Dr. Howe’s commitment to education has a long history. She received both her B.A. and her Ph.D., in Comparative Literature, from Washington University in St. Louis. Following that, she joined the faculty of the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she taught and served as chair of the graduate program in comparative literature before becoming the university's vice chancellor for academic services in 1981.
She became president of Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado in 1990 and in 1996 assumed the presidency of Jones International University, an accredited distance learning organization, in Boulder. She’s been affiliated with the National Science Digital Library since 2001.
During her career, Dr. Howe has devoted sizable energy to community service. Her involvement has ranged from chairing local arts boards to serving as president of the I Have a Dream Foundation of Boulder County. In 2004, the YWCA of Boulder County honored her as Woman of the Year, and the following year she was named Pacesetter in Community Service by the Boulder daily newspaper.
Currently she is a Colorado Commissioner on the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education. She has served on the National Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the board of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
Dr. Howe’s many ties to Salado include her mother, Ruth, and a longtime association with the Institute for the Humanities. She presented one of the first lectures during the Institute’s first season in 1981.