Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, CM, EdD, is Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer for Ascension. He has oversight responsibility for the Ascension Solutions Division subsidiaries of Ascension Information Services and the Ascension Ministry Service Center, as well as Ascension’s national Strategy and Advocacy functions. He served on Ascension’s board from 2009 to 2017, chairing the audit committee from 2012 to 2014 and chairing the board from 2014 to 2017.
From 2004 to 2017, Father Holtschneider served as President of DePaul University, Chicago, the nation’s largest Catholic university and the largest private university in the Midwest. In 2015 and 2016, DePaul was named by U.S. News and World report to its list of 25 Most Innovative Universities in the Nation. During that time, Father Holtschneider was a frequent speaker, consultant and writer on issues facing higher education and Catholic higher education, and was appointed to the boards of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the American Council on Education, and the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, which he chaired. In addition, he served on the boards of the Chicago Economic Club, the Chicago History Museum and the steering committee of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition.
A Detroit native, Father Holtschneider studied at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and received his doctorate in administration, planning and social policy in 1997 after writing a dissertation on the early history of financial aid in the United States. He has been a case researcher and writer for Harvard’s schools of Education, Medicine and Public Health. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Niagara University, New York, in 1985, studied for the priesthood at Mary Immaculate Seminary in Northampton, Pennsylvania, and was ordained in 1989.
Currently, he is a faculty member in the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Management Development Program, New Presidents Seminar and Experienced Presidents Seminar and the Boston College Institute for Administrators in Catholic Higher Education, where he lectures on topics of strategy and governance.
Father Holtschneider has been honored widely for his work on a variety of issues. He holds eight honorary degrees, was listed among Diversity MBA Magazine's Top 100 under 50 for fostering Diverse Executive Leaders and holds various recognitions for his work on national immigration reform.