Announcing Loyola’s First Vice President of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
September 28, 2021
Dear Campus Community,
After the completion of a successful search process, I am proud to announce Loyola University Chicago’s first Vice President of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Dominique Jordan Turner.
This Cabinet-level leadership position, reporting directly to the president, was designed to help us rethink how we strategize and operate as one University, One Loyola. It was important for us to look beyond traditional academia and find a person of color who profoundly understands what it takes to transform people and institutions.
Dominique brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as a business and social justice professional. She currently runs her own consultancy, Dare To Be the First, which helps firstgeneration and marginalized communities go beyond a college degree to achieve their full leadership potential. Before that, Dominique worked most recently as President and CEO of Chicago Scholars, where she oversaw an educational program that helped students from underserved neighborhoods get in and through college.
Dominique’s vision for working with all stakeholders in creating an equitable University across all campuses was unparalleled in our process. While we saw many qualified candidates through this search process, none had the rare combination of a demonstrated track record for helping others overcome barriers to opportunity and access and a unique understanding of the college experience for students of color.
As our VP of Institutional DEI, Dominique will lead and coordinate DEI efforts across the University and develop a long-term strategy in support of our goals and mission. Most immediately, she will be helping me and our Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Committee continue to refine Loyola’s Strategic Plan with measurable outcomes for progress that can be monitored and challenged as our University pursues the broad and sustainable cultural change that is underway.
I want to thank the many people who participated in the listening sessions facilitated by Koya Partners, and to our search committee for helping to gather input and narrow the pool of finalists. In particular, I want to commend Dr. Malik S. Henfield, the founding dean of the Institute for Racial Justice, for chairing the search committee and for the collaborative process he helped oversee. The feedback provided to me by the committee both from their community conversations and their own work meeting with candidates was of immeasurable importance to me in the final selection. In addition to our appreciation to Dr. Henfield, I would like to thank the search committee members (list below) who brought forward a talented slate of diverse candidates for this milestone role and to our Black Student Leaders, the Black Cultural Center, and Student Government Loyola Chicago for their inputs before and during the process.
Search Committee Members
- Dr. Malik Henfield, Chair, Dean, Institute for Racial Justice
- Badia Ahad, Vice Provost, Faculty Affairs
- Jocelyn Arroyo, Undergraduate student
- Qunfeng Dong, Professor and Director, Center for Biomedical Informatics
- Tobyn Friar, Associate Director, Financial Aid
- Seth Green, Founding Director, Baumhart Center
- John Hardt, Vice Dean of Professional Formation and Associate Professor
- Tavis Jules, Associate Professor and Chair, Faculty Council
- Susan Malisch, Vice President and Chief Information Officer
- Kennedy Mallory, Undergraduate student
- Tom Neitzke, SJ, Dean, Arrupe College
- Amy Nelson Christensen, Clinical Assistant Professor and Chair, Anti-Racism Initiative (ARI)
- Jamie Patrianakos, Graduate student
- Abigail Silva, Assistant Professor, Faculty Association
- Shweta Singh, Associate Professor
- Jessica Simpson, Graduate student
Today’s announcement continues the progress our University has made to strengthen diversity and belonging across all of our Loyola campuses. We are seeing positive results from the work we have been doing over several years, welcoming our most diverse freshmen class in the University’s history. These students will also have a more diverse faculty to meet their needs and expectations. Of the 39 full-time faculty hired between August 2020-May 2021, 79 percent identify as people of color.
These accomplishments are the result of the dedication, leadership, and wisdom of many others over a number of years who share a vision of a campus community that is welcoming to all. I want to acknowledge in particular the work Dr. Winifred Williams, Loyola’s Vice President for Human Resources and Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, has done over the past many years to lay a strong foundation upon which this new VP can now build. Since arriving at Loyola in 2014, Dr. Williams has made it her mission to ensure that diversity is woven deeply into all of our policies, from the admissions experience to the way we hire, teach, and fund our initiatives.
Dominique will be attending select meetings and events throughout the month of October to begin building relationships across the University and gathering important perspectives from our community prior to her official start date in November.
Please join me in congratulating Dominique on her new position and welcoming her to the Loyola community.
Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD