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Loyola University Chicago Names Dominique Jordan Turner Vice President of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Loyola University Chicago Names Dominique Jordan Turner Vice President of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

New VP for DEI Announced as the University Welcomes its Most Diverse Freshmen Class in History

CHICAGO – September 29, 2021 - As institutions across the country are addressing fundamental issues of diversity and race, Loyola University Chicago (LUC) today announced a series of developments designed to fulfill the University’s goal of becoming an anti-racist institution embracing diversity, equity and inclusion as an integral part of its Jesuit mission. After a national search led by Koya Partners and supported by a search committee comprised of students, faculty, staff, and alumni, President Jo Ann Rooney has selected Dominique Jordan Turner as Vice President of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

In working with Koya Partners, the University search committee intentionally reviewed external candidates across academia and other industry sectors as part of its process to identify finalists for the position. Ms. Jordan Turner brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as a business and social justice professional. She currently runs her own consultancy, Dare To Be the First, which helps first-generation and marginalized communities go beyond a college degree to achieve their full leadership potential. Before that, Ms. Jordan Turner worked most recently as President and CEO of Chicago Scholars, where she oversaw an educational program that helped students from underserved neighborhoods get in and through college.

“With Dominique, we have found the rare candidate who has both a demonstrated track record of addressing barriers to access and opportunity and a unique understanding of the college experience for students of color,” said Dr. Jo Ann Rooney, President of Loyola University Chicago. “The ongoing transformation we seek at Loyola is anything but conventional, and Dominique brings authentic experiences and different perspectives that will aid our University in becoming more equitable, inclusive and justice-oriented.”

A Jesuit-educated and first-generation college graduate, Ms. Jordan Turner received her bachelor’s degree from Clark Atlanta University in business administration and her master’s degree in business administration from Marquette University, both magna cum laude. She is a Kellogg Executive Scholar through Northwestern University, in addition to being an Obama Foundation fellow.

“For the past 20 years, I've used my voice and my leadership to create more just and equitable outcomes for marginalized populations,” said Dominique Jordan Turner. “This has been my life's work, and I'm honored to continue that work by helping Chicago's leading Jesuit institution embark on this transformation. The work will be hard, and at times uncomfortable, but there is a level of urgency and commitment that I felt from everyone I engaged with through the search process. I am confident that Loyola University Chicago is eager and ready to create a space that is truly welcoming, thriving and equitable for all students, staff, faculty, and the community at large.”

In this newly created role of VP of Institutional DEI, Ms. Jordan Turner will report directly to the president. She will lead the formation of a community vision and strategy for DEI at Loyola, coordinating efforts across every aspect of the University and establishing measurable outcomes for growth and accountability internally and externally. She will also regularly update the Board of Trustees on this mission-critical work. The position was created and announced by Dr. Rooney in February 2021, following meetings and inputs from across the University including student groups such Black Student Leaders, the Black Cultural Center, and Student Government Loyola Chicago.

Dr. Malik S. Henfield, founding dean of the Institute for Racial Justice, served as search committee chair for the process, helping to oversee gather input from stakeholders and narrow the pool of finalists for Dr. Rooney’s decision.

“When we set out to fill this position, we looked for someone who understands DEI with a level of authenticity and conviction that would withstand the challenges and barriers that come with confronting deep-seated beliefs and implicit biases,” said Dr. Henfield. “After considering many well-qualified applicants and recommending several finalists to President Rooney, Dominique Jordan Turner stood out as someone uniquely positioned to lead the University down this path of more closely aligning our actions with our values and Jesuit ideals.”

“Recent events across the country have highlighted the urgent need to address systemic barriers to access and opportunity,” said Dr. Winifred Williams, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. “Given these dynamics, Loyola University Chicago stands ready to re-imagine how these shifts can turn into lasting change for our campus culture, and I am eager to support Ms. Jordan Turner in her work.”

While Ms. Jordan Turner works to enhance and transform DEI across the University, students returning to campus this fall will see a more diverse class of first-year students and faculty than ever. This academic year, and after a number of years of focused work, nearly half (49 percent) of all students self-identify as a person of color, putting LUC among the most diverse major colleges in the Chicagoland area.

Consistent with the goals of the University and supported by the University’s Anti-Racism Initiative, students will also have a more diverse faculty to meet their needs and expectations. Of the 39 full-time faculty hired between August 2020-May 2021, 79 percent identify as people of color. The progress is due in part to changes the University adopted in its hiring process that are structural and material, including mandating implicit bias for all search committees and engaging diverse faculty liaisons in the hiring process led by Dr. Badia Ahad, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.

In the coming months, Ms. Jordan Turner will meet with student groups, faculty, staff and external stakeholders to build relationships, gather perspectives, and chart out the designs for ongoing organizational transformation.

For more information about LUC’s commitments to anti-racism, visit our website here.

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About Loyola University Chicago
Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with more than 17,000 students. Nearly 11,500 undergraduates call Loyola home. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as course locations in Saigon-Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and a Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois. The University’s 14 schools, colleges, and institutes include: the Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health, Quinlan School of Business, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Stritch School of Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, School of Education, School of Law, School of Social Work, Graduate School, Institute of Pastoral Studies, School of Environmental Sustainability, and Arrupe College. Ranked a top national university by U.S. News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by national organizations like the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service. Learn more about Loyola, like us at Facebook.com/LoyolaChicago, or follow us on Twitter @LoyolaChicago.