Loyola University Chicago

Office of the President

A Message from Dr. Rooney

August 23, 2021

Dear Loyola Community,

After five thrilling, demanding, and inspiring years leading our remarkable and resilient institution and over 14 years as a University president, I am announcing 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 multiyear strategic plan and 8+ year comprehensive fundraising campaign begins.

As the first woman and layperson to serve as University president, I am deeply honored to have helped lead Loyola into a new and challenging era where issues like diversity, academic rigor, and financial security have all emerged with added urgency.

Needless to say, the global health crisis of the last 18 months has presented unique challenges for institutions like ours, but together, we have met this moment with the wisdom, courage, and vision one would expect of a Jesuit university.

I am very proud of what we are accomplishing together, including the creation of our strategic plan, welcoming the most diverse and largest freshman classes in history, diversifying our faculty, and increasing student retention rates. I am also proud to be boosting our endowment and strengthening our financial position to provide the financial cushion we need to further our Jesuit mission of expanding “knowledge in the service of humanity through learning, justice, and faith.” 

What is more, I remain thankful for the enormous support I have received from the Jesuit community as it is in part this support that allowed us to make so many great strides together.

In order to allow for an orderly and unrushed search for my replacement, I am making this announcement now, but I am as excited as anyone for the coming academic year. I cannot wait to welcome students and faculty back to campus after a very difficult year apart. Please know that, over the next year, I will continue with all ongoing efforts to ensure that my successor is well-positioned to implement agreed-upon strategies, build on them, and take Loyola forward.

Together in Loyola,

Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD