Tania Tetlow has been named as the first female, non-Jesuit, president of Loyola University in New Orleans.

The inauguration of Tania Tetlow as president of century-old Loyola University is a milestone in several ways, in part because she is the first woman and the first lay president of the Jesuit institution.

Given Tetlow’s background as a professor at Tulane University's law school, her appointment is not a radical step, for other Jesuit colleges have also had women as presidents. But it is also hardly a stark departure since Tetlow has been part of the Ignatius Chapel community since age 6.

Tetlow takes the helm at a time of change and challenge for private and parochial colleges, including the exits of longtime presidents at Tulane and Xavier universities in the city.

Demographics for colleges are challenging, say national experts. Universities public and private have to worry about future enrollment as well as maintaining research and publication standards for higher education.

New Orleans and Louisiana are blessed with the private and parochial universities serving our people in complement with public campuses like the University of New Orleans and Delgado. But our city and state in particular need more college-educated graduates for our future economic and social growth.

Education and community service in New Orleans are nothing new for Tania Tetlow. We congratulate President Tetlow and wish her the best in her new role.