Loyola University Chicago

University Newsroom

Press Release - August 23, 2021

Loyola University Chicago Announces President Rooney to Step Down at the End of Academic Year

CHICAGO - August 23, 2021 - In an email to the campus community today, Loyola University Chicago President Dr. Jo Ann Rooney announced her plans to step down as President at the end of the 2021-2022 academic year.

In an email to students, faculty, and staff, Dr. Rooney wrote:

“After five thrilling, demanding, and inspiring years leading our remarkable and resilient institution and over fourteen years as a university president, I am announcing that this will be my last year as President of Loyola University Chicago. While this may come as a surprise to some of you, it is the result of deep reflection on my part, some personal issues that warrant more of my attention, and a desire to ensure continuity of leadership once the implementation of our multi-year strategic plan and 8+ year comprehensive fundraising campaign begins.”

Dr. Rooney made history at Loyola University as the first female and lay President. Among her many accomplishments at Loyola include:

  • The creation of a multi-year strategic plan;
  • Welcoming the most diverse and largest freshmen classes in the university’s history this fall;
  • Diversifying the ranks of the faculty; and
  • Boosting the university’s endowment and strengthening its financial position.

Dr. Rooney is helping to lead Loyola into a new and challenging era where issues like diversity, academic rigor, and financial security are emerging with added urgency.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to thank Dr. Rooney for her leadership during her five years here,” said Susan Sher, JD '74, Chairman of Loyola’s Board of Trustees. “I’m particularly proud of her accomplishments as our first female and first lay president.  Her work on behalf of Loyola has strengthened our institution and positioned us well for the future.”

Dr. Rooney announced her intent to leave at the end of the academic year while offering to remain on in an advisory capacity to ensure a successful transition. 

The Board of Trustees will meet in September to discuss the next steps for a search process for a new president.

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; Vernon Hills, Illinois (Cuneo Mansion and Gardens); 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, Institute 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.