Pandemic Task Force

Mount Mercy’s top priority is the physical, emotional, fiscal, and spiritual well-being and growth of our campus community as we navigate the seriousness and complexities of COVID-19.

Guiding Principles

Our task force has been working to transition our focus from reacting and responding to COVID-19 to planning how we return to a new normal. We've based our recommendations and decisions on the following guiding principles:  

  • Keep the health and safety of our employees and students always in view
  • Maintain or enhance our mission of excellence in academics and compassion for the people we serve
  • Maintain a balanced budget and fiscal best practices, which considers the long-term viability and the future of the institution
  • Make thoughtful, well-informed, compassionate, and data-driven decisions that are transparent, flexible, and (where we are able) based on meaningful dialogue
  • Plan in phases to take advantage of emerging information and trends from the CDC and local health officials

With these in mind, the Task Force will meet weekly to make recommendations to the University Cabinet for immediate and long-term action as they see fit.

Task Force Members

  • Tom Castle, Associate Provost
  • Nate Klein, Vice President for Student Success
  • Tom Doermann, Assistant Vice President for HR & Operations
  • Kim Bro, Dean of Martin Herold College of Nursing
  • Joseph Cerruto, Director of Public Safety 
  • Janet Irankunda, Interim Director of Residence Life & Student Wellness
  • Lori Heying, Executive Director for Institutional Research & Data
  • Courtney Hoffman, Web Editor
  • Lydia LaMere, Head Athletic Trainer 
  • Melodie Jolly, Assistant Professor of Nursing
  • Alesia Hruska, Professor of Biology
  • Kara Goslin, Health Services Contractor

Areas of Focus

The Pandemic Task Force is focused on the following areas in consultation with experts on campus, in reviewing scientific literature, as well as guidance from local, state, and federal guidelines.

  • Academic instruction and learning
  • Athletics and athletic facilities
  • Campus safety and security
  • Communications
  • Community partnerships
  • Dining
  • Events and performances
  • Facilities, cleaning, and sanitization
  • Fiscal best practices
  • Health and counseling services
  • Housing and residence life (including move-in planning)
  • Human resources (including sick time and workforce resumption)
  • Safety best practices