Presidential Search

Briar Cliff University, a private, liberal arts, Catholic Franciscan institution, is in search for its 12th president.

Selecting a president is one of the most important responsibilities of the Board of Trustees, and a search firm and committee has been appointed to help conduct the search. Assisting with this search is RH Perry & Associates.

The Executive Search Profile has been developed to recruit a broad and deep pool of candidates and inform the Presidential Search Committee as they undertake their assessment and selection of candidates.

Learn More or Apply



Search Communications

 October 27, 2022 - Presidential Search is Live

BCU’s presidential search is live on RH Perry’s website:

The executive search profile is posted to the above website.  Both applications and nominations can be made through the link.  The submission deadline is December 16, 2022.

Sharing the link with your broader networks far and wide is always a great help. You never know where the great candidate will come from. 

 October 6, 2022 - Thank You

The Board of Trustees and the Presidential Search Committee thank all of you who were able to participate in the open forums and meetings with the RH Perry presidential search consultants on Monday and Tuesday. Your input is valuable to the process and will inform the committee and help shape the job profile. If you did not have an opportunity to attend any of these sessions, please complete the survey asking for your input at the following link: by 4:00 PM CDT on Thursday, October 13.

The discussions were informative and generated broad themes that will be included in the profile. The surveys will add to that collection of knowledge about the Briar Cliff community’s hopes and concerns.

The next step is finalizing the profile. A draft is being developed now by the consulting firm and will be approved by the search committee and the Chair of the Board of Trustees. We expect the final document to be ready for national distribution within the next two weeks.

We will soon be sharing the timeline with the campus. Any questions about the search process should be directed to the Chair of the search committee, Lisa Bertrand. Please forward questions for Lisa to Bernice Metz at  While any information about candidates is confidential, we are dedicated to being transparent and informative about the process and progress of the search.  You may visit the search’s dedicated website: to stay informed on the progress of the presidential search.  The entire campus will be invited to participate in meetings with finalists in March.

Thank you for your support and involvement in this critical process to identify the next President of Briar Cliff University.

Lisa Bertrand
Chair, Presidential Search Committee, and Member, Board of Trustees

Mark Ward
Chair, Board of Trustees

 September 29, 2022 – Electronic Survey

Briar Cliff University Community,

Matt Kilcoyne and Dr. Sue DeWine of RH Perry & Associates will visit campus on Monday, October 3 and Tuesday, October 4 for the presidential pre-search study.

To continue the conversation, as well as to ensure the inclusion of all members of the Briar Cliff University community, here is a link to a brief survey:


Your feedback will:

1) Assist Matt and Sue in the development of the Executive Search Profile, which is the marketing document they will use to recruit a broad and deep pool of candidates; and

2) Inform the Presidential Search Committee as they undertake their assessment and selection of continuing candidates later in the process.

Please note:

1) The survey is anonymous and confidential.

2) Your responses will go directly to RH Perry & Associates, who will consolidate the responses and provide your feedback to the Presidential Search Committee.

We would ask that you submit your responses by 4:00 pm CDT on Thursday, October 13, 2022. Thank you for your interest and input.

Lisa Bertrand
Chair, Presidential Search Committee and Member, Board of Trustees

Mark Ward
Chair, Board of Trustees

 September 26, 2022 – Presidential Search Announcement

The Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the launch of a national search for the next President of Briar Cliff University. We have retained the services of RH Perry and Associates, a nationally recognized executive search firm that works specifically in higher education, to support us with the search.  Matthew Kilcoyne, Managing Partner of the firm, and Sue DeWine, Senior Consultant and President Emeritus of Hanover College, are the team with whom we will be working.


The committee is comprised of members of the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, and a student in order to ensure that all constituencies of our community are represented in this important process.

  • Lisa Bertrand, Chair (Trustee)
  • Dr. Kathy Knipper, O.S.F. (Trustee, Former Faculty Member)
  • Steve Stouffer (Trustee)
  • Darrell Jesse (Trustee)
  • Mark Ward (Trustee, Alum)
  • Dr. Candace Chihak (Faculty Chair)
  • Lindsey Weatherford (Staff Assembly President)
  • Kennedy Andersen (Student Body President)


The Board met with the team from RH Perry on September 23rd to begin the process of searching for Briar Cliff’s next President.

The RH Perry team will return to campus on October 3rd and 4th to conduct interviews and open forums. Schedules for this visit will be distributed by Bernice Metz early the week of September 26th.


Attend open forums, and/or complete an electronic survey asking your opinion of the strengths and challenges for Briar Cliff that the next president will face, and the qualifications you believe are most important in your next president.

Participate in open sessions with finalists who will visit on campus.


While this communication will be the first of many as we move through the search process, there is also information the committee must hold in confidence. For examples: names of candidates, size and makeup of the candidate pool, or any search committee conversations and deliberations. We understand that you are very invested in the success of our search process, and therefore are interested in how the search is progressing. However, we would ask that you understand and appreciate that individual members of the search committee will not be able to answer your questions. All questions or inquiries for Mark or Lisa should be emailed to  Thank you, in advance, for your understanding and patience.

The search committee and consultants are committed to frequent communication about the progress of the search.

Thank you for your continued commitment to this community that we love so much. And for your efforts to ensure that Briar Cliff University continues to be the special and unique place of learning and growth.

Mark Ward
Board Chair