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New Board Will Lead Ashford University

A team of individuals with many combined years of educational and business experience has been assembled to lead Ashford University as its new Board of Trustees. The Board held its first meeting last month in Clinton. 

“Ashford University is excited that we have been able to bring together this group of highly-qualified people who are ready to guide the institution into its next phase of development,” said Andrew Clark, Chairman of the Board. “This Board is made up of visionaries who will be making decisions about our strategic planning and the University’s future.” 

The new Board members are as follows:

Andrew Clark, Chairman

Andrew Clark is the CEO of Ashford University, and serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Previous to joining Ashford, Clark held several high-level positions with higher educational institutions. His career in higher education spans a 13-year period. Clark holds an MBA, and earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Pacific Lutheran University.

Oscar Lenning, Secretary

Dr. Oscar Lenning has held various positions in higher education, including author, coordinator of special projects, visiting professor, Executive Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs, Special Assistant to the President, Senior Research Associate, Assistant Director/Research Associate, and Activities Director. With more than 35 years of experience, he is recognized as a senior scholar in higher education with particular expertise in the area of assessment. Lenning earned his Ph.D. in counseling psychology/college student personnel administration/statistics and earned his master’s degree in student personnel administration at the University of Iowa.

Sister Ruth Cox, Trustee

Sister Ruth Cox holds an Adjunct Faculty position at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Previous to her role with Kirkwood Community College, Sister Ruth served as President and CEO of The Alverno, a long-term care facility, in Clinton, Iowa. She has served professionally in many roles, including the Leadership Council of the Sisters of St. Francis and the Iowa Advisory Board for the Iowa Foundation for Medical Care. Sister Ruth has delivered numerous papers and presentations on the topic of nursing. Her many academic assignments include the Curriculum Committee for the College of Nursing at Loyola University of Chicago, among others. Sister Ruth holds a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, and earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Loyola University of Chicago.

Dino D'Auria, Trustee

Dino D'Auria is the Senior Vice President/Commercial Division Manager of San Diego National Bank. In this position, D'Auria also serves on the Bank's Senior Management Team. D'Auria brings 16 years of experience in banking to his post. D'Auria served as past board President for the Association for Corporate Growth and was the former Chair of the Junior Achievement Board of Directors. He received his M.B.A. from the University of Southern California, and his bachelor's degree from California State University, Fullerton.

Peter Ewell, Trustee

Dr. Peter Ewell is Vice President of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS). He has served professionally as Member of the Board for the American Association of Higher Education (AAHE), the Council on Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and the Board of Governors of Truman State University. Ewell was honored with the Virginia B. Smith Innovative Leadership Award, and has published numerous papers on higher education. He earned his Ph.D. and M.Phil. from Yale University. Ewell received his bachelor’s degree from Haverford College.

Robert Ewigleben, Trustee

Dr. Robert Ewigleben is currently the Senior Consultant for Project Development for Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities (MUCIA, Inc.) and Michigan State University. Previous to his current position, Ewigleben served as Chief of Party in Turkey and Guatemala, Senior Consultant in Yemen and Jamaica, Project Director in Peru, and also served as President, Vice President, and Dean of several universities. Ewigleben is highly experienced in post secondary accreditation and has been awarded with honorary degrees numerous times. Ewigleben earned his B.S., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Michigan State University.

Jane McAuliffe, Chancellor/Trustee

Dr. Jane McAuliffe currently serves as Chancellor for Ashford University. She earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction/Special Education from Arizona State University. She also earned her master's and bachelor's degrees from Arizona State University which focused in the area of Special Education. Her professional career began as a special education teacher in both public and private K-12 schools. Prior to her appointment with Ashford University, she served as President of the Sarasota campus of Argosy University in Sarasota, Florida. She held various positions at Argosy University including Vice President for Academic Affairs in Sarasota and Department Head for Education in Atlanta. Her experience also includes serving as Vice President for Academic Affairs at American InterContinental University, and Dean, Associate Dean, and Program Chair in the College of Education for the University of Phoenix. She is the co-author of one book and has presented numerous scholarly presentations in the course of her professional career.

Donna Oliver, Trustee

Donna Oliver is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mercy Medical Center in Clinton, Iowa. Prior to joining Mercy Medical Center, she served as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Associate Administrator, Consulting Manager, Director of Outpatient Services, and Director of Professional Relations, all within the health care industry. Oliver has earned several prestigious awards in her career. She is also active in the community, currently serving as a Board Member of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce. Oliver holds an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University and a bachelor’s degree from Central Washington University.

Mark Schroeder, Trustee

Dr. Mark Schroeder is Director of the Business and Industry Center at Clinton Community College, where he is responsible for directing college-wide services to business and industry. Schroeder has served as an Assistant Dean at Clinton Community College, participated on their North Central Association accreditation task force, and has written several academic and research articles. He is active in the community, serving as a leader or member of the American Cancer Society, River City and Clinton Area Chambers of Commerce, Clinton Jaycees, Kiwanis, Toastmasters, Gateway United Way, International Management Council, Junior Achievement, Inc., Operation Pride, and the Rotary Club, among other extensive community leadership roles. Schroeder earned his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, his Ed.S. and master’s degree from Western Illinois University, bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa, and associate’s degree from Mount St. Clare College.

Karen Steinberg    

 Karen Steinberg is the Executive Vice President for the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL).  As Executive Vice President, she acts as the Chief Financial Officer of the organization and has responsibility for all operations.  Previous to her current position with CAEL, Steinberg served as a Senior Vice Chancellor, Senior Deputy to the Chancellor, Deputy to the Chancellor for Planning and Policy Analysis, Acting Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, and Director of Institutional Research.   Steinberg holds an M.B.A. from the University of Nevada and earned a bachelor’s degree from California State University at Chico.


Founded in 1918 as Mount St. Clare College in Clinton, Iowa, Ashford University is a coeducational, liberal arts institution regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, with programs in education, business, computer animation and graphic design and other areas.  The University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as a range of student activities and athletics, at its Clinton campus.  Online degree programs are available in education, organizational management, business administration, and psychology.   For more information, please visit