Rachelle Karstens Appointed the Eleventh President of Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa

The board of trustees of Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, Iowa, has selected Rachelle Karstens as the university’s eleventh president. She has been serving as interim president since the summer of 2017.

Briar Cliff University was founded in 1930 as a college for women. It went co-educational in the late 1960s. Today, the university enrolls more than 900 undergraduate students and about 250 graduate students. Women make up 59 percent of the undergraduate student body.

President Karstens came to Briar Cliff University in 2017 as chief of staff to the university’s president, who resigned two months later. She was an attorney with a practice in Montezuma, Iowa. She also served on the University of Iowa Foundation and as executive director of philanthropy and alumni relations at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa.

Karstens is a graduate of Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. She earned a law degree at the University of Iowa and is now completing work on a Ph.D. in education at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

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