The Rev. Thomas Neitzke, S.J., has been named the dean of Arrupe College, Loyola’s two-year associate degree program, officials announced May 12.
Neitzke will take over the role of dean from the Rev. Steve Katsouros, S.J. — who founded Arrupe College in 2015 — beginning Aug. 1, 2020, according to an email sent by university officials to the Loyola community.
“Through his career, Father Neitzke has demonstrated an energetic, innovative approach to meeting the needs of diverse students, families, and communities,” the email, signed by Loyola President Jo Ann Rooney and Provost Norberto Grzywacz, read.
Neitzke, a 2003 Loyola alumnus, said he’s looking forward to returning to the university in his new role as a dean.
“I had a great experience at Loyola the first time and I’m sure this time will be even better,” Neitzke told The Phoenix.
The Rev. Tom Regan, S.J., who served as chair of the search committee for the position, told The Phoenix Neitzke “understands the mission” of Arrupe College, citing Neitzke’s work to increase the enrollment of students of color from 7 percent to 25 percent while he was president of Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, Neb..
Neitzke said this is something he hopes to continue at Loyola, saying Arrupe College’s “diverse student body” and accessible college education is what attracted him to the position.
Regan also said Neitzke is a “prolific fundraiser,” which he said is an important role for the Arrupe dean.
Neitzke, who said he wrote his dissertation on the history of fundraising, said fundraising is a passion of his and isn’t just about raising money.
“What I’m most excited about is heading into Arrupe to be able to meet everyone and witness the work that they do … and to be able to share that with others so they can participate in the mission of Arrupe,” Neitzke said.
With the uncertainty of what format classes will take next fall due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Neitzke said he hopes to work with Arrupe staff this summer to figure out how they will continue to deliver a quality education for students outside the four walls of the school.
“How do we be creative and think outside the box?” Neitzke said.
Before his position at Creighton Preparatory, Neitzke served as president and principal of Jesuit Academy and an adjunct instructor in Creighton University’s Graduate School, he said.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theology from Loyola, Neitzke earned a Masters of Art in Educational Administration from University of San Francisco, a Master of Divinity from Santa Clara University and a Doctorate in Leadership from Creighton University, the university email read. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1999 and became an ordained priest in 2010.