The Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, C.M., ’85, and Karen Howard, ’84, are members of Niagara University's Board of Trustees.

Karen Howard, ’84, appointed to board

The Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, C.M., has been named chairman of the Niagara University Board of Trustees. Karen Howard has been named a Trustee.

Father Holtschneider’s role as board chair is not his first experience with Niagara University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from Niagara in 1985 and he returned to Monteagle Ridge to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer from 2000-2004.

“As we work together to develop opportunity amidst the challenges we face in higher education, Father Holtschneider’s experience in higher education leadership will be an incredible resource for the university,” said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University.

In 2004, Father Holtschneider left Niagara to become president at DePaul University, serving in that role until 2017.  A nationally recognized leader in American higher education, Fr. Holtschneider lectures on higher education strategy at Harvard University and has served on the executive committee of the American Council on Education (ACE) and chaired the board of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), both in Washington DC.  He currently serves as the executive vice president and chief operations officer for Ascension, the nation’s largest nonprofit and Catholic health system.  

Father Holtschneider earned his master of theology and his master of divinity from Mary Immaculate Seminary in Northampton, Pa., and his Ed.D. in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University. He first joined NU's Board of Trustees in 2005 and served two terms. He rejoined the Board of Trustees in 2017.   

Karen Howard, ’84, has served as the executive vice president of Kei Advisors for the past five years. As a member of the executive management team, she plays a key role in managing all aspects of micro-cap and small-cap publicly traded companies’ investor relations programs to realize their shareholder value potential. Before joining Kei, Howard served in a number of executive management roles with Columbus McKinnon Corporation, including vice president - strategic initiatives, vice president - finance and chief financial officer, and vice president and treasurer, to name just a few. Howard earned her BBA in accounting from Niagara University in 1984. She received the Niagara University department of accounting’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006.

“Karen Howard is a great addition to our Board of Trustees. She has been incredibly committed to her alma mater through the years. That commitment combined with her individual leadership and business success will provide Niagara with even greater resources on our Board of Trustees,” said Father Maher. 

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