By Deanna Howes Spiro, Director of Communications, AJCU
(202) 862-9893, firstname.lastname@example.org
Earlier this month, Loyola University Chicago hosted the sixteenth annual Jesuit Leadership Seminar (JLS) for faculty, staff and administrators from Jesuit colleges and universities. For the first time, two staff members from Loyola University Andalusia in Spain, participated in the Seminar, reflecting the program’s growth and impact both in the United States and abroad.
The Seminar consisted of five days of learning how to effectively lead a Jesuit institution of higher education through lectures, panels and small-group conversations facilitated by the Seminar’s director, Jeanne Fielding Lord, and coordinator, Kevin D. Sullivan. Lecturers and panelists included the president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), Rev. Michael J. Sheeran, S.J., as well as presidents of several Jesuit colleges and universities: Dr. Mark C. Reed of Saint Joseph’s University; Rev. Kevin O’Brien, S.J. (who will begin his tenure as president of Santa Clara University on July 1); and Dr. Antoine M. Garibaldi of the University of Detroit Mercy. Rev. Stephen Katsouros, S.J., executive director of Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago, also served on the faculty and led participants in a tour of Arrupe, the nation’s first Jesuit community college.
Conversations throughout the week (June 10-14) focused on the challenges of working at Jesuit colleges and universities in the 21st century. From rising costs of tuition, to diminishing support from the Federal government, to a diminishing public appreciation for higher education, the issues are numerous and daunting. Other challenges are unique to Catholic institutions, including fallout from the sexual abuse scandal and a shrinking number of priests.
The Seminar’s program is designed to help participants learn how to address these issues on their own campuses, and find ways to collaborate across the Jesuit network. Donna Woodruff, Assistant Vice President and Director of Athletics at Loyola University Maryland said, “I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at this year’s Jesuit Leadership Seminar. Spending the week with colleagues from across the AJCU network, sharing ideas and insights from everyone’s individual areas of expertise, while soaking up the knowledge shared by the incredible presenters, created an awesome learning environment for all of us. I left the Seminar even more committed to my personal responsibility to support Ignatian values and the Jesuit philosophy not only in my department but also as an integral part of the larger Loyola University Maryland community.”
The Seminar was a meaningful experience for lecturers and panelists as well. Rev. Bryan N. Massingale, S.T.D., Professor of Theological and Social Ethics and the James and Nancy Buckman Chair in Applied Christian Ethics & Senior Fellow at Fordham University, gave a challenging and thought-provoking address on racial justice. In reflecting upon his experience serving on the Seminar’s faculty, Fr. Massingale said, “It's always a joy to meet others who share a commitment to higher education in the context of Ignatian values. What I enjoy about the Seminar is that it is a venue for serious and substantive reflection about weighty issues. Yet it is also a place of collegiality, where new bonds are formed across our campuses. I also very much appreciated the diversity of gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation present in this leadership group – something that bodes well for the future of Jesuit education.”
Several other participants shared reflections on their experience in the 2019 Jesuit Leadership Seminar:
For more information about the Jesuit Leadership Seminar, please visit thejesuitleadershipseminar.com.