Board of Trustees Meeting Highlights
September 25, 2015
Last week was a busy and important one on the Water Tower Campus as we celebrated the grand opening of the John and Kathy Schreiber Center on Tuesday, September 15. The day’s festivities included a multi-hour, live WGN-AM radio broadcast from the Center lobby, a CEO Summit with top civic and corporate leaders of Chicago, and a spectacular evening gala that featured a keynote address from General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), as well as remarks from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, among others. The following day, our Board of Trustees gathered for its quarterly meeting. Below are some of the highlights from the meeting.
Celebrating “Firsts”—This fall, our total enrollment is at an all-time high, with 16,077 students calling Loyola home, including the most undergraduates in our history (10,719). Our work to implement and engage students in the Four-Year Experience is paying off, as our freshman to sophomore retention rate has risen to 86 percent (best in three years) and we have retained 80 percent of our transfer students (best in 25 years). Arrupe College welcomed nearly 160 students in August to begin their associate’s degree programs, and our new Engineering Science program launched with 35 freshmen. I reported that for the first time in its history, Loyola was named a Top 100 national university in U.S. News & World Report’s latest rankings (#99) of best colleges. This was due to the work of many people and departments here at the University who lead our efforts to improve the quality of the undergraduate educational experience, diversify the student body and create a campus culture of inclusion, and transform our facilities to meet the needs of today’s students.
Strategies and Trends—As higher education becomes increasingly competitive, it is important to understand the industry trends and continue to innovate. At the Board of Trustees meeting, Paul Roberts, associate provost for enrollment management, and Rob Munson, senior vice president for finance and chief financial officer, presented the Trustees with an extensive look at the University’s undergraduate enrollment trends, financial aid strategies and related implications, and lessons we have learned that will guide future planning.
New Faces—Three new members of the Board of Trustees were introduced: John P. Fitzgibbons, S.J. (PhD ’93); Rocco J. Martino (MBA ’78); and Joseph T. Seminetta (BBA ’86). Dr. Julie H. Sullivan was also elected to the Board of Trustees. Loyola alumna Margaret Faut Callahan (BSN ’74), CRNA, PhD, FNAP, FAAN, was elected and introduced to the Trustees as the new Health Sciences Division Provost.
Research and Collaboration—Trustees were provided with an update on the construction status of the University’s Center for Translational Research and Education, which will be completed next month on the Health Sciences Campus. Full occupancy of the research labs and centers will occur in spring 2016. We are excited for the opening of this joint research enterprise with the Loyola University Health System, which will advance the health sciences research enterprise in demonstrable ways.
The academic year is off to a busy and exciting start. Much of our focus this year will be on implementing our new Strategic Plan, “Plan 2020: Building a More Just, Humane, and Sustainable World,” which I will talk about in more depth at next week’s State of the University addresses at each of our three Chicagoland campuses. I hope that you will join me at those events.
John P. Pelissero, PhD