Mount Mercy is guided by a team of talented and accomplished leaders. These individuals have decades of experience in the higher education arena and are poised to utilize their expertise to help inspire and shape Mount Mercy students into the future leaders of tomorrow.


Dr. Todd A. Olson

Dr. Todd A. Olson was named President of Mount Mercy University in 2021. In his first year, he has developed partnerships with local health care organizations and strengthened ties with local businesses and non-profits. Prior to Mount Mercy, Dr. Olson served as the Vice President for Student Affairs at Georgetown University and held a variety of roles at the University of Denver. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota-Morris, master’s in counseling psychology at the University of Kansas, and PhD in higher education from the University of Denver. Dr. Olson has written articles and book chapters on entrepreneurial leadership, student well-being, and working with controversial issues on a Catholic campus. 


Sister Linda Bechen, RSM '74
Vice President for Mission & Ministry

Sister Linda Bechen was appointed Vice President for Mission & Ministry in 2018. She supervises the Office of Campus Ministry, collaborates with faculty and staff to foster the institution’s mission and identity, and works to infuse and integrate the vision of the founding Sisters of Mercy into all aspects of campus life and ministry. Prior to Mount Mercy, Bechen ministered as the parish life coordinator at St. Patrick in Anamosa, Iowa, and the North Linn Catholic Cluster (St. Stephen, Central City, Iowa; St. John, Coggon, Iowa; and St. Joseph, Prairieburg, Iowa). She has also ministered in several Cedar Rapids and Eastern Iowa parishes as a pastoral associate and educator.


Todd Coleman
Vice President for Enrollment & Marketing

Todd Coleman joined Mount Mercy in 2020. He leads the university's traditional undergraduate enrollment efforts, consults and collaborates with campus partners on graduate and accelerated adult programs, and provides leadership and management for marketing and communications. Coleman’s 35-year higher education career includes leadership positions at Jacksonville University, Wartburg College, and the University of Missouri, among others. He earned his bachelor's degree from Indiana State University.


Anne Gillespie, MBA
Vice President for Business & Finance

Anne joined Mount Mercy in 2018 and oversees the fiscal integrity and strength of the institution and its business operations. With over 20 years of higher education experience, she was previously the Campus/Market President for Kaplan University’s Indianapolis campus and also held several leadership roles at the University of Phoenix. Gillespie received her bachelor's degree in business administration and MBA from the University of Iowa.


Brenda K. Haefner '96, CFRE
Vice President for Development & Alumni Relations

Brenda Haefner joined Mount Mercy in 2015 and is responsible for all fundraising and alumni relations efforts, including the annual fund, major gifts, capital gifts, and grants. Haefner has a Certified Fund Raising Executive credential.


Dr. Nate Klein '07
Vice President for Student Success

Dr. Nate Klein leads Mount Mercy's Student Services team—including residence life, student engagement, counseling, and health services—in addition to MMU athletics and career services. He also serves as an Assistant Professor of Business. Prior to Mount Mercy, Dr. Klein spent seven years with Aflac and has experience in various industries, including Best Buy, Junior Achievement, the Arc of East Central Iowa, and General Mills in Cedar Rapids. He received his MBA from Emory University and EdD from Creighton University.


Dr. Timothy G. Laurent
Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Timothy G. Laurent joined Mount Mercy in 2018 and oversees the university's faculty and academic operations. Prior to Mount Mercy, he served as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Providence and as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Lynchburg. He earned his bachelor’s in athletic training/health education from Indiana University, master’s in athletic training from the University of Arizona, and EdD from Ball State University.