Robert D. Kelly, Ph.D., to leave Loyola to become president of University of Portland
| By Rita Buettner
Robert D. Kelly, Ph.D., vice president and special assistant to the president, has been named president of the University of Portland, a Catholic university in Portland, Oregon. Kelly will continue to serve in his role at Loyola through the close of the spring semester before becoming president of the University of Portland in July.
A 1994 graduate of Loyola, Dr. Kelly served on the University’s Board of Trustees from 2003 – 2017 while serving in key leadership roles at institutions including Union College, Loyola University Chicago, Seattle University. He was appointed as vice president and special assistant to the president in 2017 to oversee external affairs, athletics, mission integration, Campus Ministry, the Center for Community, Service, and Justice, and the President’s Council for Equity and Inclusion—prior to the addition of the chief equity and inclusion officer position in January 2020. Since Fall 2020, he has also led the student development division.
Kelly, who received his Ph.D. in Education Policy, Planning, and Administration from the University of Maryland and his master's degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from the University of Vermont, has more than 25 years of experience working in higher education.
“Loyola has benefited from Dr. Kelly’s leadership in significant ways, particularly in the work he has done across the University to elevate Loyola’s commitment to our Jesuit mission,” said Terrence M. Sawyer, J.D., president of Loyola University Maryland. “Every time Loyola has asked more of Dr. Kelly, he has stepped forward willingly and with a commitment to doing all he could to support the Loyola community. His leadership on campus and his investment and involvement in the external community have shaped his time here at Loyola and will serve him well in his presidency at the University of Portland.”
Kelly is the sixth member of the President’s Cabinet at Loyola University Maryland to be named a college president since 2015.