The Rev. Justin Daffron, S.J.
Interim President Select
The Rev. Justin Daffron, S.J. was named Interim President Select of Loyola University New Orleans in February, 2022 and formally assumed the role of interim president on May 16, 2022. He brings a wealth of higher education administrative experience to his post, having served as the Vice President for Mission and Identity at Loyola University New Orleans since July 2019 and previously held top posts at fellow Jesuit universities Saint Louis University, Loyola University Chicago and Spring Hill College.
His key strengths are innovative thought leadership and vision, a passion for building community, and desire to accompany students through a transformational experience. Throughout his career, he has built relationships that foster philanthropic investment, demonstrated stewardship of human and financial resources, and advocated for justice, diversity, equity and inclusion. Diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives have long been important to him and over the course of his career, he has been responsible for bringing in a total of over $5 million in grants to create systems of support for low-income and first-generation students.
At Loyola University New Orleans, Daffron served as a critical member of President Tania Tetlow’s leadership team, starting in April 2019. In 2019-2020, he engaged the entire Loyola community in the Mission Priority Examen, a self-study process conducted at the request of the Superior General of the Society of Jesus and with the support of the Jesuit Provincials in the United States and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). This exhaustive exploration of the university’s Jesuit, Catholic identity resulted in the successful reaffirmation of Loyola’s Jesuit Catholic identity by the Society of Jesus.
Naturally, the self-study process of the Examen heavily overlapped development of the university’s strategic plan, Courage and Creativity 2020. Father Daffron played a key role in the plan’s development, jointly leading a trustee task force to advance ideas for long term strategies that would have the potential for strengthening Loyola’s reputation and financial position. He also co-chaired a board strategic planning committee that authored Loyola in the 21st Century—an action plan to address future institutional challenges and opportunities in response to the global pandemic.
As Vice President for Mission and Ministry, Father Daffron led a committee that completed the design of the planned $6 million St. Ignatius Chapel and Benson Jesuit Center, created a formation program for the Board of Trustees in Jesuit Catholic identity and diversity, equity and inclusion, and taught undergraduates about Ignatian Spirituality. He also provided interim executive leadership for online education for 18 months, making way for a new Dean of Online Learning and the future City College.
Prior to joining Loyola New Orleans, Father Daffron served as Special Assistant to the President of Saint Louis University, where he developed growth strategies, particularly in the health field, and a strategic plan for transformative undergraduate education. At Loyola Chicago, as Associate Provost for Strategic Planning and Academic Services, he led a task force positioning the university for the future; he also served as the Vice President for Advancement, leading fundraising and alumni relations. At Spring Hill College, he was Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs.
Father Daffron has served on the boards of Xavier University in Ohio, Spring Hill College and a number of Jesuit high schools around the country, namely: St. Ignatius College Prep, Sacred Heart Academy, Loyola Academy, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, and Strake Jesuit College Prep. Currently, he is the School Chaplain for the Academy of the Sacred Heart, New Orleans, pastoral assistant for the Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, and a member of NOLA Ready Volunteer Corps.
A cum laude business graduate of Centenary College, Father Daffron did his novitiate training at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, La. He holds a Master of Arts in Counseling from St. Louis University, a Master of Divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, Calif. and a Ph. D. in higher education administration from Loyola University Chicago, where he wrote his dissertation “Jesuits working in higher education: Satisfaction with the core curriculum at American Jesuit Colleges and Universities.”
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