Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, CM, EdD

President, DePaul University

The INSIGHT Into Diversity Giving Back Award honors college presidents and chancellors who go above and beyond their everyday duties to give back to their institutions and communities. President Holtschneider was nominated by colleagues and selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity as a 2016 Giving Back Award recipient for his dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion and encouraging community service both on his campus and in the surrounding community. 

Dedicated to Ending Homelessness
Father Holtschneider recently helped establish the Institute of Global Homelessness, in partnership with DePaul International — a London-based organization devoted to ending homelessness around the world — to create the world’s foremost research center on homelessness policy.

An Educational Mentor
Under Father Holtschneider’s leadership, DePaul University partnered with DePaul College Prep (formerly Gordon Technical High School) several years ago to help increase enrollment at the Catholic high school and guide it to becoming a competitive, top-tier school. Collaborations between the university and the high school include dual- enrollment opportunities, as well as new professional development programs for high school faculty and staff. In addition, with DePaul’s help, the high school enacted a strategic plan and, as a result, has experienced increased enrollment.

Signature Initiative
The President’s Signature Series, diversity programming that highlights prominent national heritage month celebrations and cultural events in the university’s centers, institutes, and academic departments

Diversifying Leadership
Beyond promoting diversity among students, faculty, and staff, Father Holtschneider has been effective in diversifying DePaul’s Board of Trustees, which is responsible for setting the university’s overall strategy and direction. Of the 41 trustees, 11 are female, 17 are African American, 7 percent are Latino, and 2 percent are Asian.

Campus Community Service
Under Father Holtschneider’s leadership, DePaul has twice received the Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, which recognizes institutions that demonstrate engagement with local, regional, national, and global communities. To receive this designation, the DePaul campus community documented more than 500,000 hours of community service in a single year.

Nomination Excerpt
“Father Holtschneider advocates a broad view of community service. It is not simply what we do as individuals to serve our communities, but also what DePaul as an institution should do to benefit its hometown of Chicago.”