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NEWS 3.22.22

Grand View University

Briar Cliff University will be looking for a new president after current leader Rachelle Keck has been chosen as president of Grand View University in Des Moines. Keck will be Grand View’s 14th president after serving in Sioux City in the role since 2018. Keck will stay at Briar Cliff through June.

Democratic lawmakers criticized House Republicans for proposing no budget increase for Iowa’s public universities for the third year in a row.

House GOP members want to give 12-million dollars to the regent universities for a new scholarship program. But they’re proposing no additional money for their general operating costs. The regents asked for an additional 22-million dollars this year.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has signed a bill she has promoted as a rejection of so-called critical race theory, even though the legislation is limited in scope. The law bans the state’s public universities from using training and orientation material that compels people to feel “discomfort” based on their race. The bill passed the Senate earlier this month. Noem has repeatedly criticized critical race theory, an academic framework that centers on the idea that racism is systemic in the nation’s institutions. The initiative signed Monday does not prohibit professors in higher education from teaching such concepts in academic instruction. It was one of a dozen education bills signed by Noem on Monday. She has inked 192 bills total into law and vetoed one this session.

Dordt University plays tonight for a national championship in the NAIA Women’s Tournament. The team plays Thomas More of Kentucky tonight at seven at the Tyson Events Center. The came can also be viewed on ESPN 3.

The Sioux City Catholic Diocese will take part in worldwide reflection for Ukraine. Bishop Wal Nickless has invited the public to take part in prayer at the Cathedral of the Epiphany in Sioux City on Friday at 11 a.m.

Police Chief Rex Mueller expressed dire concerns Monday over growing amounts of fentanyl flowing into Sioux City, warning the illicit drug threatens the lives of more citizens.

More on the story from the Sioux City Journal: https://siouxcityjournal.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/sioux-city-police-chief-worries-about-rise-of-fentanyl-use/article_27edc5a6-5d1a-522d-93aa-ca33410f0cbc.html

Health officials in South Dakota say COVID-19 case rates have dropped so dramatically they'll no longer give daily updates. The Argus Leader reports that the state health department ended daily reports on Friday and will now give only weekly reports. The first is expected on Wednesday. As of Friday, the seven-day average of positive cases in South Dakota was 35. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only five states had lower per-capital rates of new cases. The health department shifted from daily to weekly reporting last summer but moved back to daily reports in August as the delta variant surged across the country.

State officials have euthanized 85,000 birds in hopes of containing an avian flu outbreak at two factory farms. South Dakota Public Broadcasting reports the outbreaks occurred at farms in Charles Minx County in the southeastern portion of the state. The disease was found in turkeys at the facilities although other poultry in close contact with the turkeys were euthanized as well. Assistant State Veterinarian Mendell Miller said the state doesn't release the names of facilities experiencing outbreaks. Miller said two other sites are under investigation for possible avian flu. Those counties will be identified if tests come back positive.

Less than six months after dropping the mascot “Mohawks,” the Mason City School Board has approved a student-led suggestion to adopt the name “River Hawks.” The Globe Gazette reports that the board unanimously approved the name change Monday night. The name was presented by members of the Mason City High School student senate after a vote of the student body saw more than 61% select River Hawks over two other contenders — the Majors and the Monarchs. The previous mascot was retired in November, following examples across the country of schools and sports teams dropping offensive names and mascots that either pull from or pervert Native American culture.

News release from Briar Cliff University:

The Briar Cliff University Board of Trustees is preparing for a presidential search, with the news of Dr. Rachelle Keck, Briar Cliff University President, being selected as the future President of Grand View University following her nomination and recruitment by the university. Keck will continue to serve as Briar Cliff University President and Secretary of the Board of Trustees through June 2022.

“Dr. Rachelle Keck has an opportunity to once again be located close to her loved ones and return to the area her career first began,” says Mark Ward, Briar Cliff Board of Trustees Chair. “On behalf of the Board and Briar Cliff University community, we want to thank Dr. Keck for her years of service, visionary leadership, and the impact she has made during her tenure. We wish her the very best.”

Briar Cliff University has grown under Keck’s leadership, which began in May of 2017. She served the university as chief of staff and university counsel, executive vice president, and interim president prior to being named the university’s 11thpresident in July of 2018.

Keck’s visionary leadership strengthened the university’s operations, stabilized enrollment, and introduced strategic growth initiatives for the university. Some of these accomplishments include the adoption and implementation of the university’s strategic plan; an increase in fundraising, grants, and external resources by 35%; the development of Briar Cliff’s third Help Care™ doctoral program; and launching a campus-wide master planning study. She also mobilized a university response team to pivot the learning and operations during the global pandemic.

“It has been my honor and privilege to serve Briar Cliff University as President. While I am excited for the future at Grand View University and moving closer to family, Briar Cliff is where my presidential career began and will always hold a deep place in my heart,” says Dr. Rachelle Keck. “The Catholic Franciscan values deepened my faith and strengthened my personal mission to serve. I am committed to continuing to advance and support Briar Cliff’s mission through the end of this academic year. I am dedicated to assisting in the transition in leadership to help ensure the success of the university long into the future.”

Former Board Chair, Steve Freeman, has been assisting with Briar Cliff’s presidential transition plan and will remain in an advisory capacity until the Board of Trustees appoints an Interim President for the University. The University will appoint an Interim President by July 1, 2022.

The Briar Cliff University Board of Trustees will initiate a nationwide Presidential Search in the Fall of 2022, with plans to appoint the 12th President of Briar Cliff University to start in the summer of 2023.

News release from Grand View University:

The Grand View University Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Rachelle Keck as the University’s 14th president. Dr. Keck, currently president of Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, will succeed President Kent Henning, who will retire at the end of June after 22 transformational years at Grand View.

“Rachelle is a proven leader with a collaborative, entrepreneurial and transparent leadership style that will serve Grand View well,” said Chris Littlefield, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “The Board was impressed with her demonstrated ability to effectuate constructive institutional change while improving student success, enhancing communication and shared governance, cultivating strong relationships, advocating for higher education and fundraising for institutional needs. The Board unanimously agreed that Rachelle was the best candidate to serve as Grand View’s next President and to lead Grand View through its next exciting phase.”

“The Board was fortunate to have an incredibly strong pool of final candidates. I want to thank the campus community for their involvement in the entire search process.” said Chris Murray ’98, GV Board of Trustees member and chair of the search committee. “Dr. Keck is a dynamic leader whose vision and values mirror Grand View’s and will help us build on our rich tradition of accessible and inclusive higher education. We are excited to welcome her to the Grand View family.”

An Iowa native, Dr. Keck is proud to be a first-generation college student, graduating from Wartburg College with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology, after which she earned her juris doctorate from the University of Iowa and her doctor of philosophy degree in education from Drake University. Dr. Keck began her career as a prosecutor before establishing her own law firm. She also served on the Wartburg College Board of Regents where she developed a passion for higher education that led her to philanthropy roles at the University of Iowa Foundation as their Director of Planned Giving, and then to Indian Hills Community College as their Executive Director for Philanthropy and Alumni Relations before joining Briar Cliff in 2017. At Briar Cliff, Dr. Keck has led the expansion of academic programs and developed a comprehensive campus master plan. She also led several key fundraising initiatives centered around academics, athletics and campus beautification. In addition, the use of technology both in and out of the classroom has expanded, the endowment has grown, enrollment has increased and grant dollars applied for and awarded have increased during her tenure. Dr. Keck also brings extensive strategic budgeting and organizational leadership experience to Grand View.

A committed volunteer, she is also the President of Leadership Siouxland and is on the boards of UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Regional Medical Center, Girls Inc. of Sioux City and Iowa Sister States. In addition, she is an executive board member for the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and a member of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities Tax Policy Committee.

“Having been born, raised and educated in our great state, I am thrilled to be named President of Grand View University and honored to serve as its first female leader. Grand View University shines as a visionary leader in the field, dedicated to the holistic education of graduates prepared to lead and serve in our diverse and changing world,” said Dr. Keck. “Our entrepreneurial mindset, our critical location in the largest and fastest-growing city in the state, our connection to business and government, as well as the notable acumen and dedication of our faculty, staff, alumni and Board have and will continue to be vital elements of Grand View University’s ongoing success.”

Dr. Keck and her husband, Jim, have four children, three of whom live in the Des Moines metro. For more information about Dr. Keck, please visit www.grandview.edu/new-president.