Loyola University Chicago

Office of the President

Announcing Search for Vice President of IDEI

February 18, 2021

Dear Loyola Community,

In line with our Jesuit mission of service and ongoing commitment to fostering a culture of belonging and after many productive conversations and meetings with Black Student Leaders, the Black Cultural Center, and Student Government Loyola Chicago, I have created a new role of Vice President of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This new senior University officer will report directly to me, hold a position in the cabinet, and staff the Board of Trustees’ Jesuit, Catholic Identity and Diversity and Inclusion Committee. We will begin recruiting for this position immediately and will share details on the search process within the next week.

Student groups were vital in this process, highlighting the need for a top-level leader in this role as well as increased resources to support and track our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work. The Vice President of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will be dedicated solely to leading and coordinating our DEI efforts across every aspect of the University and establishing measurable institutional outcomes for progress that we can monitor and challenge as we pursue broad and sustainable cultural change.

Dr. Malik S. Henfield, Founding Dean of the Institute for Racial Justice, has agreed to serve as chair of the search committee. Soon, we will name members of the search committee—including student representation—and will continue to solicit feedback from across the University about key elements of this role that we will present to candidates in the job description and interviews.

I would like to thank Winifred Williams, PhD, our Vice President for Human Resources, who was been instrumental in laying a strong foundation for our University’s early DEI efforts and creating a more diverse and equitable campus environment. Winifred has been a strong advocate for the creation of this new position to address diversity and inclusion initiatives across the entire University in new and innovative ways.

As always, I am very grateful for the candid feedback I have received from many students as well as faculty, staff, and alumni. I extend my special gratitude to Black Student Leaders, the Black Cultural Center, and Student Government Loyola Chicago for their work and ongoing dialogue. We all look forward to welcoming a new member to our leadership team who will help us build an institutional platform of diversity, equity, and inclusion that will be a model for others to follow.

Yours in Loyola,

Jo Ann Rooney, EdD, JD, LLM
President