Open or Close Alert Message

Mount Mercy University is committed to keeping in communication with the campus community as the rapidly evolving coronavirus COVID-19 situation unfolds.

For more information and updates, visit our Coronavirus webpage.

Presidential Search

Laurie M. Hamen, J.D., the ninth president of Mount Mercy University, announced on May 22, 2019 that she will step down from her role effective June 30, 2020. She has served as Mount Mercy’s president since February 2014.


During her time at Mount Mercy, President Hamen has overseen record student enrollment in traditional and non-traditional programs, the establishment of the Martin-Herold College of Nursing and Health, the expansion of new academic programs including doctoral programs in nursing and marriage and family therapy, the completion of the Robert W. Plaster Athletic Complex and Rinderknecht Athletic Center, and the current renovation of the Wente Education Center.

Mount Mercy's Board of Trustees retained The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB Search), a nationally known firm that specializes in all aspects of higher education executive searches. Trustee Jeffrey Cannon '82 led the search and served as chair of the Presidential Search Committee.

On February 27, 2020, MMU’s Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Dr. Robert (Bob) Beatty as the 10th president of Mount Mercy University. Beatty will begin his duties as president on July 1, 2020. 


About Cedar Rapids, Iowa

cedar-rapids-trees.jpgAs Iowa’s second-largest city—with a population of 130,000—Cedar Rapids is a growing, progressive, and friendly community along the picturesque Cedar River.

Its location in Eastern Iowa is home to the University of Iowa, the state's flagship comprehensive research university, as well as the state's largest community college and several private colleges. Cedar Rapids is positioned conveniently and centrally between six of the Midwest’s major metropolitan areas: Chicago, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Omaha, and St. Louis.

Several Fortune 500 companies, including Collins Aerospace, General Mills and Quaker Oats, are located in Cedar Rapids—along with a variety of tech, health care, finance, and manufacturing businesses. Cedar Rapids consistently ranks as one of the country's top communities, and Iowa has been recognized as one of the best states for public education. Recent accolades include:

For more information, visit ICR Iowa and Cedar Rapids Tourism.

Search Updates

Dr. Robert (Bob) Beatty has been named the 10th president of Mount Mercy University. Beatty will begin his duties as president on July 1, 2020.

A Cedar Rapids native, Dr. Beatty currently serves as Dean of the Soules College of Business and F.M. and Fannie Burke Professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Tyler in Tyler, TX. At UT-Tyler, Beatty leads four interdisciplinary areas—human resource development, computer science, industrial technology, and business. He also oversees seven university institutes and centers, including the Longview Small Business Development Center.

“Dr. Beatty is an entrepreneurial and progressive leader whose collaborative and inspirational leadership will build on the important work done by MMU’s faculty and staff. His commitment to the mission and values of Mount Mercy University and his ability to guide the institution through the complex and ever-changing higher education landscape is extensive,” said Charlie Rohde, Mount Mercy’s Board of Trustees Chairman. “We are absolutely thrilled to have him join us.”

Prior to his role at UT-Tyler, Beatty served as the Dean of the Lutgert College of Business at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, FL; the Dean of the Rohrer College of Business at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ; and the Dean of the School of Business at Whitworth University in Spokane, WA. Additionally, he served as a member of the faculty at Northern Illinois University, Texas Christian University, Miami University, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

“Mount Mercy University is truly a special place. Growing up in Cedar Rapids, I have long known the transformative education the university provides. I am delighted to join the community of educators and scholars that is wholly dedicated to helping students achieve their personal dreams and professional ambitions,” said Beatty. “I look forward to building on the visionary legacy of the Sisters of Mercy and serving the Mount Mercy family and Cedar Rapids community with integrity, dignity, and passion.”

Dr. Beatty began his professional career as an officer in the United States Air Force. He served as a systems analyst/project manager/quality manager at Strategic Air Command Headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, NE. Subsequent to his military career, Beatty worked at Amerada Hess Oil Company and then joined Kellogg Company to lead the organization’s emerging E-Commerce Department.

Dr. Beatty holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Texas Christian University, a Masters of Science in Computer Systems Management from Creighton University, and a Masters of Business Administration and Doctorate of Business Administration from Mississippi State University. He is a graduate of the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education Program at Harvard University.

Dr. Beatty and his wife Raynette are the parents of two grown children, daughter Shelby and son Sean.

To: Mount Mercy University Faculty and Staff
From: Charlie Rohde, Board Chair

Mount Mercy University’s Presidential Search Committee is pleased to announce that the following individuals have been named as finalists in the university’s presidential search.

Dr. Robert Beatty is currently Dean of the Soules College of Business and Professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Tyler since 2019.  At UT-Tyler, Beatty leads four interdisciplinary areas— Human Resource Management, Computer Science, Industrial Technology, and Business. He oversees seven university institutes and centers and the operation of the Longview Small Business Development Center.  Prior to his role at UT-Tyler, Beatty served as the Dean of the Lutgert College of Business at Florida Gulf Coast University from 2014-2019.  There, he directed the creation of strategic plans and partnered with community leaders to secure grants for new academic programs, entrepreneurship, research and teaching.  At Florida Gulf Coast, Beatty also led programs in high-impact student success initiatives and guided efforts to increase enrollment and retention of underrepresented students.  Beatty has served as the Dean of Business at Rowan University and Whitworth University, and served on the faculty at Northern Illinois University, Texas Christian University, Miami University, and UW-Milwaukee.  He holds an undergraduate degree in computer science from Texas Christian University, a Masters of Science in computer systems management from Creighton University, and his MBA and Doctorate of Business Administration from Mississippi State University.

James Crawford, III, JD, is a retired Judge Advocate General (JAG) and former Vice-Admiral of the U.S. Navy.  He has served as legal advisor to the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Navy, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  Appointed by President Barack Obama, Crawford has directed long-range planning, crisis response, law and policy advising, outreach, and organizational management for the JAG Corps.   As Commander of the Naval Legal Service Command (NLSC), Crawford provided legal services to active and retired service members and their families worldwide. From 2012-2015, Crawford served as the Director of the Department of the Navy law school, where he secured funding to modernize the facilities and campus networks.  During 2011, he partnered with the Afghan government to bolster government services and build a provincial and district judicial system.  He received his undergraduate degree in political science from Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina and a Juris Doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.   He later earned a Masters of Laws in Ocean and Coastal Law from the University of Miami School of Law and a Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.

Dr. Kimberly Long is currently Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Psychology at Newman University where she has served since 2016.  At Newman, Long is responsible for all undergraduate and graduate programs, including five schools—Business, Catholic Studies, Education, Nursing and Allied Health, and Arts and Sciences.  She oversees Newman’s comprehensive Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation, has created four online programs, developed the university’s technology plan, and chairs the University’s Strategic Planning Committee.   Long also currently oversees the university’s student support, academic, and information technology services.  Prior to her roles at Newman, Long served as Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Psychology at the University of Mary.  During her 2008-2016 tenure there, she chaired the Liberal Arts General Education Task Force, coordinated the HLC focus group for the Doctorate of Nursing Practice program, and served as the institutional academic and research grants manager.  She has also served on the faculty at Rasmussen College and Aakers College.  Long holds a Bachelor’s Degree in social and behavioral science and Masters of Management from the University of Mary.  She received her PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Capella University.

We encourage the campus community to attend the candidate’s presentation as follows:

Staff: All sessions held in the Chapel of Mercy.

  • Dr. Kimberly Long—Tuesday, February 4 at 1–2 PM
  • James Crawford, III, JD—Wednesday, February 5 at 1-2 PM
  • Dr. Robert Beatty—Thursday, February 6 at 1-2 PM

Faculty: All sessions held in the Chapel of Mercy.

  • Dr. Kimberly Long—Tuesday, February 4 at 2:15–3:15 PM
  • James Crawford, III, JD—Wednesday, February 5 at 2:15–3:15 PM
  • Dr. Robert Beatty—Thursday, February 6th at 2:15–3:15 PM

Important: Your feedback on the candidates is very important to the presidential search committee.  A secure survey link will be sent to you via email after each candidate’s visit.

We truly appreciate your commitment to the search process.

The Presidential Search Committee met earlier this month to review the applications for Mount Mercy University’s president position and have enthusiastically selected several semi-finalists, who are scheduled to interview with the committee on Monday and Tuesday, January 20 and 21.

To our MMU community,

This is a brief update on the presidential search process from the search committee. The following activities have taken place since our last update:

  • Representatives from the board of trustees have met with the Archbishop Jackels for an update on our search plans.
  • Meetings and interviews led by AGB Search were held on-campus for two days in August with various constituencies of the university and the community to gain insight and understanding of the issues facing the university and characteristics needed for the next president.
  • The search committee and other members of the board had an initial meeting with AGB Search to discuss the planned approach and process for the presidential search.
  • The board of trustees has met to determine the future expectations for Mount Mercy University’s next president.
  • A defined timetable for the search process has been determined which would allow us to identify and introduce our next president by the end of February 2020.

AGB Search and the search committee are currently preparing the position profile for our next president aligned with the board of trustees’ expectations and characteristics identified during the on-campus visit. This will provide the candidates with a very clear understanding of the unique opportunities and requirements desired in the next president of Mount Mercy University.

When the position profile is completed, AGB Search will present our unique opportunity to the future presidential candidates. This will be a national search, utilizing AGB’s vast network of contacts and other marketing methods to recruit possible candidates.

I appreciate all of the help and support that the Mount Mercy University community has provided in this process. We will continue to keep you updated as we progress with the search.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact Jeff Cannon, search committee chair.

Thank you,

Search Committee

Dear Campus Community:

I write today to provide you with an update on the presidential search process. Thank you to the faculty and staff who volunteered to be part of the search. I deeply appreciate your strong interest in Mount Mercy’s leadership and future.

Trustee Jeff Cannon ’82, retired CEO of Diamond V in Cedar Rapids, has been named as the search committee chair. The board has formally engaged AGB Search as a partner to Jeff and the search committee. Dr. Richard Wueste and Dr. Ronald Carter have been selected as the AGB consultants leading Mount Mercy’s presidential search. Dr. Wueste was a part of the 2013 presidential search.

Members of the search committee have been selected and are as follows:

Board Members 

  • Jeff Cannon ’82, Search Chair
  • Barbara Knapp, Search Vice Chair
  • Charlie Rohde, Board Chair
  • Brandt Worley, Immediate Past Chair
  • Tom Barbee, Campus Facilities Committee Chair
  • Terri Christoffersen, Committee on Trustees Chair
  • Loren Coppock, Finance and Investment Committee Chair
  • Dr. Melanie Giesler-Spellman ‘01
  • Dr. Jane Meyer ‘82
  • Dr. Vincent Reid, Liaison Committee Chair
  • Mike Wehr ‘03, Enrollment and Student Services Committee Chair
  • Sr. Margaret Weigel ‘66, Academic Affairs Committee Chair 

Community Member

  • Jack Evans, Chairman of the Board, Hall-Perrine Foundation 

Faculty Member

  • Dr. Kim Bro, Chair, Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program & Assistant Professor of Nursing

Staff Member

  • Lonna Drewelow ‘86, Assistant Vice President for Development

Student Member

  • Alma Apolonia Bernal ’21


  • Fr. Tony Adawu, University Chaplain

Drs. Wueste and Carter will be on campus in late August to visit with many people and constituencies, gathering their thoughts on our next leader. Scheduling their time is just starting.

Information about the search will soon be posted to the Mount Mercy website under a special section labeled Presidential Search. I encourage each of you to visit the website frequently for the most up-to-date information on the presidential search progress.

Comments to me or the committee may be directed to us through the President’s Office.

Thank you.

Charlie Rohde

Board Chair

Dear Colleagues:

As you know, President Laurie Hamen will be leaving Mount Mercy at the end of this academic year (June 2020). As Board Chair, I am writing to provide you with an update on the search for our next president. 

Trustee Jeff Cannon '82 will lead the search and serve as Chair of the Presidential Search Committee. If you are interested in joining Jeff and trustee leadership by serving on the committee, please email me at by Friday, July 12. I expect the committee to be formed and in a position to move forward with the search process by August 1, with the goal of first interviews being held in November or December. We also have received a proposal from The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB Search) to function as our search consultant, and are in the process of reviewing that proposal. 

I appreciate all that you do for Mount Mercy—and like each of you, I look forward to hiring a dynamic and inspirational leader and continuing our strong tradition of academic excellence and campassionate service. 

Thank you. 

Charlie Rohde

Board Chair

Dear Mount Mercy Community,  

I wanted each of you to know that I have informed the Mount Mercy University’s Board of Trustees that I will not be renewing my contract when it ends on June 30, 2020.  Over the last six academic years, we've made considerable strategic progress on the Hill (and at the CRST Graduate Center!) and I've been incredibly fortunate to work with a campus full of talented Mount Mercy people—faculty, staff, board, students, alumni—who create an excellent, dynamic institution of learning, compassion and faith.  ​It has been a privilege to share our common experiences as Mount Mercy leaders during some of the most turbulent times higher education has seen in decades. Your collective efforts have been a joy to lead and I thank you for sharing your wisdom and efforts with me over these years.    ​  

The decision to leave this remarkable university was difficult; however, having ​served colleges and universities for nearly 35 years, it is the right time for me to pursue new opportunities. Bill and I plan to move to the Twin Cities to be closer to four of our eight grandkids and I will be developing a new non-profit organization there. 

I look forward to this next year of transition at Mount Mercy and am supremely confident in the incredibly talented cabinet team and our plans for the 2019-20 academic year.  I expect to pursue those plans with enthusiasm during the next twelve months to leave the institution in the very best position for a new president, whom I am certain will be a dynamic and excellent leader for this incredible university.  You will hear soon from Charlie Rohde, our board chair, about plans for the search for this individual. 

​With sincere appreciation for each and every one of you, 

Laurie Hamen, J.D.