Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Norberto Grzywacz will step down in February to serve as provost and chief academic officer of Loyola University Chicago, the university announced in a campus-wide email Nov. 22.
In his four years at Georgetown University, Grzywacz worked as a professor of physics and neuroscience and served in the university’s administration. In the coming months, the university will search for an interim dean as Grzywacz will officially begin his new position at LUC on Feb. 1, according to the email from University President John J. DeGioia (CAS ’79, GRD ’95).
As Grzywacz prepares to take his new position at LUC, he looks forward to working at an institution that shares Georgetown’s dedication to Jesuit values, he wrote in an email to The Hoya.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to advance the Jesuit commitments to faith, social justice, and the consideration of the unique gifts, challenges, and possibilities of each student,” Grzywacz wrote. “I am excited to continue my career at another great Jesuit university and provide academic vision and leadership to fulfill Loyola’s mission.”
A 20-person LUC search committee selected Grzywacz after a 22-month hiring process, according to LUC President Jo Ann Rooney. His multidisciplinary approach to scholarship and commitment to the Jesuit mission will contribute to the LUC campus, she wrote in a Nov. 22 letter to the LUC community.
“Dr. Grzywacz possesses broad expertise in building and leading interdisciplinary research and education teams,” Rooney wrote. “Members of the search committee, others who interviewed him, and I were especially impressed by his broad vision for fostering cross-disciplinary research and action.”
Since Grzywacz began working at Georgetown in January 2015, he pushed the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences to include more interdisciplinary opportunities for students, according to DeGioia. Various graduate programs began under Grzywacz’s leadership, including the Master of Arts in educational transformation, which trains students to address challenges in education; the Master of Science in data science for public policy, which uses data to inform public policy education; and the Master of Science in health and the public interest program, which aims to prepare students to solve global health care problems.
Such programs have provided students with the applicable skills needed to take various career paths, according to DeGioia.
“Dean Grzywacz has worked to ensure that our graduate students develop the substantive knowledge and analytical skills that enable them to assume leadership roles in a range of professions, guided by a commitment to serving the common good,” DeGioia wrote.
Grzywacz also worked to launch the Partnership on Social Economy, an interdisciplinary partnership between Georgetown and the Santander Group that supports graduate-level research on social economy, according to DeGioia. He also oversaw the development of the Graduate Career Center, an organization that focuses on specific graduate career and professional advancement counseling, and the Office of Graduate Enrichment, which serves masters and doctoral students by offering programming connect students across graduate studies.
Grzywacz has embraced many academic disciplines throughout his career, according to Vice Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Sheila McMullan (GRD ’98, LAW ’08) who worked with Grzywacz.
“Norberto is a mathematician, a physicist, an engineer, and a biologist sort of all wrapped in one,” McMullan said in an interview with The Hoya. “Everything that he did was very mathematical in that sense, and so you always have to balance the person that you’re with. I would be the humanist in the room while he was the numbers person.”
McMullan also observed Grzywacz while he taught summer courses about the intersection of neuroscience and art at Georgetown’s Villa Le Balze in Italy. As a dean and a professor, Grzywacz was committed to integrating interdisciplinary education into Georgetown’s graduate programs, she said.
“Whenever you look at a problem, it’s usually from that lense as opposed to a much broader interdisciplinary lense,” McMullan said. “It was great with Norberto because he is inherently interdisciplinary.”