Loyola University Maryland’s President Rev. Brian Linnane has announced plans to retire at the end of the 2021-22 academic year.
Officials at the private Jesuit university announced the departure in a statement Thursday and said the board of trustees aims to fill the role by July 2022, around the time Linnane said he plans to step down.
Linnane became president of Loyola in 2005 after serving on the university’s board of trustees beginning in 2000. The board intends to bestow Linnane with the title of President Emeritus upon his retirement, according to the statement.
Linnane explained his decision to retire in a message sent Thursday to university alumni, stating he had contemplated retirement in recent years, but the time had “never felt right.” He decided to remain in the position during the COVID-19 pandemic in hopes of bringing stability to the university. Loyola allowed students the option to return to campus in January.
“As we have welcomed students for in-person education and experiences this semester and reopened our campuses, and as we look toward the future of Loyola, I feel that the time is now right to help the University prepare for this transition,” Linnane said in the letter.
James Forbes, chair of Loyola’s board of trustees, congratulated Linnane in a statement and thanked the president for guiding the university through “extraordinary opportunities and challenges.”
“Throughout his tenure, he has led with conviction and dedication to Loyola and our students, taking strategic steps to place Loyola on a path for future continued success,” Forbes said. “Most recently, Fr. Linnane has navigated us through the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic with courage, compassion, and concern for every member of the community.”
Serving as president of Loyola, Linnane said in the letter to alumni, has been one of the greatest joys of his life.
“This community and this university are dear to my heart, and I am immensely proud of what we have achieved in advancing the education and experience we offer students, all while deepening our commitment to our Jesuit mission,” he said.
The president recalled a piece of advice he received around 2005 when he was preparing to take over the position — walk through the student center on campus each day.
“I have done that, with great joy, greeting students, seeing the people they are becoming, and enjoying being part of the wonderful energy and excitement they bring to our campus,” Linnane said.