Fr. Thomas Neitzke, S.J., Appointed Dean of Arrupe College

Fr. Thomas Neitzke, S.J., Appointed Dean of Arrupe College

May 12, 2020

Dear Loyola Community,

We are pleased to announce that Fr. Thomas Neitzke, S.J., EdD, has been appointed dean of Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago, effective August 1, 2020.

Fr. Neitzke is a forward-thinking, collaborative, and student-centered Jesuit educator. He comes to Loyola from Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, where he has served as president since 2015. He previously served as president of Jesuit Academy, principal of Jesuit Academy, and an adjunct instructor at Creighton University. Through his career, Fr. Neitzke has demonstrated an energetic, innovative approach to meeting the needs of diverse students, families, and communities.

During his time at Creighton Prep, he oversaw the expansion of several programs that echo Arrupe’s intensive, holistic support model for students. These included a campus “learning commons” to provide academic and emotional resources to the 1,100 students at the school. The commons includes a "learning differences" specialist, an on-staff psychologist, academic coaches, and a director for student outreach and advocacy.

Fr. Neitzke is an alumnus of Loyola, having earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theology. He earned a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Divinity from Santa Clara University. In addition, he earned a Doctorate in Leadership from Creighton University. A native of Port Washington, Wisconsin, Fr. Neitzke entered the Society of Jesus in 1999 and was ordained a priest in 2010. He serves on numerous boards and professional committees. These include the board of trustees at Marquette University and the board of directors of Marquette University High School. He serves on the faculty of Jesuit Worldwide Learning: Higher Education at the Margins.

Fr. Neitzke will succeed the founding dean of Arrupe College, Fr. Steve Katsouros, S.J. In this job, Fr. Neitzke will continue to strengthen the model of collegiate success of Arrupe. This model provides an entry point for students who would not typically be able to afford college and access to a high-quality Jesuit education with little to no debt.

The rigorous program of Arrupe, built on a Jesuit-informed model of wraparound support for students and families, leads to an associate's degree. This degree gives students the tools and support they need to be successful in college and to transfer to baccalaureate programs. In its first five years, Arrupe’s results are ground-breaking. While only 13 percent of low-income students complete an associate’s degree in two years, nearly half of Arrupe students graduate in two years. Moreover, over 60 percent complete the degree in three years. Nearly 80 percent of Arrupe graduates who transfer to four-year programs are on track to earn a bachelor’s degree in five years.

In addition, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to the members of the search committee and to search committee chair Tom Regan, S.J., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School, for the care and robust work they undertook these past five months so that we could arrive at this important appointment.

  • Robert Gutierrez, PhD, clinical assistant professor of psychology, Arrupe College
  • Steve Holte, assistant dean for advancement, Arrupe College
  • Megan Kelly, PhD, clinical assistant professor of environmental science, Arrupe College
  • Bill Lynch, Arrupe College Advisory Board member
  • Valeria Plascenia, Arrupe College student
  • Lavar Pope, PhD, clinical assistant professor of political science, Arrupe College
  • Isabel Reyes, associate director of admission, Arrupe College
  • Richelle Rogers, MS, instructor and program director: masters in digital media and storytelling
  • Sarah Shaaban, associate dean for student success, Arrupe College

Arrupe College has become a national model for preparing first-generation students for success in college and in life. Fr. Neitzke will collaborate with faculty, staff, and students to fortify and sustain the vision that builds upon success. This vision leads to deeper approaches to student achievement and delivers a high-quality Jesuit education. We are confident in Fr. Neitzke’s experiences and background. He will assure the continued development and innovation of the College.

Please join us in welcoming Fr. Neitzke to the Loyola community.

Together In Loyola,

Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD

Norberto Grzywacz, PhD
Provost and Chief Academic Officer