Loyola University Chicago has chosen a new president to take the reins this fall.
Mark Reed, president of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia for the past seven years, will join the school on Oct. 1.
Loyola’s board of trustees voted unanimously to hire Reed, the school announced Tuesday at an event in the campus’ Mundelein Auditorium.
“Throughout the presidential search process, it was a priority to identify an individual who possesses an outstanding record of strong leadership, and a deep understanding of the life-changing power of a Jesuit education,” said Susan Sher, chair of the board and the presidential search committee.
Reed embodies those qualities, particularly while leading Saint Joseph’s, she said.
With Reed at its helm, the university opened its first new school in 30 years in 2019, the School of Health Studies and Education. The university’s endowment doubled — and it received the largest gift in school history, $50 million, Sher noted.
Reed also focused on increasing diversity at the school, and provided support for students of underrepresented communities, including by opening a Center for Inclusion and Diversity in 2017. The number of first-year students of color also grew by around 20 percent at the school, Sher said.
Reed said he hopes to continue that work at Loyola.
“Loyola has always reached out to first-generation students and those who may have been excluded or marginalized,” Reed said Tuesday. “For these students especially, higher education is a key that unlocks economic and social mobility. We will continue to work hard to provide these opportunities to talented students of all backgrounds, as well as a student experience that is second to none.”
Reed believes firmly in Jesuit education. He was Saint Joseph’s first non-Jesuit president.
In fact, it’s shaped his life, Reed said. After attending St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia, he got his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and then an MBA from Fairfield University, also a Jesuit institution. He later worked in leadership positions there for 15 years.
Reed also has a master’s degree in secondary educational administration from Boston College and a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.
He will succeed Jo Ann Rooney, Loyola’s president since 2016.
Rooney praised Reed as “intensely and deliberately student-focused, understanding that the growth, wellbeing, learning and formation of each student are the reasons we exist as a university” on Tuesday.
And that’s what Dominic Rincker, a first-year music major at Loyola hopes to see from Reed.
Rincker said he’s been disappointed by Rooney’s leadership. She hasn’t been visible enough on the university’s Lakeshore campus in Rogers Park, he said, and many students feel their voices are not being heard by school leaders who he said spend too much time at the Water Tower campus.
He hopes Reed will talk to students directly about their needs.
“We want administration to be part of the Loyola community,” Rincker said. “Right now, it’s students, teachers and workers at Lakeshore, and them downtown not listening to us. And we want to work with them, we want to feel heard by them, and we want to understand where they are coming from, but we can’t do that if they aren’t present.”