Dear Members of the Extended Fordham Community,
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am delighted to announce that we met this morning and unanimously elected Tania Tetlow, J.D., the 33rd President of Fordham University. President-Elect Tetlow will be the first layperson and the first woman to occupy the post in Fordham’s 181-year history. She will take office on July 1, 2022.
President-Elect Tetlow comes to Fordham from Loyola University New Orleans, where she has served as president since August 2018. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude, in 1995, and her Bachelor of Arts in American studies from Tulane University, cum laude, in 1992. Among her other honors, she was a Harry S. Truman Scholar. Prior to being named president of Loyola, she held the office of senior vice president and chief of staff at Tulane University from 2015 to 2018. She also served at Tulane as associate provost for international affairs, the Felder-Fayard Professor of Law, and director of Tulane’s domestic violence clinic.
Arriving at Loyola during the most challenging period in its financial history, President Tetlow successfully led a turnaround of the university, launching new academic programs and increasing enrollment and student retention. Loyola grew revenue and the endowment, improved its bond ratings, and returned to financial stability, all during a global pandemic. President Tetlow is beloved at Loyola for her compassionate and transparent leadership.
Before that, President-Elect Tetlow served as a key part of Tulane University’s remarkable leap forward in admissions, rankings, diversity, research strength, and fundraising. As senior vice president and chief of staff to Tulane’s president, she played a crucial role in the strategy of culture change, adding new ambition to an institution already doing really well. And she led Tulane’s efforts to make meaningful progress on race and equity, and on addressing campus sexual assault.
“Tania Tetlow has in abundance the qualities of leadership one needs to run a major university, among them discernment, patience, decisiveness, self-awareness, and magnanimity,” Father McShane said of her. “Her commitment to Jesuit pedagogy and to Fordham’s Jesuit, Catholic mission is both deep and well-informed. I shall rest easy with her in the office I have occupied for almost two decades.”
The Board of Trustees and the search committee were deeply impressed by Tania Tetlow from the moment we met her. She is deeply rooted in, and a strong proponent of, Ignatian spirituality, and will be a champion of Fordham’s Jesuit, Catholic mission and identity. She has a deep understanding of and comprehensive vision for undergraduate liberal arts and sciences, the Gabelli School of Business, Fordham Law, and all of the graduate and professional schools of the University. With her permission, I am sharing the last paragraph of her candidacy letter to the Board of Trustees:
“The generation of students we recruit craves institutions like Fordham with clear values. They also, however, want something more than virtue. Born during the Great Recession, made cynical by the events of their childhood, they want to fix a broken world. They push on assumptions, question authority, and have remarkable courage. What they don’t know (until we tell them) is that there is nothing more Jesuit than that.”
Joseph M. O’Keefe, S.J., GSAS ’81, the provincial of the USA East Province of the Society of Jesus, said, “I am delighted to welcome Tania Tetlow to the Jesuits USA East Province, where she will lead one of our most important sponsored works, Fordham University. She has deep family ties to the University. Along with her extensive leadership experience, President-Elect Tetlow brings a thorough grounding in Jesuit, Ignatian, Catholic identity to her new mission. I look forward to collaborating closely with her in the coming years.”
Tania Tetlow is a member of the Fordham family: her late father, Louis Mulry Tetlow, a psychologist and former Jesuit priest, received his Ph.D. from Fordham’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) in 1974, four years after earning a master’s degree from Fordham; and President-Elect Tetlow’s mother, Elisabeth M. Tetlow, is also a double GSAS graduate, classes of 1967 and 1970, with master’s degrees in philosophy and theology. President-Elect Tetlow’s parents met and married at Fordham, and she was born in New York before moving to New Orleans.
President-Elect Tetlow’s uncle Joseph Tetlow, S.J., served for eight years in Rome as head of the Secretariat for Ignatian Spirituality, and has held other important roles ranging from president of the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley to associate editor of America Magazine. Father Tetlow continues to write seminal texts on Ignatian spirituality, now from the Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House in Lake Dallas, Texas.
Tania Tetlow is married to Gordon Stewart, originally from Glasgow, Scotland. They have a 9-year-old daughter, and she is stepmother to his teenage son.
This is a historic and exciting moment for Fordham. As a university that seeks to transform its students’ lives, we are preparing to be transformed by bold new leadership—leadership that will build upon Father McShane’s legacy of academic achievement and institutional growth. I know you all join me in giving Tania Tetlow a warm welcome to Fordham. We look forward to working with her in the years to come in furthering Fordham’s distinctly Jesuit mission in the greatest city of the world.
Robert D. Daleo, Chair
Fordham University Board of Trustees
Gabelli School of Business, Class of 1972