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 individuals appointed to help advise, manage, and govern the 501c3 nonprofit organization that is Briar Cliff University. 

nullChair: Mark Ward ('02)

CEO
Ward Electric Company
Fredrick, CO

nullVice Chair: Nick Roth

President
empirical innovations, inc.
Dakota Dunes, SD

nullPatrick Jacobson-Schulte, DBA

University Interim President
Briar Cliff University
Sioux City, IA

nullMost Reverend R. Walker Nickless

Bishop
Diocese of Sioux City
Sioux City, IA

nullSister Renae Hohensee, OSF ('07)

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

nullSister Kate Katoski, OSF ('69)

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

nullSister Kathy Knipper, OSF

President
Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque
Dubuque, 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

nullLisa Bertrand, JD

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

nullPam Duzik ('02) 

Partner
Deloitte & Touche LLP
Plattsmouth, NE 

nullOscar Gomez ('04)

Assistant City Administrator
South Sioux City, NE

nullDarrell Jesse, JD

Partner
Crary Huff Law Firm
Sioux City, IA

nullDan Moore, JD

Partner
Moore Corbett Heffernan Moeller & Meis
Sioux City, IA

nullMark Schuett

Owner
American Natural Soy, Inc.
Dakota Dunes, SD

nullJane Shey ('79) 

Consultant
World Food Program, USA
Algona, IA

nullDavid Simmons ('80)

Business Owner
Washington, DC

nullSteve Stouffer

Retired President
Tyson Fresh Meats
Sioux City, IA

nullPatrick M. Walsh, M.D.

Retired MD
Siouxland Urology Associates, PC
Jefferson, SD

Executive Cabinet

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


nullInterim President

Patrick Jacobson-Schulte, D.B.A, is the Interim 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; Master of Business Administration; 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.

nullVice President of Mission and Leadership

Sr. Pat Doody is the Vice President of Mission and Leadership. Sr. Pat served as a member of the Briar Cliff University Board of Trustees before joining Briar Cliff in 2019 as a part of the Empowering Learning Initiative (ELI). She assists with employee leadership development, oversees campus ministry, Franciscan scholars, Franciscan team and works on creating a mission-focused culture.

 nullVice President of Academic & Student Affairs

Dr. Todd Knealing is the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr, Knealing oversees the academic operations of the University, including academic programs and faculty recruitment. He has served as director of the Center for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT), chaired the school of undergraduate studies, was a member of the strategic leadership team, and taught psychology at BCU for 10 years. 

 nullVice President of Athletics & Operations

Nic Scandrett is the Vice President of Athletics & Operations for Briar Cliff University. He joined the team in July of 2019 and oversees all intercollegiate athletic programs, the Roth Cliff Shop, Charged Food & Brew, The Café, Residence Life & Housing, Security, and Facilities.

 nullVice President of University Advancement & General Counsel

Michelle Boe, JD, is the Vice President of University Advancement & University General Counsel. Michelle focuses on major gifts, annual funds, scholarships, endowments, project campaigns, grants, and alumni relations. With her legal experience, she also assists the University in navigating complex gifts and contracts as well as any other needs that may arise. 

nullVice President of University Relations

Suzie Fischer is the Assistant Vice President of University Relations. Suzie is responsible for marketing, communications, public relations, and community relations. She also oversees the print and mail services at the University. The University Relations department leads efforts in sharing what makes Briar Cliff special and supporting the communication surrounding growth and opportunities for the University.

 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.

nullInterim Vice President of Finance

Ann Oatman is the Interim Vice President of Finance. Oatman joined Briar Cliff as Controller in 2021 and has been a critical leader in budget management, forecasting, and planning. She leads finance, human resources, and IT services.

Organizational Chart

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

View Organizational Chart

Faculty

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

Meet the Team

Staff

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.”

null

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.

null

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.

Terms

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 all BCU employees who have regular teaching duties. Each department is represented by its elected Departmental Chair.