Michael Engh, S.J., dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts at Loyola Marymount University (LMU), has been selected as the next president of Santa Clara University.

Engh, who has been associated with LMU since he was an undergraduate student in 1968, will replace Paul Locatelli, S.J., in January. Locatelli, the Santa Clara University president since 1988, will be leaving to become secretary of higher education for the Society of Jesus worldwide.

“I congratulate Santa Clara University for an excellent choice,” said LMU president Robert B. Lawton, S.J. “Mike has been a great dean at Loyola Marymount and I am sure he will be a great president for Santa Clara.”

A.C. “Mike” Markkula, chair of the Santa Clara University board of trustees, said, “Father Engh brings to Santa Clara an outstanding record as a scholar, teacher, historian and administrator. He has made significant academic contributions in his career as a historian, and understands the potential of Jesuit institutions to advance learning and artistic expression, faculty scholarship and social justice.”

Engh said, “I am obviously honored and very much looking forward to leading this excellent Jesuit university. I also have to admit that it will be hard to leave LMU given my long and fruitful association with the university and my many colleagues, students and friends.”

A third-generation Angeleno, Engh was named dean of Bellarmine College in 2004. He is a professor of history and the university’s unofficial historian.

Engh graduated from then-Loyola University in 1972 and was ordained in 1981. He completed his graduate studies in history of the American West at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1987 and began teaching at LMU in 1988.

The dean also was active in founding LMU’s Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles and the university’s Center for Ignatian Spirituality.

As dean of Bellarmine, Engh promoted a multifaceted initiative in inter-religious dialogue by establishing the Huffington Ecumenical Institute (a program to foster discourse between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox communities), the Doshi Professorship in Indic Religions and the new Jewish Studies Program. He also raised $15 million for endowed professorships and student scholarships at the college.

Engh is the author of Frontier Faiths: Church, Temple, and Synagogue in Los Angeles, published in 1992, and has published articles and chapters in books on the history of Los Angeles, the Catholic church in the American West and the history of LMU.

He also sits on the board of Dolores Mission Grammar School in Boyle Heights in Los Angeles.

Rector of LMU’s Jesuit Community from 1994 to 2000, Engh served on the university’s board of trustees for six years and chaired the presidential search committee that named Lawton LMU’s 14th president.

LMU has appointed Michael J. O’Sullivan as interim dean of Bellarmine College.

A search committee has been formed to fill the position.