Loyola’s Board of Trustees unanimously elected Dr. Mark C. Reed as Loyola’s 25th president following Loyola’s first female and layperson President Jo Ann Rooney. Reed spoke about his past and why he is excited to be at Loyola at the event on May 3rd.
Rooney told The Phoenix she’s excited about this new step.
“I think Dr. Reed will be a great next president for Loyola,” Rooney said.
Reed previously served as the 28th President of St. Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania for seven years as their first non-Jesuit president, according to a press release. During his time there, the university opened a new school, a new art gallery, he oversaw the development of their strategic plan and also made diversity, inclusion and equity a key priority by increasing the percentage of first-year students of color and opening a dedicated space for underrepresented groups on campus. Reed also has a long history with Jesuit and Catholic education, according to the press release.
Chair of the Loyola Board of Trustees and Chair of the Presidential Search Committee Susan Sher said at the event she and the committee were “thrilled” to welcome Dr. Reed to Loyola and to Chicago.
Reed is coming to Chicago from Philadelphia where he previously served as president.
“After a global search and community-led process, Dr. Reed, with his deep roots in Jesuit, Catholic education, mission-driven leadership experience, and belief in our student-centered ethos, was a clear choice to serve as Loyola’s 25th President,” Sher said during the event.
The Presidential Search Committee hosted various meetings with students, staff and alumni and said they received input from over a thousand Loyola Community members during the search, according to Sher.
Sher said this selection was a collaborative and unanimous decision and they’re confident in the decision to select Dr. Reed. It is not clear when the decision was reached.
“I think we found the right person to serve as president,” Sher told The Phoenix.
Reed said he was attracted to Loyola because of its community and students.
“[Loyola’s] faculty, staff and alumni are passionate about creating real change in the world and striving toward the greater good,” Reed said. “But most importantly its students — the reason universities exist — are driven and tenacious.”
Reed said he’s grateful for this opportunity at Loyola and he can’t wait to get started.
“I am trying to take it all in right now,” Reed told the Phoenix. “I am excited and honored to be the next president. Loyola is a special place and to be part of it in the future is special to me.”
In addition to his work with universities, Reed also serves as Chair of the Council of Presidents for the Atlantic 10 (A-10) conference, which Loyola will officially join in July 2022. He also serves on the American Council for Education, the Association of Catholic College and Universities and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.
Loyola Men’s Basketball head Drew Valentine said It’s great to know Reed is familiar with the landscape of the A-10 conference as the university embarks on the transition to a new president and a new athletic conference.
“The fact that he saw the value in a university like us academically and athletically means a lot,” Valentine said.
Though Reed spoke about his past and how he is looking forward to his time at Loyola, no big plans for the future were discussed at the event.
Sister Jean, who was also at the event, said she was impressed with the new president.
“I think he has deep Jesuit values and great ideas,” Sister Jeans said. “He didn’t make big promises and he seems to be himself. I also like the idea that he brought his wife with him today to share this moment.”
First-year music and vocal performance major Dominic Rincker said he is cautious about the new president and wished there had been more transparency during the process.
“They said students had been informed but we haven’t had any input or transparency since before the search,” Rincker said. “I would really like to see the president on campus and have him listen to the students.”
The committee announced Nov. 29 they received feedback from nearly 900 Loyola community members who participated in the presidential search survey, The Phoenix reported.