Loyola University Chicago

Office of the Provost

Provost Search

Norberto Grzywacz, PhD, Appointed Provost and Chief Academic Officer of Loyola University Chicago

Headshot of Dr Norberto Grzywacz

November 22, 2019 

Dear Loyola Community,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Norberto Grzywacz, PhD, as provost and chief academic officer of Loyola University Chicago. 

Dr. Grzywacz (Greevats) is an accomplished academic leader with a deep, multidisciplinary research and teaching portfolio that bridges science and the humanities. Since 2014 he has served as dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Georgetown University, where he also holds faculty appointments in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Georgetown University Medical Center. He will pursue a similar multidisciplinary appointment at Loyola. 

Before moving to Georgetown, Dr. Grzywacz served at the Dwight C. and Hildagarde E. Baum Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles. Besides having these leadership roles, he was professor of neuroscience and of biomedical and electrical engineering while at USC. Leading up to these academic roles, he was a postdoctoral fellow and research scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition, he was a senior scientist at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco. He received his bachelor's degree in physics and mathematics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1980 and his PhD in neurobiology in 1984 from the same institution.

Dr. Grzywacz possesses broad expertise in building and leading interdisciplinary research and education teams. His extensive research career has combined multiple disciplines that include neuroscience, physics, cognitive science, cellular biology, biomedical engineering, and mathematical and computational modeling. His current research explores how the brain perceives beauty and spans both science and human culture.

Dr. Grzywacz displays a wonderful blend of many disciplines and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. He has advised and mentored numerous graduate students, post-graduate fellows, and junior faculty. Members of the search committee, others who interviewed him, and I were especially impressed by his broad vision for fostering cross-disciplinary research and action; further strengthening research infrastructure and academic quality; fashioning thoughtful and effective governance structure; and creating vital academic and deep service programs that embrace the challenges of the future and address complex issues of equity, health, and social justice. 

At Georgetown, Dr. Grzywacz further developed his multidisciplinary orientation within the Jesuit mission. He is deeply committed to scholarship and research that serves the larger society. He has publicly championed the idea that universities must move past a science-only focus in order to tackle climate change and other societal challenges such as aging, health, and inequality. He has a profound understanding of complex, matrixed issues and structures that will lead us to deeper programming and engaged collaborations across our campuses. This commitment and these qualities will be a tremendous leadership asset to Loyola as we create a new strategic plan focused on navigating a landscape in higher education that will demand innovation and collaboration. 

I am deeply grateful to the members of the Provost Search Committee who have worked tirelessly and diligently over the past 22 months to bring us to this successful conclusion. Collectively, they developed and implemented the search and interview processes, including soliciting community input on the candidate profile, identifying and interviewing semi-finalist candidates, bringing several impressive candidates forward as finalists in the interview process, and providing direct feedback to me on their impressions of each finalist candidate. Thank you to out Provost Search Committee Chair Vicki Keough who provided steady leadership and helped keep our community informed of our work and progress during the latter, semi-closed phase of the search and to members of the committee:

Minerva Ahumada, lecturer in Philosophy, Arrupe College
Robert Bucholz, professor, Department of History
Héctor García Chávez, director, Latin America and Latinx Studies
Program and faculty, Women's Studies/Gender Studies
Tim Classen, associate professor, Quinlan School of Business
June Coyne, PhD student in American History, Loyola University Chicago (expected 2021)
Timone Davis, assistant professor of Pastoral Theology
Anne Grauer, professor and department chair, Anthropology
Patrick Green, director, Center for Experiential Learning
Seth Green, founding director, Baumhart Center for Social Enterprise and Responsibility 
Mario Guererro, senator, Student Government Loyola Chicago
Amy Jordan, clinical associate professor, School of Continuing and Professional Studies
Amy Luke, professor of Public Health Sciences 
Demetri L. Morgan, assistant professor of Higher Education
Jim Prehn, S.J., vice president and chief of staff
Constantin Rasinariu, professor and department chair, Physics
Richelle Rogers, director, Digital Media and Storytelling Graduate Program
Marianne Ryan, dean of Libraries
Meharvan Singh, vice dean of Research and professor in Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Shweta Singh, associate professor, School of Social Work
David Van Zytveld, director, Center for Urban Research and Learning

Our University community is grateful to Dr. Margaret Callahan for her impactful service as interim provost over the last two years. We are also excited about the plans beginning to take shape as she leads the strategic planning efforts that are part of her new roles as senior vice president for strategy and innovation. Thank you, also, to the many community members who shared their input about the qualities and qualifications they felt were important for our next provost to possess and to the entire Loyola community for your patience and continued input throughout the search and its successful conclusion. 

I have conversed with my counterpart at Georgetown University, President Jack DeGioia, who speaks highly of Dr. Grzywacz and his academic expertise and leadership. They are saddened to see Dr. Grzywacz leave Georgetown; however, he and their provost are very happy for him, for Loyola, and for potential new connections and collaborations among our Jesuit institutions. 

Dr. Grzywacz will assume his new role at Loyola effective February 1, 2020. We will provide more information in the weeks ahead about introductory events and opportunities for community dialogue with our new provost as we welcome him to Loyola. 

I wish you and your families a very happy Thanksgiving,


Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD

Previous Updates

Contact Information

If you have questions, would like to provide feedback, or have any recommendations for potential candidates for the Provost position, please contact Dr. Vicki Keough, chair of the search committee at vkeough@luc.edu.