Continuing the Momentum
July 8, 2015
Dear Loyola Community,
Last Tuesday was an important day for Loyola University Chicago. After 14 years of inspirational leadership that transformed this University, Father Garanzini stepped down as Loyola’s president to become chancellor. The next day, on July 1, I assumed the role of interim president of Loyola, while my colleague, Samuel Attoh, PhD, stepped into the role of interim provost.
I am committed to continuing the momentum and building on the already strong position of Loyola both in Chicago and beyond. Today, I want to provide you with an update on my priorities for the University and our recent reaccreditation process.
Building on the growth and stability provided by Father Garanzini, my first order of business is to introduce the community to our new strategic plan ("Plan 2020: Building a More Just, Humane, and Sustainable World")—which was approved by the Board of Trustees in June and will roll out this fall. Other priorities include maintaining the University’s solid financial position, ensuring a strong enrollment plan for the next academic year, attending to the key University internal and external stakeholders, and communicating regularly with all of you to ensure clear understanding of priorities and to share updates. Between the fall launch of the strategic plan, welcoming and orienting nearly 5,000 new undergraduate, professional, and graduate students, the opening of Arrupe College this month, the start of our engineering science program, the September opening of the Schreiber Center, and the spring 2016 opening of our Center for Translational Research and Education in Maywood, we have a busy year and a lot to look forward to.
I am also pleased to announce that the Higher Learning Commission’s Institutional Actions Council (IAC) recently met to review the findings of the comprehensive evaluation of Loyola that took place earlier this spring. The IAC concurred with the findings and voted to continue our accreditation, with the next Reaffirmation of Accreditation scheduled for 2024–25. In addition, the IAC also concurred with positive evaluation findings for Loyola’s distance education offerings, affirming the approval of Loyola’s online courses and programs. Hundreds of members of the University community—faculty, students, staff, administrators, trustees, and alumni—contributed to this effort via the Commission’s new Pathways accreditation model. We are grateful to all involved for your time, talent, and commitment to improving the high quality Jesuit education we deliver to our students.
Thank you to everyone for making this leadership transition a smooth process. This fall, our chairman of the Board of Trustees, Robert L. Parkinson Jr., will communicate the necessary details, timelines, and ways that the campus community can engage in the presidential search process.
I am grateful to Father Garanzini for his exemplary leadership and the many years of mentoring he has provided me. I am prepared for this opportunity, and I look forward to working with all of you to advance Loyola University Chicago. I hope that each and every one of you had a restful and relaxing Fourth of July holiday. Please enjoy the remainder of your summer, as we prepare for the launch of another successful academic year.
John P. Pelissero, PhD