Loyola University Chicago

Office of the President

President's Biography


John P. Pelissero, PhD
Interim President, Loyola University Chicago
Curriculum Vitae

O‌n July 1, 2015, John P. Pelissero, PhD, assumed the role of interim president of Loyola University Chicago. He is also a political science professor at Loyola, where he has served as a member of the faculty for 30 years. He joined Loyola's Department of Political Science as an assistant professor in 1985, was promoted to associate professor in 1988, and then to professor in 1993. He served as chairperson of the Department of Political Science from 1999–2002. 

Dr. Pelissero's University leadership roles began in 2003 with his appointment as the first associate provost for curriculum development. He led the development of a new undergraduate Core Curriculum and supervised academic services, assessment, and learning technology. From 2005–10 he was vice provost for the Division of Academic Affairs, responsible for budgeting, enrollment management, faculty development, and institutional research. 

He was named provost in May 2010. As the University's chief academic officer, he led academic affairs, including two colleges, seven schools, two institutes, the University Centers of Excellence, and University Libraries. He was responsible for enrollment management and strategic planning, as well as oversight of the Division of Student Development. He served as a member of the President's Cabinet, the Council of Deans, the Academic and Finance committees of the Board of Trustees, the Budget Review Team, and the Development Council. 

Dr. Pelissero earned his BA in political science from Marquette University in 1975. He holds a MA in political science and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma. He received his PhD in political science from the University of Oklahoma in 1983. He was a member of the faculty at Texas A&M University from 1983–85. Prior to beginning his academic career, he was a Captain in the U.S. Army Adjutant General Corps, serving on active duty from 1979-1983.

His academic specializations include urban politics and management, state politics, and intergovernmental relations. He has also conducted extensive research on Chicago and its politics. He has published dozens of articles in political science journals and two books: Managing Urban America, 7th ed., Washington: CQ Press, 2012, (with David R. Morgan and Robert E. England) and Cities, Politics and Policy: A Comparative Analysis. Washington: CQ Press, 2003. 

Dr. Pelissero is a trustee (ex officio) of Loyola University Chicago; a director of the John Felice Rome Center Foundation Board; is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and of The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies; serves on the Leadership Council for Kennedy Forum Illinois and the Illinois Advisory Council for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition; and is a past member and president of Skokie School District 73.5.  He is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, the City Club of Chicago, The College Board, American Political Science Association, and the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. He has been inducted into several academic honor societies, including Alpha Sigma Nu, Pi Alpha Alpha, Pi Gamma Mu, and Pi Sigma Alpha.  Dr. Pelissero and his wife, Paula, a human resources consultant, live in Skokie, Illinois.