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The chair of diversity, equity, and inclusion on Loyola’s Board of Trustees resigned: what we know so far

The chair of diversity, equity, and inclusion on Loyola’s Board of Trustees resigned: what we know so far

On Feb. 11, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chair of Loyola’s Board of Trustees resigned. 

Dr. Anthea Butler, interim chair of religious studies and associate professor of religion and Africana studies at the University of Pennsylvania, posted a Twitter thread about her resignation on Feb. 13. In her opening tweet, the professor wrote: 

“This is a cap to a really shitty week, in which I resigned my position on a university board because the board chair tried to do a similar style coup, and I had to be one of the people to oppose him. I managed to stop one thing, but couldn’t stop the other, and decided to resign.”

Regarding her tweets, The Greyhound reached out to Butler for comment on Feb. 17. She stated:

“With Father Linnane’s resignation effective 6/30/2022, it’s my hope that students, faculty and administrators will be involved in the process of the search for identifying the next president of Loyola University.”

Butler also recommended contacting the chair of the Board of Trustees, James Forbes ‘80, for more information about the board’s governance. The Greyhound reached out to Forbes for comment on Feb. 23 and received responses the following day. He stated:

“While I can’t comment on specific details of what happens during Board meetings, I would like to say that Anthea Butler was a valued member of Loyola’s Board of Trustees and her contributions will be greatly missed.”

Forbes also spoke of the board’s work with the members of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee to identify a new chair. 

“We are committed to ensuring that the search committee is comprised of faculty, alumni, and students/recent graduates,” he said. 

In the most recent update addressed to the Loyola community, dated Feb. 19, Forbes highlighted the board’s intentions to select a search committee that is diverse, inclusive, and “can guide our community through this important process.” When asked to elaborate on the board’s plan of action in regards to this statement, Forbes identified four steps. 

First, the Board of Trustees has affirmed diversity, equity, and inclusion as three priorities in the search process. This assertion was followed by selecting Gerry Holthaus ‘71, current trustee, as the chair of the search committee.

“He [Holthaus] is a leader who knows how to listen to the diverse voices within an organization and help move forward to address those needs,” Forbes said. 

After establishing a search committee “that is equally committed to the ethos of diversity, equity, and inclusion,” the board plans to seek assistance from a search firm with “a proven track record in establishing applicant pools that are diverse and robust.”

The same email update assured the community that it will play a vital role in the search process. When asked if participation opportunities will be predetermined by the board, or if the community can suggest ways to be involved in the process, Forbes said: 

“Participation opportunities will be defined and offered by the search firm and the search committee, and I encourage the community to be looking for those opportunities to be part of the process. We are, of course, open to suggestions on how best to receive input from the community. Students’ input and voices will be important in the search for the next president.”

We’ll keep you updated as these stories evolve. Check back with The Greyhound for additional news about the Board of Trustees and Linnane’s retirement, and please direct any tips or additional information on this topic to [email protected].

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The chair of diversity, equity, and inclusion on Loyola’s Board of Trustees resigned: what we know so far