know the Bronco family–students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni alike–and to engaging with full heart, mind, and spirit in the work ahead.”

Santa Clara University enrolls just over 5,600 undergraduate students and more than 3,000 graduate students, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Education. Women make up 48 percent of the undergraduate student body.

For the past nine years, Dr. Sullivan has been president of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. There she was also the first layperson and first woman to serve as president. Prior to joining the University of St. Thomas, Dr. Sullivan was executive vice president and provost at the University of San Diego, a private Catholic university. She is an internationally recognized and award-winning scholar and educator in accounting, finance, and taxation. Dr. Sullivan was recently elected to serve as the board chair of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.

A native of Florida, Dr. Sullivan has a bachelor’s degree in accounting, a master’s degree in taxation, and a Ph.D. in business, all from the University of Florida.

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