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Loyola U. president to step down; takes chancellor post June 30

Loyola University Chicago President and CEO Michael J. Garanzini will step down from both those jobs June 30 and will become the school’s chancellor, the university announced Thursday.

The board of trustees has appointed John Pelissero, the university’s provost and chief academic officer, as interim president, starting July 1. A member of Loyola’s political science faculty for 30 years, Pelissero joined the administration in 2003 when he served as associate provost for curriculum development until 2005.

The university said Garanzini’s move, after 14 years as leader, will enable him “to satisfy the ever-increasing demands of his position as Secretary for Higher Education for the Society of Jesus, in which he is tasked with promoting Jesuit higher education around the world.”

As chancellor, Garanzini will serve in an advisory capacity “to advance strategic projects, assist the University’s advancement division with fundraising, and consult on international programs, as requested by the President and the Board of Trustees,” the university said in a statement.

“It’s been a wonderful 14 years, and I am grateful for this opportunity to have served as President of Loyola University Chicago,” Garanzini said in a statement. “It’s really been a privilege and a great honor.”

During his tenure, the university saw significant growth in enrollment, and its endowment also has nearly doubled. Loyola also saw the transformation of its four main campuses and the early completion of a $500 million capital campaign, the university trustees said.

Loyola recently announced it plans to open a new two-year college for local low-income students; that institution will be aimed at motivating the students to finish their degrees with little to no outstanding debt.

“It is impossible to overstate the impact that Father Garanzini has had on the revitalization of Loyola over the past 14 years,” said Robert L. Parkinson Jr., chairman and CEO of Baxter International Inc., a double Loyola alumnus and chairman of the university’s board of trustees.

The university expects to retain a search firm that will help a small group — primarily board members — conduct a national search for Loyola’s next leader. Jesuit and lay leaders will be considered for the position.