Skip to Content

At Briar Cliff University, our leadership includes the university president; along with an administrative group of vice presidents governing academic affairs, student development, finance, admissions and university relations.

Shirvani, Hamid

University President

Dr. Hamid Shirvani is the 10th president of Briar Cliff, providing overall leadership and direction to the University. He works closely with the Board of Trustees, vice presidents and other leaders to set policy and direction for BCU. Each semester, the president hosts open forums with students, faculty, administrators and staff. Dr. Shirvani has worked in the field of higher education for 36 years, with 27 years spent in senior level executive leadership and management posts. Read more ...

Karstens, Rachelle

Executive Vice President

Rachelle Karstens, JD, has over twenty years of experience as a practicing attorney, and has higher education administrative experience in both the university and the community college setting. Rachelle came to Briar Cliff University from Indian Hills College, where she served as the Executive Director, Philanthropy & Alumni Relations. She commenced her professional career in higher education as the Director of Planned Giving for the University of Iowa Foundation. Additionally, she previously served on the governing board for her alma mater, Wartburg College, as well as the governing board for Grinnell Regional Medical Center. Read more...

Knealing, Todd

Vice President for Academic Affairs

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

Paskey, Louise

Vice President for Student Development

Louise Paskey is the Vice President for Student Development, who coordinates many aspects of the student experience, social and personal growth and broad-based learning outside of the classroom. The Office of Student Development oversees campus life and housing, student activities, campus security, career development, leadership programs, athletics, campus ministry, health and wellness, counseling, multicultural programs and new student registration. Read more ...

Rueter, Ken

Vice President for Finance and Administration

Ken Rueter is the Vice President for Finance and Administration, who is responsible for the strategic oversight and management of the University’s financial resources and operations. Rueter is a certified public accountant (CPA) with more than 35 years of experience in higher education finance at private, liberal institutions; including as a vice president for business and finance and as an associate professor of accounting. Read more ...

Stroud, Tina

Vice President for University Relations

Tina Stroud is the Vice President for University Relations, who is responsible for development, fundraising, alumni relations and marketing and communication strategies at the University. Stroud, a Briar Cliff alumna, has more than 20 years of fundraising experience at non-profit organizations, including at the Alzhemier’s Association and St. Luke’s Health Foundation prior to her return to BCU. Read more ...