RH Perry & Associates Recruits 13th President for Briar Cliff University

June 25, 2024 – Following a competitive nationwide search, RH Perry & Associates has placed Matthew J. Draud as the 13th president of Briar Cliff University. Leading the assignment were Sue DeWine, senior consultant, and Paul G. Doeg, president and chief operating officer. Briar Cliff University launched a nationwide presidential search in January 2024. Four finalists, including Dr. Draud, were invited to campus to interview with the presidential search committee, which consisted of Briar Cliff faculty, staff, students, and board members. Interim president Steven Freeman, a 1969 Briar Cliff alumnus, board chair emeritus, and retired business professional, will remain at Briar Cliff University and continue to serve as a presidential advisor to Dr. Draud to ensure a smooth and supportive transition.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Matthew Draud as the 13th president of Briar Cliff University,” said Steve Stouffer, board chair. “His extensive experience in academic leadership and his commitment to innovation make him the ideal choice to guide Briar Cliff into a promising future. We look forward to welcoming him to the Briar Cliff and Siouxland community.”

Dr. Draud will relocate to the Siouxland, IA, area from Abilene, TX, where he most recently served as the vice president of academic affairs at McMurry University. He will begin his presidential responsibilities on July 1, 2024. A distinguished academic leader with over 20 years of administrative experience in higher education, Dr. Draud began his career as a full-time faculty member at Long Island University in 1997, achieving tenure and promotion to associate professor in 2003 and becoming chair of the biology department, a position he held for 10 years.

Promoted to professor in 2009, Dr. Draud has published extensively in animal behavior and ecology. In 2013, he became a tenured professor and department head at Armstrong State University, supervising a large faculty and student body. He later served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Siena Heights University and, in 2020, became vice president for academic affairs at McMurry University. Dr. Draud has overseen significant growth and innovation, established new academic programs, and played a key role in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. He has also been instrumental in securing substantial gifts to support student success.

“I am deeply honored to become the 13th president of Briar Cliff University,” said Dr. Draud. “I am inspired by the faculty, staff, and leadership team’s dedication to Briar Cliff’s mission and their passion for serving our students. I look forward to collaborating with this exceptional community to innovate and create a strong and resilient university as we approach our centennial celebration in 2030.”

Related: RH Perry & Associates Recruits 19th President for New Mexico Highlands University

Briar Cliff University is a private Franciscan university in Sioux City, IA. Established in 1929, the school offers four-year academic programs and pre-professional programs in over 30 fields of study, culminating in a bachelor’s degree. Graduate degrees offered include a master of science, master of arts, master of health administration, doctor of nursing practice, and doctor of physical therapy. Most students major in business, education, and healthcare.

Higher Education Specialists

Established in 1974, RH Perry & Associates offers strong credentials and experience in academic executive search, having completed well over 1,000 searches in its history. Serving both two-year and four-year institutions, the firm’s higher education practice consists of senior-level executives with a well-balanced mix of college and university presidential and senior administrative experience and executive search expertise. Headquartered in Ashville, NC, RH Perry’s consultants maintain offices in Washington, D.C., Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.


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Dr. DeWine has 45 years of experience as a higher education administrator, and fundraiser. She joined RH Perry & Associates in 2015 after more than 40 years in higher education. She has had a successful career in academia with extensive experience as an administrator, fundraiser, and communication consultant. She was a full professor and consultant to industry in a large public institution and provost and president at two small private colleges. Her expertise is academics.

Mr. Doeg joined RH Perry & Associates in 2001 and has supported more than 400 presidential and senior administrative engagements. In his seventh year as President and Chief Operating Officer, he leads RH Perry’s team of outstanding senior consultants and associates, and is committed to supporting an equitable and inclusive search process for the firm’s clients.

Related: RH Perry & Associates Recruits President for Onondaga Community College

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief and Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor  – Hunt Scanlon Media

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