Interim president speaks to Loyola’s future this week


Maroon File Photo

Ava Acharya, News Editor

Interim University President, The Rev. Justin Daffron, S.J.expressed gratitude for the Loyola community during a speech he made at the start of the fall semester Monday, as well as hope for its future.

Daffron spoke on Loyola’s future amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which sent the university into a budget crisis in 2020 just after Tania Tetlow, former university president, had recovered the university’s deficit in the years prior.

Daffron specifically stated his intention to invest in the current and future staff and students at Loyola, citing a one time pay increase for Loyola faculty as well as a hope for increased inclusivity in university classrooms.

As a result of the Mercer Compensation Study, all staff earning below the 25th percentile for their position will receive a one time lump sum payment, Daffron said, who said he has the intention of making this pay raise permanent.

“We are going to fulfill all commitments under the Mercer study, to a certain level,” Daffron said

Campus inclusivity is a means of investing in current Loyola students, according to Daffron. He said he hopes to do this by fostering an environment in which all members of the community feel welcomed. Daffron added that renaming the former Carrollton residence hall in honor of Norman Francis is a means of community investment through inclusivity.

Building on his gratitude for the Loyola community, Daffron said his goals for the coming year center on the Jesuit idea of Cura Apostolica, care of the institution.

He named resource growth, Loyola culture, average net tuition revenue, academic portfolio, leveraging technology, and student success as main areas of focus. Of these areas, Daffron believes that student success is the most necessary. He called it a driving motivation for all Loyola staff.

“It is our collective ‘why’,” Daffron said, “and I hope it is what drew you to the Loyola community.”

Daffron also said he plans on “promoting student success” by increasing retention rates through greater integration of Loyola students on campus. According to Daffron, this begins with a sense of belonging.

The issue of student retention at Loyola is already being addressed by a task force, Daffron added , He plans on expanding this task force in the coming year.

Daffron added that the development of the mind and spirit as they relate to Jesuit values is also key to student success.