July 26, 2016
Dear Members of the Loyola Community,
While summer at academic institutions typically provides time for reflection and rejuvenation, the pace for many Loyolans has not slowed, and for good reason. In addition to another successful Summer Sessions program, to date we’ve hosted nine orientations—onboarding more than 2,450 new students—and are preparing to welcome this expected record-breaking first-year class in August. Another important welcome is on the horizon, as President-elect Jo Ann Rooney officially joins us next Monday, August 1. As we look ahead to our 2016–2017 academic year, I want to share some important updates with you.
Fiscal Year 2017 Budget
Last month, the Board of Trustees approved the budget for fiscal year 2017. I want to thank everyone who had a hand in helping us successfully close out fiscal year 2016 and prepare for the new budget during a time of so much uncertainty. We will continue efforts to operate more efficiently, generate new revenue streams, and contain growth in our expenses so as to keep Loyola an affordable education for students. The state budget impasse, which directly impacted the promised MAP funding that so many of our students count on, put students and the University in a difficult position last year. Despite funding for 2016 recently coming through, we must continue to manage the budget conservatively with the situation in Springfield remaining dire and 2017 MAP funding commitments from the state in question. To improve results of our operations this current fiscal year and beyond, we have tasked the vice presidents and deans with identifying cost-containment strategies as well as revenue growth initiatives. We are planning ahead so this can be done thoughtfully and strategically.
Please see below for several important leadership updates:
- Marianne P. Ryan, PhD, has been appointed the new dean of University Libraries by Interim Provost Patrick Boyle, PhD. Dr. Ryan, who is currently the associate university librarian at Northwestern University, will join Loyola libraries in September.
- Active dean searches are underway for the School of Law and the School of Social Work. In May, Linda Brubaker, MD, current dean of the Stritch School of Medicine, announced her plans to transition out of the leadership role on December 31, 2016. A search will begin soon for Dr. Brubaker’s successor.
- The interim leadership plan for the John Felice Rome Center has evolved after much discussion with President-elect Rooney. On July 1, Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., our chancellor, stepped in to the role of interim director of the John Felice Rome Center. Father Garanzini has deep knowledge of the Rome Center and I anticipate a seamless transition for all who work and study at the center. An active search led by Thomas Regan, S.J., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, is underway for a full-time leader.
- Steve Bergfeld, senior vice president for our Health Sciences Division, left the University on July 1 to accept a position with The Ohio State University as vice president for development. Steve’s contributions over the years are many, including his strategic role in reinvigorating the University, serving as a key advisor and liaison during the sale of the hospital to Trinity Health, and building an important relationship with Loyola University Health System. I thank Steve for his many years of service to Loyola.
Diversity and Inclusion
I am pleased to report that the campus climate survey is moving forward, as faculty and staff focus groups are set to begin today, July 26. Additional focus groups will take place at the start of the fall semester (in August) and will include students, faculty, and staff. This is an important step in our work to engage the campus community and ensure that we are providing a diverse and inclusive environment. We remain committed to fostering respectful dialogue to further understanding, learning, and personal growth, and as we have seen over the course of the past couple of months, our world is greatly in need of this dialogue. As we continue to mourn for those who lost their lives in recent tragedies, I ask that you also consider the impact of these events on your colleagues and peers. Please support one another, and, if needed, take advantage of the resources available to students and employees of Loyola.
Chris Manning, PhD, will continue to serve as an advisor to me on race and diversity issues. He will serve as assistant provost for academic diversity and begins this role on August 1. He will also remain an important member of the Executive Council on Diversity and Inclusion.
“Plan 2020” Activity
There has been much progress on the University’s strategic plan. All together, we have approved or launched eight new “Plan 2020” projects, including the launch of Lake Shore Community Partners, Loyola Community and Family Services, the Center for Translational Research and Education, and the Center for Criminal Justice Research, Policy, and Practice. More than 140 students will soon complete their first year at Arrupe College and we have received more than 1,000 applications for an anticipated 180 additional enrollments this fall. A new faculty development initiative focusing on advancing the Jesuit humanistic tradition will also launch in the fall. To date, we have committed more than $650,000 to fund projects out of the plan’s budget for this past fiscal year and future years. Most importantly, we have aligned institutional leadership performance goals with the plan to help drive implementation and are reviewing metrics that will help us assess the success of each priority area.
Before we welcome President-elect Rooney, I want to take a moment to thank each of you for your support and ongoing commitment during the past year. Even in a year of transition, we have made good progress as a university focused on its future. I look forward to resuming my role as provost and leader of Academic Affairs. I want to thank my colleague Patrick Boyle, PhD, who stepped in and has served as interim provost since January. His steadfast leadership of our academic mission allowed me to focus my full attention on serving as your interim president.
I hope that you are enjoying your summer and taking some time to refresh and relax in anticipation of another active and productive academic year. I also hope to see many of the faculty and staff at our Feast of Saint Ignatius Mass and picnic this Friday at the Lake Shore Campus.
John P. Pelissero, PhD