2017 Spring Semester Update
January 18, 2017
Dear Loyola Community,
Happy New Year. I hope that you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and holiday break. I would like to share some updates about important initiatives that are being advanced as we begin the spring semester.
This month, we are launching a Just Employment Task Force, composed of faculty, staff, and student representatives. This task force is being asked to help identify opportunities for Loyola to demonstrate and deepen its commitment to a more fair, competitive, and socially just workplace. The task force is charged with preparing a report with recommendations on how we might advance our commitment to social justice in the workplace. The work of the task force, which will be completed by May, aligns well with our Plan 2020 strategic plan as we seek to shape a better University—and through that—a better future for Loyola and beyond. Updates from this group’s work will be available in the coming weeks.
Additionally, the Department of Human Resources has partnered with Workplace Answers to conduct online Harassment Prevention Training for all staff and full-time faculty members at the University. As you know, violence of any kind is not tolerated at Loyola, and your safety and security remain a top priority. This compulsory training is one of a number of ways we are working to ensure that faculty and staff are aware of and actively working to prevent harassment of any kind. We are also launching a campus-wide survey focused on gender-based misconduct this semester. Spearheaded by our Title IX team, this survey will allow us to better understand the current campus climate. I ask that you take the time to participate when the survey launches this semester as your input is critically important. The results will help identify current concerns and help us determine next steps to better align our educational and prevention efforts with campus needs.
As we make progress on a number of different and important initiatives, we continue to work diligently and strategically to steward our resources and plan for the future. During my inaugural address, I indicated that a transparent and inclusive budget process would support our efforts to refocus our attention on developing our external fundraising and advancement capabilities and look for opportunities to enhance research and diversify revenue while also embracing innovation to foster growth. We are very fortunate to be in a solid financial position at this time, enabling us to meet the current issues facing institutions of higher education. At the same time, for the benefit of our entire University community, we must begin to make proactive adjustments to our strategy, including moving to a three-year budget process, to maintain our position of strength for anticipated future challenges and opportunities.
Over the course of the semester, Loyola faculty, staff, and students will be invited to lectures and activities that offer us the opportunity to participate in dialogue and discussion with one another in order to promote engaged citizenship. This effort underscores many of our institutional strategic goals as articulated in Plan 2020. This Thursday evening, January 19, an ecumenical prayer service will be held at Madonna della Strada Chapel in solidarity with this month’s “World Day of Migrants and Refugees.” A similar prayer service will take place at the Health Sciences Campus in the afternoon. Also this month, we will celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. at annual events across our Chicagoland campuses. Other opportunities related to increasing our civic engagement and promoting civil discourse in order to take on difficult societal issues facing our city and our world are being planned and will be shared soon.
I look forward to working with you to meet—in fact, to exceed—the high expectations we have for ourselves for the benefit of our community and our world.
Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD