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James Loftus named eighth president of Cardinal Stritch University

Cardinal Stritch University
December 15, 2010
Dr. James P. Loftus, vice president of enrollment management and student services at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, was chosen this morning as the eighth president of Cardinal Stritch University, Stritch officials announced today. Dr. Loftus will begin his term in July 2011 and will replace Kent Bergemann, who has served as interim president since January 2010.

David Hawke, chairman of Cardinal Stritch University’s Board of Trustees, said the Board’s vote to select Dr. Loftus was unanimous because of his collaborative leadership style, solid experience and lifelong commitment to Catholic education. The Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, founders and sponsors of Stritch, approved the selection shortly after the Trustees voted earlier today.

“We are pleased to have Dr. Loftus take the helm at Stritch – he is a dynamic, experienced and highly respected academic leader with a demonstrated commitment to Franciscan values,” Hawke said. “The interview process for this position was extensive and involved meetings and discussions with students, faculty, alumni, administrators, other staff, trustees and the sponsoring congregation of sisters. All of us came away highly impressed with Dr. Loftus’ leadership style, strategic ability, record of building and supporting strong teams and overall approach to the position of University president. He will be an outstanding leader for Stritch.”

Dr. Loftus will visit Stritch’s Milwaukee campus today and will be formally introduced to the University community in January. He said that he and his wife made their first visit to campus in the fall – an unannounced trip when they learned of the opening for a new president.

“The sense of community at Stritch was profound – people were kind, courteous and warm, so we had a good feeling about it from the outset,” he said. “During the interview process, those positive first impressions were underscored by the quality of the faculty and staff, the enthusiasm of the students and the wonderful work that the Sisters are doing and have done for such a long time. Their commitment to the core values of Stritch – as well as their work with not just charity, but also social justice and change – was impressive to all of us.

“Stritch has a tremendous tradition and legacy that serves all kinds of learners,” he said. “I am so looking forward to being a part of what is clearly a wonderful academic and social community, and I feel very privileged and excited for this opportunity.”

Dr. Loftus has been with St. Ambrose University since 1990. In addition to his current position, he has served as director of degree completion for adults, director of professional development, director of the Master of Pastoral Studies program, assistant dean of continuing education and adjunct instructor. Dr. Loftus also works as an associate recruitment consultant with Noel-Levitz in Littleton, Colo., and Iowa City, Iowa, as well as a consultant-evaluator with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges in Chicago. He has worked as a Catholic High School teacher in suburban Chicago, studied in the seminary and worked in a volunteer corps, Holy Cross Associates.

“Dr. Loftus has been a servant leader throughout his career, and his experience is a strong fit for the Stritch community,” Hawke said. “He has a proven track record in growing university enrollment through innovative and strategic offerings. He is a successful fund-raiser and strategic thinker who uses data to support decisions. He’s also been active in the formation of key programs at St. Ambrose that are also important to Stritch, including adult education and Pastoral studies for lay Christian leadership.”

Dr. Loftus holds a Ph.D. in planning, policy and leadership studies from the College of Education at the University of Iowa; an M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and a B.A. in psychology from the University of Notre Dame. He and his wife, Irene, an attorney and former Chancellor of the Diocese of Davenport, are the parents of four daughters, ages 15 to 22.
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