We knew it was coming. We just didn’t think it would be so soon.
That’s the reaction campus had to the shocking news that Interim Provost David Borofsky resigned, meaning we can add “search for provost” to “search for president” on the university’s to-do list.
The immediacy and total surprise of Borofsky’s departure will do nothing to ease concerns of the faculty, with 64 percent saying they’d looked at leaving Loyola in the past year and many calling the university a “sinking ship.”
If anything, Borofsky was the one person that seemed capable of guiding that ship to safety, the one person with the knowledge and the will to not just let it go underwater.
Hopefully the crew learned from the captain that’s just jumped overboard.
For the sake of this university, we hope they have, because what Borofsky did for Loyola cannot be overstated.
When he arrived one year ago (almost to the day) the university was on the brink of financial ruin. But in just a matter of months, Borofsky radically changed the direction Loyola was headed in, making cuts across the board and following the plan of Project Magis that’s supposed to make the university — finally — financially stable by 2019.
Now, these were tough decisions Borofsky made … and the right decisions. That doesn’t mean everyone liked them.
But that didn’t matter to Borofsky, nor did it have any business being part of his mindset.
It also doesn’t have any business being on the mind of his replacement.
Borofsky was brought in to fix things. We didn’t hire him to make friends.
But, as it turned out, Borofsky would become one to many. He was transparent and a straight-shooter. We were even planning to meet with him as an editorial board next week to press him on key university issues, just as we had done last year.
Borofsky valued student input at Loyola and worked his hardest to take their opinions into account. Could he have done better? Sure. But much like his dealings with faculty, Borofsky was here to make the right decisions for the university, not what made students most comfortable.
Some of those choices included cutting personnel. Hard, but necessary moves to limit university spending to match our income. Borofsky also modernized university policies and procedures. The ones he replaced seemed so outrageous it was hard to believe they were actually allowed.
Yes, going out and buying a bottle of wine on a university credit card is nice, but when sitting on a budget deficit, ehh … maybe not the best idea. And we may not be able to buy pizza for our staff putting together the paper on Wednesday nights, but we’d gladly take OR food over a university in financial distress.
What’s important now, though, is that we don’t lose track. Yes, Loyola feels like a “sinking ship,” but Borofsky showed us that by making the right moves we can get afloat.
So we call on the new Chief Operating Officer and chairman of the Board of Trustees Paul Pastorek to keep us going in that direction.
That means if more faculty cuts are needed, make them. If administration needs to be shrunk, shrink it. If we need to raise funds by turning Mercy Hall into a casino, bet on it. Do what has to be done for this university to survive, not what is easy.
We look forward to working with Pastorek and look forward to meeting him. Hopefully he makes himself just as available as Borofsky and can bridge the gap that exists between the student body and the board of trustees.
So to Pastorek, we say: we must stay on track, we must find financial stability and we must not lose our accreditation.
There’s too much at stake here. We were just starting to feel like we could get out from being underwater. Let’s make sure we don’t sink again.
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