Joanne Burrows, SC, Ph.D.
Fifteenth President of Clarke University
Joanne Burrows, SC, Ph.D. became the 15th president of Clarke University on July 1, 2006. Throughout her presidency, she has been instrumental in helping the institution clarify its future vision and implement steps to achieve it.
Key among her accomplishments at Clarke is the development of a comprehensive strategic plan and a master facilities plan. Developed in collaboration with the campus community, these documents set the course for Clarke into the future and guide the daily work of the institution.
Burrows has also been integral in maintaining the university’s fiscal stability, strengthening its brand position, transitioning to university status and achieving positive enrollment growth. She has done all of this with a focus on building relationships, listening and helping drive growth as an entire campus community.
A Sister of Charity of Cincinnati, Burrows has also played an integral role in shaping the many ways in which Clarke expresses its Catholic identity. She is well-versed in this area as her doctoral research focused Catholic institutions and how they construct their academic and religious identities.
In addition to her work on campus, Burrows is a highly respected leader in the Dubuque area and in the higher education community. She sits on the Board for Opening Doors, which operates Maria House and Teresa Shelter in Dubuque, and the Executive Board of the Greater Dubuque Development Corporation, of which she is past chair. She has also served on the executive board of the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce and was campaign chair for the United Way.
In higher education, Burrows is a trustee for the College of Mount St. Joseph and a member of the Corporation Board for Sponsored Ministries for the Sisters of Charity. She is also active in the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Iowa College Foundation and the President’s Committee of the Midwest Collegiate Conference. She has been active in professional associations for the study of higher education, including the American Educational Research Association and the Association for the Study of Higher Education.
Prior to joining the Clarke University community, Burrows served as the chief academic officer at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Saint Mary of the Woods, Indiana. Prior to that, she served in various roles at Indiana State University, including chair of the Department of Educational Leadership, Administration and Foundations; coordinator of a distance doctoral program in higher education leadership; and assistant professor of higher education. She served as assistant academic dean at Holy Names College in California and as assistant dean of students and director of residence life at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio.
Burrows holds a Ph.D. in higher education from The Ohio State University, a master of arts degree in theology from the Graduate Theological Union and Jesuit School of Theology, and a bachelor of science degree in graphic design from the University of Maryland, College Park.