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Emergency Response Structure

Loyola University Chicago's emergency response, planning, and decision-making started in February 2020 and has evolved as the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold. Our top priority remains the health and safety of our community, followed by academic continuity (teaching, research, and learning) and student recruitment and retention.

The emergency response organizational chart depicts our current organization structure. This will continue to evolve, expanding and contracting as needed by our response. Nearly 250 faculty, staff, and students have been working daily on our emergency response and planning for a return to the “next normal” of University operations.

To learn more, visit our emergency response page.

Communication Strategy

As a Jesuit, Catholic university, our communication strategy is rooted in cura personalis (care for the whole person), cura communalis (care for the community), and cura apostolica (care for the institution). Following the wisdom of St. Ignatius of Loyola, our objective is to “reach people where they are” through a wide array of channels and methods to listen and to provide information and resources that serve their educational, spiritual, emotional, and daily needs. Two-way communications are essential at all times, most especially in times of crisis. We are committed to working with our community to navigate and emerge stronger from the coronavirus pandemic through dialogue and transparent, timely, frequent, and effective communications.

Structure and portfolio

Under the University’s Emergency Response Plan (ERP), leaders at all levels are committed to caring for and communicating with our students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, and community. The centralized Management, Policy, and Command (MPC) team meets via Zoom several times a week, and the MPC chief communicates decisions and actions in real time via a “management bulletin” email to leaders throughout the University. In turn, this broader team of more than 250 faculty, staff, and students help ensure that the relevant stakeholders and colleagues are informed and able to serve as ambassadors with internal and external constituents.

The public information officer (PIO) oversees the University’s master communications plan and reviews it with the MPC members as a standing component of every meeting to ensure message alignment, consistency, and coordination. The PIO, who also serves as the vice president of University Marketing and Communication (UMC), leads a team of 28 communications professionals, 14 of whom staff the MPC sections and divisions, along with additional campus communicators, to provide strategy and assist with messaging. The PIO communications team meets daily to review strategy, update the master communications plan, and coordinate immediate needs with UMC’s overall portfolio and assignments of the larger team.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has disrupted and challenged every part of Loyola. Since UMC began focusing on this issue in January 2020, our team has adapted as the crisis has escalated to remain fully functional and forward focused in collaboration with our University partners in continued service to Loyola’s brand, reputation, recruitment, retention, and relationships.

For additional information, visit LUC.edu/umc

Reaching people where they are

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we have been dedicated to reaching Loyola community members where they are through a variety of communications channels and methods, including but not limited to the following:

  • The COVID-19support@LUC.edu email account centralizes intake of and replies to questions, comments, and concerns. When emails are received, a UMC staff member assigns them to an appropriate MPC leader for rapid response. All incoming and outgoing emails are catalogued, tracked, and archived.
  • Loyola’s COVID-19 website was specifically developed as the centralized communications hub during the pandemic and serves as the definitive source for the most current and accurate information. We remain committed to transparent and timely communication. When any decision is made, we communicate it broadly and on this site. Our COVID-19 site includes:
    • Recent changes and updates, tagged and sorted by audience
    • An archive of all previous messages with date sent, subject, sender, audience, and hyperlinks
    • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) sourced from emails, social media posts, and direct inquiries; all FAQs are constantly updated with a time stamps; sorted by recent questions, theme, and audience; and searchable by keyword.
    • Information and resources
    • Feature stories and videos
    • Quick links to internal and external resources
    • Emergency response plan and structure
  • A key component of the COVID-19 website is the Return to Campus plan. All official decisions about the reopening of our campuses are aligned with guidance from the scientific community and city and state officials as to what is legally allowed and medically advisable (LAMA), and are communicated to the Loyola community as they become available.
  • Loyola’s homepage includes a banner labeled “Coronavirus Information and University Updates” that includes a date/time stamp and drives audiences to the COVID-19 website. The UMC team works with partners throughout the University to update relevant websites, such as the Office of the President and the Office of the Provost, to direct audiences to the COVID-19 website for the most up-to-date and accurate information.
  • Community email messages are segmented by audience and are tracked for delivery, open rate, click through rate, and so on.Email databases are constantly updated.
  • Social media is an essential component of our ability to inform, inspire, and engage our constituents. Our comprehensive social media plan for official University channels is focused on sharing critical updates and resources, as well as keeping our community connected and emotionally/spiritually fed, reaching prospective and current students, highlighting our Loyola experts, engaging alumni and donors, and promoting fellowship and fun. In addition to the central University channels, UMC works with campus partners throughout the University to leverage a wide network of affiliated social channels to amplify messages and maximize engagement.
  • Delivering the Loyola Experience in a digital environment is a key component of our web, social, and mixed/multimedia plan:
    • To help current, prospective, and incoming students maintain continuity during these challenging times, we have created robust online experiences for such things as Loyola Weekend, Summer Sessions, Orientation, and Commencement. We continue to evolve and enhance our offerings, including virtual campus tours.
    • Virtual town halls such as Pizza with the President, Afternoon with the Provost, and overviews of Loyola’s finances allow the community to ask questions and engage leadership.
    • Webinars such as Loyola’s Emergency Response Plan ensure the community is informed.
    • Video messages are used regularly to welcome new students, congratulate graduates, celebrate student achievements, highlight Loyola experts, share spiritual wisdom, reconnect the Loyola community to campus and each other, and thank the Rambler community.
  • Media relations are an important part of our external communications strategy to be transparent, maximize reach, and care for Loyola’s reputation.
  • Storytelling is always central to our work in highlighting the spirit of Loyola, especially as we celebrate our sesquicentennial year and prepare for our next 150 years. The resiliency and ingenuity of our talented, dedicated community has never been clearer or more important than at this time.

We hear you

Listening and responding to the needs of our community is at the heart of the Jesuit mission and our communications plan. Vehicles for listening and two-way communication include but are not limited to the following:

  • The COVID-19support@LUC.edu email
  • The president’s email
  • Emails to UMC
  • Phone calls
  • Surveys
  • Social listening
  • Media monitoring
  • Virtual Town Halls
  • Zoom sessions
In addition to replying to individual inquiries, we track frequently asked questions and emerging themes to inform our communications and updates on Loyola’s COVID-19 website.


Loyola’s COVID-19 website was specifically developed to aid our community and it serves as the definitive source for the most current and accurate information. We remain committed to transparent and timely communication. When any decision is made, we communicate it broadly on this website and across other channels.

The site contains the following sections:

  • Recent Changes and Updates – Summary of the most recent communications and updates
  • Frequently Asked Questions – Repository of questions and answers pertaining to COVID-19 and current campus operations
  • Return to Campus – Guidelines for returning to campus for the fall 2020 semester
  • Emergency Response and Plan Structure – Governance specifics to Loyola’s COVID-19 Emergency Response

To inquire about general Loyola information related to COVID-19, please send a message to COVID-19support@LUC.edu.

Email Support

The COVID-19support@LUC.edu email is our emergency response mailbox used to respond to inquiries made by the students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, neighbors, and various other friends of Loyola.

The inquiries are categorized by topic and assigned to subject matter experts to ensure the best response possible can be made to each email inquiry received.

A large group of people across multiple departments is responsible for monitoring the inbox and responding to messages. For more information about the caretakers of the mailbox, please visit the emergency response page for additional support.

If you have any questions about Loyola’s emergency response program, the return to campus guidelines or general COVID-19 concerns, please review our FAQ website at LUC.edu/coronavirus/faqs or contact us at COVID-19support@LUC.edu.

Last Modified:   Wed, June 2, 2021 8:59 AM CDT