Born August 14, 1953, in Puyallup, Washington – fives miles east of Tacoma — Robert L. Niehoff, the seventh of eight children, told his parents of his intent to become a priest when he was still in elementary school. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1972, earned his B.A. in philosophy in 1977 at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, two master’s degrees in theology from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley – Santa Clara University, California in 1984, an M.B.A. at the University of Washington in 1986, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership at Gonzaga University in 1995.
Father Niehoff was Associate Provost and Vice President for Planning and Budget at the University of San Francisco when he was tapped in 2005 to join John Carroll.
He has always worked in higher education, non-profit organizations, or church and Jesuit community administration — often as a financial problem-solver. Early in his career, Father Niehoff tutored inmates at the Cook County Jail in Chicago. He later served his Jesuit tertianship year in the Philippines – after which he traveled in China, Thailand, and Nepal.
Since his ordination in 1982, he has served as Treasurer of the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley – Santa Clara University, California; Associate Treasurer of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus; CFO of the Archdiocese of Nassau, in the Bahamas; Financial Analyst, Co-director for Mission and Identity, Assistant to the Vice President for Student Life at Gonzaga University, and Superior of a Jesuit community.
Father Niehoff is a member of the Academic Affairs and Audit Committees of Saint Louis University’s Board of Trustees. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, the New American Colleges & Universities, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, and Ohio Campus Compact. He is a member of the Ohio Athletic Conference President’s Council and is also a member of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio and the Council of Independent Colleges.
In Cleveland, Father Niehoff serves on the Catholic Community Connection Board of Directors and on the advisory board at the Ohio Savings Bank division of New York Community Bank. He also is a member of the Class of 2009 for Leadership Cleveland.