In response to last week’s editorial “Give Pastorek a Chance,” I’d like to say thank you to the Loyola community for allowing a smooth leadership transition. The more time I spend here on campus, the more inspired I am by our community. I am all the more committed to the mission and confident about the future growth of the university.
At recent town halls, we have had some powerful exchanges, and through those discussions, I have gotten a good idea of what our community members are concerned about. I also have made some clear commitments, and I want to share those again with you here:
1.) Communication: The only way we are going to continue to meet our goals and continue to grow and thrive as a community is through active, clear communication and problem-solving. I am in constant, close discussion with the Magis team, and we will communicate our challenges and successes regularly. The town halls and small group meetings will continue. I also plan to be a regular presence at meetings of our University and Staff Senates. In return, I expect continued feedback, engagement and leadership from you. If you have a great idea, a solution to a problem or a concern, you can share your thoughts at loyno.edu/steerthecourse/contact.php, a new website we created at the request of students. You can also always shoot me an email or text at (225) 571-0771, and I or another member of our leadership team will get back to you. Promptly.
2.) No surprises: As I said at the student town hall, I believe that the truth will always set you free. And I believe in transparency – it’s the only way I know how to live. With that comes difficulty – life is never 100 percent perfect or rosy. But I believe that when we all know our challenges and face them head on together, we will get through them together. Transparency is not always an easy path, and that’s why I am going to ask all of you not only to trust but also to continue to champion and believe in Loyola, no matter the challenge we are facing.
3.) A strong and exciting future: If you’ve taken anything away from our recent communications, I hope that it is this: I believe that the future of Loyola University New Orleans is strong. We have financial challenges right now that we will successfully navigate – we’ve been transparent about that. We also need to look closely at our strengths and invest in what’s working well. And we need and want to continue to grow. We have plans in place for all of that. We need to make our programs and offerings more efficient, and we need to reduce unnecessary expenses, and we have a plan for that, too. We are working closely with our accreditation agency, and we will balance our budget by the end of fiscal year 2019. We also have a backup plan in case we unexpectedly slip on our planned targets. Soon, we will have a new organizational structure. We also will have a decision on the new president soon. And you have my word: Loyola University New Orleans has been around for more than 100 years, and we will be around for at least 100 more.
This will be a busy summer, and we have an exciting year ahead. We have goals we want to achieve, and we will need your confidence, collaboration and cooperation to tackle the challenges ahead. Top on our list is growing enrollment through another outstanding first-year class, improved retention and increased transfers.
You can do something about that: You can tell your friends and acquaintances about the wonderful programs, value system and environment we have to offer. It’s that simple. Share our good news. Tell people what you love about Loyola. I do.
As a two-time alumnus, former board chair, five-year board member and member of a three-generation Loyola family, I didn’t know I could be prouder of my alma mater. That’s changing. I am grateful for your support and look forward to working together.
Acting chief operating officer
A ‘76, J.D. ‘79