Santa Clara University president resigns amid misconduct allegations

Bay Area

FILE – In this Nov. 22, 2010, file photo, Vice President Joe Biden, left, and his wife, Jill Biden, center, stand with heads bowed as the Rev. Kevin O’Brien says the blessing during a Thanksgiving meal for Wounded Warriors in Washington. O’Brien, the Jesuit priest who presided over an inaugural Mass for President Joe Biden, is under investigation for unspecified allegations and is on leave from his position as president of Santa Clara University in Northern California, according to a statement from the college’s board of trustees. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KRON) – Santa Clara University University President Rev. Kevin O’Brien has resined amid misconduct allegations.

O’Brien notified the Santa Clara University board of trustees of his resignation as president on May 9, which the board of trustees accepted on May 10.

The board of trustees said it will immediately establish a process to conduct a search for its next President.

Lisa Kloppenberg will continue to serve as acting president of Santa Clara University until the next president is identified.

O’Brien allegedly “exhibited behaviors in adult settings, consisting primarily of conversations, which may be inconsistent with established Jesuit protocols and boundaries,” according to a March statement by John M. Sobrato, the board chairman.

O’Brien gave the service at Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, one of the most prominent Catholic churches in Washington, in January for Biden, who is the nation’s second Catholic president, as well as Vice President Kamala Harris, their families and elected officials before the inauguration ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, as well as various other services while Biden was vice president.

O’Brien joined the Society of Jesus in 1996, according to the university, and was ordained to the priesthood in 2006.

Located in Silicon Valley, Santa Clara University is Jesuit institution which has an annual undergraduate enrollment of roughly 5,500 students. Ranked as one of the top 25 schools for undergraduate teaching nationwide, the private university has a million-dollar endowment and counts California Govs. Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown among its alumni.

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