Loyola offers chance to have pizza with the president

Michael Garanzini
By  Rosallie Ruiz

Loyola University Chicago staff council is hosting forums on Tuesday and Wednesday that offer faculty and staff the opportunity to ask the Rev. Michael J. Garanzini, S.J.,  the school’s president and CEO, any questions about the university over a pizza lunch.

Pizza with the president is held on two separate occasions at both the Water Tower and Lake Shore campuses.

Here are the details from Inside Loyola:

President and pizza generally don’t fall within the same sentence, but that all changes for two days in early April.

The Staff Council is hosting Pizza with the President, a town hall forum that offers faculty and staff the opportunity to ask Father Garanzini any questions about the University over a pizza lunch.  There will be an event on the Water Tower Campus on Tuesday, April 3, noon to 2 p.m., at Lewis Towers, Regents Hall, and on the Lake Shore Campus on Wednesday, April 4, noon to 2 p.m., at Simpson MPR.

Director of the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution and member of the Staff Council Tim Love, says this is an opportunity for faculty and staff to expand on issues that may have been mentioned in other venues, but never fully discussed.

“I think it is a nice time to be able to bring any questions to the president. Father Garanzini is very open to dialogue about the state of the University. Unfortunately when he does the address there isn’t a prolonged opportunity for a dialogue,” Love says. “However, he recognizes the importance of all of us who make up the University community being engaged in [asking questions].”

Love says the event, which has been going on for the past several years, usually fosters questions about facilities, strategic planning, and campus partners, as well as other topics that are important to faculty and staff, but may not make it into the larger State of the University ddresses. In addition, he says he anticipates there to be discussion about shared governance, the University’s stance on recent healthcare debates, and the next steps in construction. However, he stresses that this is an opportunity for any and all questions.

“A very very open forum for whatever is on people’s minds because they have direct access,” he says. “It’s a place where people don’t feel inhibited from asking questions from a guy who makes all the big decisions.”

In addition to conversation, there will be plenty of pizza from Pete’s Pizza in Edgewater, including gluten-free and vegetarian options at both campuses.

Love says an event like this is important to have because it gives a voice to faculty and staff, and creates a more open environment for everyone involved in the University.

“It is important for the entire University community, in order to best serve our students and to remain a great place to work for all of our stakeholders,” he says. “It is important for staff and faculty to occasionally sit together and reflect on how things are going and how they are going in the future.”

“In the end that is a hallmark of our Jesuit identity: the ability to discern and reflect on our work and its importance,” he adds. “In order for us to live out that identity, it is important for us to do this.”

For more information on Pizza with the President, contact Tim Love at tlove@luc.edu.


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