Loyola University Chicago

Office of the President

3: Promote Multidisciplinary Collaboration to Address Societal Challenges

‌Institutional priority 3

Promote Multidisciplinary Collaboration to Address Societal Challenges

Develop innovative multidisciplinary approaches to creation of knowledge and the discovery of solutions that address societal challenges

Loyola continues its commitment to addressing societal challenges. These issues, especially climate change, environmental degradation, aging societies, global security, growing economic disparities, the displacement of peoples, systemic poverty, homelessness, violence, and emerging infectious diseases require sustained effort, interdisciplinary knowledge, and innovative approaches. A series of interdisciplinary teams designed to address such issues will be advanced through our Centers of Excellence and through research and service, and supported by funding. Our faculty will continue to promote collaborative and inquiry-based learning and provide students with direct engagement with disadvantaged and marginalized populations. Experiential pedagogies will help break down the artificial silos between teaching and research as faculty develop interdisciplinary work with community partners to identify research questions that are important to advancing the common good and developing solutions. This integrative and experiential approach will be more effective in moving toward solutions to complex problems and will challenge perceived categories and presuppositions, requiring depth of thought, imagination, and analysis.

Key Administrators

  • Provost
  • Provost, Health Sciences

Responsible Staff

  • Academic leaders for Research, Health Sciences, and Lakeside
  • Vice president and chief information officer
  • Deans and directors
  • Directors, Centers of Excellence

Advisory Bodies

  • Board of Trustees
  • Council for Innovation in Research and Learning

Estimated Net Investment over 5 years $3 million

Priority 3 - Strategy 4

Promote transdisciplinary collaboration for solutions to community health disparities

Tactic 4.a: The chief academic officers will establish lines of responsibility for transdisciplinary innovations in the lakeside and Health Sciences research enterprises and encourage creative solutions to health problems and health disparities (by fall 2016).

Tactic 4.b: The research leaders will enhance and align infrastructure and resources to promote collaborative inquiry, research, and experiential learning to promote health and address problems of health disparity (by fall 2016).

Tactic 4.c: The provost and senior vice president for Health Sciences will collaborate with the vice president for Advancement to create a $75 million endowment to support research and service on health disparities (by FY2020).

Major Initiative

Health disparities research and programming

Schools and institutes at the Health Sciences Division have developed a strategic focus driven by the new Center for Translational Research and Education, a growing interest in community and population-based health, and a commitment to addressing health disparities. Loyola will create a major endowment to support research and programming to put our health science schools and our sustainability resources (faculty, students, and staff) in a position to improve the health and quality of life in disadvantaged communities. We are committed to putting science and medicine to work for all, especially people who are the most vulnerable and marginalized.

Estimated Investment over 5 years:

  • $1 million

Priority 3 - Strategy 5

Advance interdisciplinary education that promotes environmental sustainability and enhances the quality of education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)

Tactic 5.a: The director of the Institute of Environmental Sustainability will implement new programs that advance Loyola's position as a national university leader in environmental sustainability (by FY2020).

Tactic 5.b: The provost will launch an engineering science program in fall 2015, leading to a program with four major areas of study (by fall 2018).

Tactic 5.c: The provost and the academic leaders for STEM fields will enhance and deploy our resources to promote learning, research, and service that can affect significant environmental and social justice outcomes (by fall 2018).

Tactic 5.d: The academic leaders for STEM disciplines will collaborate with leaders in business and health sciences to advance innovations in technology-focused student learning that produce graduates who will contribute positively to solutions for complex societal problems (by 2018).

Major Initiative

Launch an Institute for Engineering Sciences

The study of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields is essential to education that promotes social justice. Loyola will launch a new program in engineering sciences in fall 2015 that will grow into an Institute of Engineering with four distinct programs of study within three years. Beginning with programs in biomedical engineering, computer engineering, and environmental engineering, the institute will partner with the College of Arts and Sciences to add a program in applied mathematics by 2018. Loyola will encourage faculty and students to embrace interdisciplinary and applied science that tackles big issues. The goal is an institute of 400 students within five years. The faculty and students will be expected to have close ties to—and collaborate with—the engineering professions and corporations in Chicagoland to achieve sustainable and just solutions to problems to which engineers can contribute their expertise and Jesuit values. The institute will seek to be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc . (ABET).

Estimated Financial Investments over 5 years:


  • $31 million


  • $14 million

Net Revenues

  • $17 million

Priority 3 - Strategy 6

Implement multidisciplinary programs to address injustice and violence

Tactic 6.a: The provost will support development of new Centers of Excellence that will address solutions that can improve the problems in our criminal and juvenile justice system, particularly in Cook County (by fall 2018).

Tactic 6.b: The provost and leaders of the Centers of Excellence will engage our faculty expertise and our staff talent to develop a coordinated effort directed toward solutions for societal problems related to poverty, race, and violence (by FY2020).

Tactic 6.c: The vice president for Administrative Services and the chief of Campus Safety will develop initiatives to become a university that is among the safest urban campuses (by fall 2017).

Major Initiative

Center for Criminal Justice Research, Policy, and Practice

The promotion of justice is central to both the Jesuit mission and the criminal and juvenile justice systems. The quest for justice is at the heart of any well-functioning system designed to hold offenders appropriately accountable for their actions and to heal the wounds caused by misconduct. Loyola will create a Center of Excellence to improve the quality and administration of criminal and juvenile justice in Chicago and Illinois by using the expertise and resources of the University. The center will promote fair, informed, and effective approaches to justice policy and practice through collaborative interdisciplinary research, transformative education, and leadership development. This transdisciplinary approach will include faculty in criminal justice, law, psychology, social work, public health, sociology, history, political science, and other disciplines. A central goal of the center will be to provide an interdisciplinary administrative structure and focal point that supports high-quality research and policy analysis. These will be aimed at creating a real-world impact, especially in Chicago—one of the world's most important urban environments.

Estimated Investment over 5 years:

  • $1.25 million