New Loyola Provost Search Continues

The Search Advisory Committee began its work in August and hopes to complete the search before the next academic year.

The search for Loyola’s new provost began in August with plans to replace current provost Dr. Margaret Callahan before the next academic year. 

The provost serves as Chief Academic Officer for Loyola and works closely with President Mark C. Reed, according to Rev. Thomas Neitzke, S.J., the chair of the Search Advisory Committee, vice president and special assistant to the president and dean of Arrupe College.

Neitzke said the search committee for the new provost consists of 12 members of the Loyola community including himself, one student, professors and faculty who were nominated by deans and by Reed. 

The provost search committee was formed at the end of August by Reed, according to Neitzke. After the committee was chosen, Neitzke said they hosted 10 listening sessions over Zoom to discuss their hopes for the new provost as well as what challenges Loying is facing.

Neitzke said the committee met with the Student Government of Loyola Chicago, the dean’s council, the Jesuit community, faculty council, staff council, faculty senate, university leadership and the provost staff as well as two open sessions for the entire university community to join, according to Neitzke. 

“The purpose of that was for us as the committee to be able to hear from the entire university, what they hoped for and what they thought for the new provost,” Neitzke said. “That helped us form the position and candidate specification.” 

The position and candidate specification is a public document which outlines the things the university is looking for in a new provost, according to Neitzke. 

The committee also hired Spencer Stuart Firm to assist in the provost search. They helped compile all the data from the various listening sessions to create the document of specifications the university wants in the next provost. 

Spencer Stuart was not able to comment on the search due to policy.

Neitzke said the new provost would be someone who can lead the university and be a great partner to Reed, as well as expand Loyola’s global connections and commitment to the humanities. 

“The perfect provost would be a blend of someone who has the academic excellence, administrative experience and commitment to our Jesuit-Catholic mission here,” Neitzke said. “Someone who has very strong academic and administrative experience in a complex organization.”

Neitzke also said the committee is looking for someone who is willing to expand the infrastructure, research and opportunities at the university. Neitzke said they put out the job description after the listening sessions and are also taking nominations for the position by faculty and alumni. 

Spencer Stewart is helping the committee put together a pool of potential hires based on the nominations, applications or people the search firm sees fit for the job based on their own research, according to Neitzke.

Once the application pool is narrowed down, Neitzke said then the remaining people chosen will be brought in for initial interviews with the committee and president. 

Neitzke said the initial interview process will likely take place in early December with final interviews taking place some time after that. Callahan will remain the active provost until a new one is chosen. 

“We don’t have a final set date that says we have to have a Provost by this date, but the hope is that we will have a provost hired and ready to take over in July,” Neitzke said. 

Though Callahan was only brought in to serve a two year term during the presidential search, the next provost will serve as long as possible, according to Neitzke. 

The committee has reviewed a slate of candidates and are preparing to begin the first round of interviews, Hardt said. 

Hardt, who was asked to join the search committee by Neitzke, wrote in an email to The Phoenix that his hope for the new provost is that their success will bring great things to Loyola. 

“I think the person who joins our University as the chief academic officer has an extraordinary opportunity to collaborate with our deans and build upon their own notable strengths and those of our schools, our centers and institutes while articulating an academic vision that can both focus and inspire our work as Loyola University Chicago through its distinctive mission as Jesuit and Catholic,” Hardt wrote.

This article was written by Isabella Grosso

Featured image by Holden Green | The Phoenix

Isabella Grosso

Isabella Grosso