Open main menu

Michael Eric Engh (born December 14, 1949) is an American Jesuit, academic and historian. He has served as the President of Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California, since January 5, 2009.[1][2][3]

Michael E. Engh S.J.
28th President of
Santa Clara University
Assumed office
January 5, 2009
Preceded byPaul Locatelli, S.J.
Personal details
Born (1949-12-14) December 14, 1949 (ageĀ 69)
Los Angeles
ProfessionJesuit priest, historian



Engh is a third generation Californian.[2] He is a historian specializing in the history of California and the American West.[2]

Engh has previously worked as a professor of history at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.[2] He also served as the dean of Loyola Marymount's Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts before becoming president of Santa Clara University.[2]

President of Santa Clara UniversityEdit

Father Engh was appointed president of Santa Clara University in 2008, succeeded Father Paul Locatelli, who had served as president from 1988 until 2008.

Engh officially became the 28th President of Santa Clara University on January 5, 2009.[2] His official inauguration was held on April 24, 2009, at Santa Clara's Leavey Event Center.[2] The ceremony was attended by approximately 1,500 guests, including the leaders or representatives of more than 100 universities and colleges.[2] He was re-elected to a six year term in November 2013.[3]

In October 2013, Engh made the decision to drop health insurance coverage of elective abortions for the Catholic university's faculty and staff.[4][5] He wrote a letter to the school's faculty and staff stating that he and the university "studied how the school can structure its medical insurance plans in 2014 to be compliant with federal and California laws and regulations while representing its values as a Jesuit university." Neither the Affordable Care Act or California law mandate employers to cover elective abortions.[6] The faculty senate of the school took a vote and declared Engh's resolution invalid, but the final decision rests with the board of trustees of the school.

The decision to drop coverage for abortions violated the California constitution and was overturned by the state of California's Department of Managed Health Care in 2014.

Works authoredEdit

Engh has written on the role of the Catholic Church in the settlement of colonial California by the Spanish.[2] He has also authored works on the history of Los Angeles.[2]

One of Engh's best known works is Frontier Faiths: Church, Temple, and Synagogue in Los Angeles, published in 1992.[2]


  1. ^ "Executive Profile". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Michael E. Engh, S.J., Becomes Santa Clara University's 28th President (press release)". Santa Clara University. 2009-04-24. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
  3. ^ a b "Trustees re-elect Santa Clara University president Michael Engh, S.J." California Catholic Daily. 26 November 2013.
  4. ^ Tracy Seipel &, Josh Richman (9 October 2013). "Santa Clara University president triggers abortion uproar". San Jose Mercury News.
  5. ^ By Scott Budman &, Chris Roberts (10 October 2013). "Abortion Uproar at Santa Clara University". NBC News.
  6. ^ JESSERER SMITH, PETER (8 January 2014). "Abortion Standoff Between Santa Clara University President and Faculty". National Catholic Register.

External linksEdit