June 3, 2019
Our campuses may be quieter in the summer months, but we are still hard at work. Loyola University Chicago continues to educate students and serve as a resource for the community, with summer markets, academic and sports camps for high school students. Research and scholarly work proceeds in our laboratories, libraries, and the field.
Some students enroll in summer session courses to keep on pace to graduate, to concentrate on a single course in a less hectic environment, or to focus more intensively on a research project. Others move ahead on theses and dissertations. At our Health Sciences Campus, we continue important basic science and clinical research that translates into improved health-care locally with Trinity Health and around the world. The Institute for Environmental Sustainability pursues longitudinal projects and conducts fieldwork. Administrators, staff and faculty carry on through the summer to foster the best possible environment and education for our students. I am inspired by and ever grateful for all of our continued collaborations.
Much work takes place away from campus in June and July. This year, Stritch, Niehoff and Parkinson students and faculty will work with local residents and health-care providers through Ignatian Service Immersion on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, the US Mexico border, in the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Belize, and Israel, among other locations. These projects serve people in need and have a lasting impact in providing holistic and culturally appropriate healthcare and help develop socially responsible global health practices and a deeper understanding of the social determinants of health and health disparities.
Closer to home, Loyola Community & Family Services works throughout the year with children from pre-kindergarten to adolescents and young adults in the Rogers Park and Edgewater neighborhoods. In Maywood, Loyola Health Sciences faculty and students collaborate in the Access to Care clinic, a network of primary providers who render care to uninsured, underinsured, and undocumented people. University Ministry continues through the summer with opportunities for worship, reflection and spiritual growth. Later this week, Loyola faculty and staff gather in the University's Inner Mission retreat for a two-day exploration of spirituality and personal mission.
Notes and Updates: A number of DACA students were among our amazing graduates at Commencement last month. Around the same time, Sen. Dick Durbin introduced the Dream Act of 2019, and we support this legislation to ensure that these talented young people keep contributing their talents to communities across the nation.
We continue the conversation around our Diversity Climate Survey results and are collaborating on future action steps to live our Jesuit values and mission in community. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion completed a series of 15 Listening Sessions over the course of the year and issued an update in May that cited areas for improvement in representation, communication, training, programming, and services. This summer we are discussing ways to engage committed members of our community in the fall to build a framework that addresses these key issues.
The Provost Search Committee convened in May to further develop and finalize a position description for our next chief academic officer, and we will be providing regular updates on this process.
Earlier this spring a task force comprising university communication staff, student media representatives, professional journalists, and outside experts from FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) collaborated on clearer guidelines for media access to faculty, administrators and university information. This collaboration resulted in a revised media policy that balances access to sources and information with privacy and practical considerations. FIRE vice president Azhar Majeed recently blogged about the policy and the collaborative revision process.
Construction continues through the summer on the Lake Shore Campus on Alfie Norville Athletic Facility, and the adjacent Sean Earl Field will re-open in plenty of time for intramural play this fall.
The distinctive Jesuit values that have built Loyola over 150 years thread through our work and activities. During the 2019-2020 year, as we move into our sesquicentennial celebrations, we will have many occasions to reflect on how that work has helped to build a city and a more educated, just and sustainable world, and how we best educate leaders for others who can address the challenges of the future.
With my deepest gratitude for all you do for Loyola and its students, I wish you a wonderful summer.
Jo Ann Rooney