As part of President David W. Burcham’s initiative to strengthen the university’s ties to its Jesuit roots, three Jesuits have joined the faculty at Loyola Marymount, strengthening LMU’s focus on multicultural studies and outreach, and bringing added research experience.
Allan Figueroa Deck, S.J., assumes the Casassa Chair of Social Ethics in the Theological Studies Department. “I intend to focus on the Latino Catholic presence at LMU, in Southern California and throughout the nation today,” said Deck, a native of Los Angeles. He comes to LMU from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, where he served as the first executive director of the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity, overseeing relations with the cultural, racial and language groups that make up the Catholic Church in the United States.
Rejoining the faculty at the Westchester campus is Kenneth Rudnick, S.J., who spent the last five years as chaplain at Loyola Law School. He will work as a clinical professor in the Department of Philosophy. His work has focused on Catholic studies, curriculum development and other topics.
Also joining the faculty of the Theological Studies Department is Bagus Laksana, S.J., from the Indonesian Province of the Society of Jesus. He has been teaching as a post-doctorate fellow in the area of Muslim-Christian dialogue.
Father Robert Scholla, rector of the Jesuit Community at LMU, said he was pleased to be welcoming these faculty members to LMU. “I am grateful to David Burcham for his pro-active stance as regards the recruitment of Jesuits for this great university.”
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Two more Jesuits are also slated to join LMU in coming months. Father Paul Vu will become assistant dean for student affairs working in co-curricular and student support for undergraduates and graduate students. Vu will also teach counseling psychology in the Department of Psychology.
Additionally, Thomas Buckley, S.J., will be returning to LMU as a professor emeritus in the History Department in the fall. Buckley, who is currently a professor in the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, was a professor of history at LMU from 1974 to 1996.