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Loyola New Orleans President Tania Tetlow will step down this summer to become president of Fordham University

By Loyola University on Thu, 02/10/2022 - 09:39

Fr. Justin Daffron, Vice President of Mission and Identity, will serve as interim president

(Feb. 10, 2022, New Orleans, La.) – Loyola University New Orleans announced today that President Tania Tetlow, who has passionately and capably helmed the university for almost four years, has accepted a new role as president of Fordham University in New York City. 

Fr. Justin Daffron, S.J., Loyola’s Vice President of Mission and Identity, will serve as interim president next year and work with the board and the rest of the university’s leadership team during the time of transition to maintain the momentum of transformation built over the past four years

President Tetlow, who was the first woman and layperson to lead Loyola in the university’s 110-year history, will also be the first woman and layperson to serve as president of Fordham, a Catholic university that is ranked 68th among national universities and enrolls about 15,000 students.

“We are so grateful for President Tetlow’s dedicated leadership, and are thrilled for her and her new colleagues at Fordham University,” said Steve Landry, chair of Loyola’s Board of Trustees. “We wish her great success as she moves on to this prestigious position at a fellow Jesuit university. At the same time, we’re eager to continue delivering on the foundation and goals that we’ve collectively outlined under President Tetlow’s leadership, including continuing enrollment growth and increasing the university’s resources to further invest in our mission, our people and our students.”

President Tetlow became the university’s 17th president in 2018 and under her guidance, Loyola has built incredible momentum and is in a strong financial position as it continues to grow and offer new educational opportunities for students.

“It has been the greatest privilege to serve as president of Loyola, an extraordinary institution that means so much to me and generations of my family,” said President Tetlow. “My decision to take on this new position is bittersweet, but I know Loyola is in excellent hands. I am so proud of the work we accomplished together and will be celebrating Loyola’s continued success from New York.”

Overall, Loyola’s enrollment has grown by 11% and, last fall, it welcomed the largest and most diverse freshman class in university history. The university has launched innovative academic programs in growing fields such as neuroscience, nursing, marketing and communications, environmental law, healthcare administration and cybersecurity. During President Tetlow’s tenure, Loyola has strengthened its financial foundation, while also significantly growing the University’s endowment. 

President Tetlow also built a strong leadership team that not only helped position Loyola for growth and success and navigate the tremendous challenges COVID-19 posed for higher education, but will ensure that the university’s strategic vision will endure through the transition.

Daffron has served as a critical member of the university’s leadership team since 2019, playing key roles in the development of strategic plans and advancing long-term strategies for growth and enrollment. In 2019-20, he engaged the entire Loyola community in the Mission Priority Examen, an exhaustive exploration of the university’s Jesuit, Catholic identity to assure its accreditation as a Jesuit university that resulted in the successful reaffirmation of Loyola’s Jesuit Catholic identity by the Society of Jesus. 

He served for 18 months as the interim executive leader of online learning, making way for the new Dean of Online Learning and City College. He helped lead completion of design plans for the planned $6 million St. Ignatius Chapel and Benson Jesuit Center, created a Jesuit spiritual formation program on advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, and taught Ignatian spirituality to undergraduates, among other key contributions. 

“I want to express the Board’s gratitude to Fr. Justin Daffron for his willingness to serve as an interim president but more importantly for his understanding of the strategic vision we set out in 2020 and his willingness along with the cabinet to make sure that our progress will not stop,” said Steve Landry, chair of the Board of Trustees.

Prior to joining Loyola New Orleans, Daffron held top posts at fellow Jesuit universities Saint Louis University, Loyola University Chicago, and Spring Hill College. A cum laude business graduate of Centenary College, he did his novitiate training at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, La. He holds a Master of Arts in Counseling from St. Louis University, a Master of Divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, Calif. and a Ph. D. in higher education administration from Loyola University Chicago.  

Members of a national presidential search committee will be announced later this spring, Landry said. The search process is anticipated to take about a year. 

“President Tetlow will certainly be missed, and she leaves behind an important legacy,” said Father Daffron. “I’m committed to making this transition as smooth as possible for our entire Loyola community and continuing the momentum we have built for our students and their success.” 

Over the coming months, President Tetlow will work closely with Father Daffron and the leadership team to ensure a smooth transition.