Dr. Norberto Grzywacz has stepped down as provost, effective immediately, after just over a year in the position.
Grzywacz, Loyola’s former provost and chief academic officer, is returning to a faculty position to “focus on his research and academic interests,” Loyola President Jo Ann Rooney announced in an email to faculty May 27.
The university didn’t comment on why Grzywacz wouldn’t continue in the position until the end of summer. Grzywacz didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Vice Provost Michael Kaufman will now serve as acting provost and dean of the School of Law effective immediately and will continue to do so until he transitions to the dean of School of Law at Santa Clara University this summer, according to Rooney’s email. No date has been announced for his departure.
Grzywacz assumed his role Feb. 1, 2020, just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, after an almost two-year search to fill the role. The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has criticized the university for the lengthy search.
“Three years into President Rooney’s tenure in office, we still have only an interim provost and thus no real university-wide academic leadership,” a 2019 AAUP letter said, The Phoenix previously reported.
Kaufman will be the fourth provost to serve under Rooney since she took office in 2016.
The university recognized Grzywacz for his work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in the faculty email.
“We are grateful to [Grzywacz] for being part of the team leading Loyola through these unprecedented and challenging times and wish him well as he returns to the faculty and continues his interdisciplinary scholarship and research in the sciences and humanities,” Anna Shymanski Zach, a university spokesperson, told The Phoenix.
Loyola’s 2021 strategic plan was referenced in Rooney’s email and Kaufman said he plans to work towards the university’s goals.
“We will continue our vital efforts for racial justice, environmental sustainability, health equity, access to education, and so many other initiatives that are central to who we are and our shared mission to create a better world for all,” Kaufman wrote in an email to faculty obtained by The Phoenix.
The university hasn’t announced any specific plans for the search for the next provost. Shymanski Zach told The Phoenix updates would be communicated to the Loyola community.