Our Employees

This "employee hub" is the place for all current and future Briar Cliff University employees to find the information, links, and resources you need to be successful. 

Thank you for all you do to make an impact in the lives of our students.


Organizational Structure

Learn more about our leadership team, how our organization is structured, and what leadership and management opportunities are available at Briar Cliff University.  
Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is made up of a group of community leaders and individuals appointed to help advise, manage, and govern the 501c3 nonprofit organization that is Briar Cliff University. 

Steve StoufferSteve Stouffer

Board of Trustees Chair

Retired President
Tyson Fresh Meats
Jefferson, SD                         


Lisa Bertrand, JD

Board of Trustees Vice Chair

Deputy General Counsel
Great West Casualty Company
South Sioux City, NE   

nullJane Shey ('79)

Academic Affairs, Student Life & Mission Committee Chair

World Food Program, USA
Algona, IA


Pam Duzik ('02) 

Audit Committee Chair

Deloitte & Touche LLP
Plattsmouth, NE 

nullDan Moore, JD

Finance Committee Chair

Moore Corbett Heffernan Moeller & Meis
Sioux City, IA

nullSister Kate Katoski, OSF ('69)

Governance Committee Chair

Director of Development
Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque
Dubuque, IA

nullOscar Gomez ('04)

University Relations Committee Chair
Assistant City Administrator
South Sioux City, NE

nullPatrick Jacobson-Schulte, DBA

Briar Cliff University
Sioux City, IA

nullBailey Aalfs

Retired CEO
Sabre Communications
Dakota Dunes, SD

nullKen Beaulieu

Retired Principal
AC & R Specialists
Dakota Dunes, SD

nullGail Bernstein ('87)

Retired Speech Pathologist
Dakota Dunes, SD


Terry Friedman ('75)

Terry Friedman Consulting, LLC
Dubuque, IA


Sister Renae Hohensee, OSF ('07)

Associate Teacher
St. Anthony's Catholic Schools
Des Moines, IA

nullDarrell Jesse, JD

Crary Huff Law Firm
Sioux City, IA

nullSister Kathy Knipper, OSF

Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque
Dubuque, IA

nullMost Reverend R. Walker Nickless

Diocese of Sioux City
Sioux City, IA

nullNick Roth

empirical innovations, inc.
Dakota Dunes, SD

nullMark Schuett

American Natural Soy, Inc.
Dakota Dunes, SD

nullDavid Simmons ('80)

Business Owner
Washington, DC

nullPatrick M. Walsh, M.D.

Retired MD
Siouxland Urology Associates, PC
Jefferson, SD

President's Cabinet

The President's Cabinet includes the university president along with an administrative group of vice presidents governing academic affairs, finance, university advancement, university relations, admissions, and athletics.


Patrick J. Schulte, D.B.A, is the President at Briar Cliff University.

Originally from Lakeville, MN, Patrick has diverse experience in finance and administration within educational institutions. Most recently, Patrick served as Briar Cliff’s Vice President of Finance and Chief Information Officer, the Executive Director of Finance & Operations for Northeast Metro Intermediate School District 916, Vice President Chief Financial Officer at Dakota County Technical College/Inver Hills Community College, Vice President for Finance & Treasurer at The Sage Colleges, and served as Adjunct Faculty for nine years.

Patrick received his Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude, Economics and Master of Business Administration from St. Cloud State University and Doctor of Business Administration from Saint Mary’s University.

Since joining Briar Cliff in June of 2021 as Vice President of Finance, Patrick has shown his dedication and passion for the university to thrive. He has strengthened the university’s finances, strategized departmental excellence, projected financial growth opportunities, and enhanced operations within the business office, human resources, and information technology. His financial acumen, strategic approach, and higher education knowledge has served the university well and will meet our presidential needs in the interim. As a practicing Catholic, Patrick embodies our Franciscan values with a mission to serve and inspire ethical world changers.

 nullProvost & Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs

Shirin Edwin, Ph.D., is the Provost & Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs. She oversees the academic operations of the University, including academic programs and faculty recruitment. Shirin earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Mount Carmel College; her Master of Arts in French from Bangalore University, India, and her Ph.D. in French from Vanderbilt University. Prior to joining Briar Cliff, Shirin served in various faculty and administrative leadership roles at universities in the United States and internationally. 

 nullVice President of Finance & Administration

John Robertson is the Vice President of Finance & Administration at Briar Cliff University.  John provides leadership and manages financial and administrative services, including the business office, human resources, and facility operations. 

nullInterim Vice President of University Advancement

Amy Derby is the Interim Vice President of University Advancement. Amy joined Briar Cliff in 2016 and has experience in all aspects of fundraising, including scholarships, endowments, annual giving, and major gifts. She is a lifelong Sioux City resident, a member of the Sioux City Diocese, and a Board Chair of the Development Committee for the FIRE Foundation of NW Iowa.

nullVice President of University Relations & Chief Strategy Officer

Suzie Fischer is the Vice President of University Relations & Chief Strategy Officer. She is responsible for marketing, communications, public relations, and community relations. She also oversees the print and mail services at the University. As Chief Strategy Officer, she co-chairs the development of the University's strategic plan and assists leadership with developing goals and key performance indicators. 

 nullVice President of Enrollment Management

Matt Thomsen is the Vice President of Enrollment Management. Since Matt joined Briar Cliff as Executive Director of Enrollment in September 2017, he has been instrumental in the development of new admissions strategies. Matt is responsible for coordinating and executing the day-to-day operations of the admissions department, this includes all undergraduate and graduate admissions.

Organizational Chart

Use the Organizational Chart attached to see a graphical representation of an organization hierarchical structure.

View Organizational Chart


Learn from the best! Briar Cliff University is blessed by talented faculty with real-world experience in their field of study. 

Meet the Team


For over 90 years, Briar Cliff has been blessed with talented staff to support the academic and operational progress of the University. 


By working in higher education and at Briar Cliff University provided opportunities for collaboration, feedback, and leadership experience above and beyond the traditional organizational ladder. 

Shared Governance Council

Briar Cliff emphasizes providing a quality, value centered, education for its students. With intention toward those values, in 2004 the University declared its adherence to principles of “shared governance and collaborative decision making.”


The formation of a new Faculty Senate in 2017 and the appointment of the first lay chair of the Board of Trustees in 2018 have been steps in the direction of meeting that commitment. Shared governance is an ideal peculiar to academia, one perhaps impossible to realize fully, but the University expects all of its members shall strive toward this ideal.


Council Responsibilities

Briar Cliff University’s three governance bodies include the Board of Trustees, Faculty, and Administration. In accordance with the document entitled “A Vision of Shared Governance for Briar Cliff University”, a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit A, the Council will review the primary shared decision-making processes of the institution’s governance bodies (budget, assessment, and strategic planning) and make recommendations for improvement to the campus community.

Representative Restrictions

A Board of Trustees cannot simultaneously serve as Chair or Vice-Chair of a Board Committee. The Faculty cannot simultaneously serve as a Faculty Senator. The Administration cannot be the President or a Vice President; must be a Director-level or above employee, and the Student Representative will be the Student Body President for that year.


2 Years with the following exceptions, the current BCU Student Body President will automatically serve as Student Representative, to allow for alternating term years, first-cycle nominations (Fall 2020) for the Board, Administration, and Faculty, a representatives will include one 1.5 year term (3 semesters) Member and one 2.5 year term (5 semesters) Member

Timeline of Events 

Fall 2020 – Nominations and elections for Representatives

Spring 2021 – Council elects chair at April Council meeting

Fall 2021 (and thereafter) – Council continues 

Meeting TimesOctober and April, with additional meetings as needed.

Staff Assembly and Faculty Senate 

As a Briar Cliff University employee, you will be a part of either the staff assembly or the faculty senate. Your elected leader will represent your department/division during monthly staff or faculty meetings. They will act as an advocate and representative serving to actively facilitate communication to and from the group as a whole. 

These meetings are meant to provide an avenue for all employees to use the strength of their collective voices to be an agent for change and communication. The goal of these meetings is to facilitate understanding, transparency, and allow employees to unite behind common goals.  

Staff Assembly

The staff assembly consists of all BCU employees that do not have regular teaching duties. Each division is permitted one elected representative for every ten staff members. 

Faculty Senate

The faculty assembly consists of BCU employees who have regular teaching duties. Each department is represented through faculty who they have elected to the Senate.