Briar Cliff University president resigns, students surprised - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Briar Cliff University president resigns, students surprised


Briar Cliff President Dr. Hamid Shirvani shared in a campus email Wednesday, he has notified the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees that he intends to leave as president effective end of the Fall semester 2017.

Dr. Shirvani said, "it's not been an easy decision to make but it is a result of family, personal and professional considerations." 

Dr. Shirvani joined Briar Cliff University on July 1, 2016, as the 10th president.

Dr. Shirvani has worked in higher education for 37 years at eight different universities, 27 of which he was in leadership positions.

Before BCU Dr. Shirvani was a senior fellow at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

Prior to that, he was chancellor of the North Dakota University System and President of California State University, Stanislaus among others.

He was selected out of 70 candidates from 28 states and three countries.

BCU students that interacted with Dr. Shirvani say they liked him and thought he was forward-thinking.

They're unsure if any changes he's made will be seen through now that he's leaving. 

"Definitely kind of weird," said BCU Senior Lucas Manganaro. "He came in and he made a lot of changes, renovating a bunch of the dorms and a lot of that so it's kind of weird to hear that after a year and all he's done, he's kind of out. A couple of my friends were on student government and they said, within the meetings, they liked him and the things that he was doing and the ideas that he had we're going to be beneficial, but now that he's gone, he can't really do all that."

Dr. Shirvani will continue to work under the Board of Trustees, but BCU's Chief of Staff, Rachelle Karstens, will oversee all day-to-day operations moving forward.

The University will work to find a new president in the coming months. 

An email was also sent to Briar Cliff students: 

Dear Briar Cliff University Students,

As you prepare for the start of the fall semester, I wanted to give everyone a heads-up on a recent campus announcement.

Dr. Hamid Shirvani has resigned his position as president of Briar Cliff University, citing personal reasons. He will continue to work on a number of projects through the end of the fall semester under the direction of the Board of Trustees. Rachelle Karstens, the university’s chief of staff and legal counsel, will oversee all day-to-day operations moving forward. The board will make a decision about the search process for a new president in the next couple of months and release more information when details become available.

The Board of Trustees wants to thank Dr. Shirvani for his service and leadership during his tenure. In particular, his efforts to re-organize the faculty senate, strengthen relationships with the faculty, and spearhead a number of successful maintenance projects on campus that have advanced the mission and goals of the university. Enrollment numbers have also remained strong during Dr. Shirvani’s tenure, so the board is likewise appreciative of his continued efforts to help make Briar Cliff the top choice for our valued students.

If you (or your parents/guardians) have any questions regarding this announcement, feel free to contact me. Otherwise, you can be confident that all of our efforts regarding this matter are rooted in our firm commitment to providing a rigorous and supportive academic environment that is consistent with our Franciscan values.

Thank you for your time and for being a part of the Briar Cliff University community!

Louise Paskey

Vice President for Student Development

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