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Personal Statement of Bernard Knoth, S.J.

With profound sadness, I am writing to inform you that I resign as university president today, October 7, 2003.

This painful decision stems from a complaint filed with the Provincial of the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus.  This complaint about an incident in 1986 was investigated by the Chicago Province according to the U.S. Bishops' Norms approved in 2002 for dealing with such complaints.  While I deny any inappropriate conduct, the provincial superior of the Chicago Province has judged the complaint credible according to the U.S. Bishops Norms.  Pursuant to those norms, the Chicago provincial superior has removed me from active ministry, necessitating my resignation from the presidency.

When I arrived in New Orleans slightly more than eight years ago, I was bewildered both by the city and by the university. During the years since, I have fallen in love with both. I salute the faculty and staff of Loyola University New Orleans for their dedication and devotion to educating the many learners who come to Loyola. The faculty and staff have shown an extraordinary willingness to adapt to change, to embrace new systems and new technologies not previously pursued. While we did not always agree on particular tactics, we did agree always on the strategy of making Loyola a preeminent institution. In our discussions, there was always an amity which I appreciated sincerely.

I thank my brother Jesuits who have been supportive and encouraging during my years in New Orleans. I give my thanks to the university vice presidents and deans for their focus, hard work, creativity and willingness to work long hours to achieve the goals we set. I salute the members of the university Board of Trustees for their forward looking, constructive wisdom and commitment during my years of service.

I thank the many people in New Orleans who have welcomed me whole heartedly to the city, to their homes and to their lives. Certainly New Orleans faces challenges in her future, but it is impossible to imagine that a city filled with so many people with good hearts and good intentions cannot overcome the hurdles before them.

I give special thanks to the alumni and alumnae of Loyola who made an extraordinary effort to help me be comfortable in and knowledgeable about New Orleans.

Loyola is a strong institution, blessed with committed trustees, a distinguished faculty, a dedicated staff, superb students and alumni. It has been my honor to serve them.

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