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The Board of Trustees of Mount Mercy University invites nominations and applications for the position of president.

AN EXCEPTIONAL OPPORTUNITY Mount Mercy University seeks an accomplished leader who is also an effective and selfless team player. The new president will possess the experience, skills, and drive required to shape the future of this innovative and forward-looking institution, while exemplifying the character and ethics expected in a highly visible and trusted university and community leader.


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In response to the community’s need for online degree options, and the evolving landscape of higher education, Mount Mercy launched its first-ever online program in the fall of 2013. Since

Housed on a wooded hilltop in the historic Mound View

then, its online offerings have grown to encompass eight

neighborhood in the heart of Cedar Rapids, Mount Mercy

bachelor’s degree programs and two master’s degree programs.

University has evolved into a vibrant intellectual community of the 21st century—providing a range of educational experiences and opportunities tailored to meet the needs of our time.

As Mount Mercy’s graduate programs grew quickly, so did the need for more space. Located just a mile and a half from the main campus, the CRST International Graduate Center opened in 2013

More than 90 years ago, the Sisters of Mercy of Cedar Rapids

and is home to nearly 400 students across six master’s-level

saw the need to unite people with opportunity through education.

programs and two doctoral programs, which were launched in

Their vision—to blend faith and values with liberal arts learning

2018. Housed within the Graduate Center is the Olson Marriage

and professional preparation—is the hallmark of a Mercy education

& Family Therapy Clinic—offering high-quality, low-cost counseling

and the foundation of Mount Mercy’s success.

services to the local community, while providing hands-on,

The history of Mount Mercy’s academic excellence and compassionate service dates back to 1928 when the Sisters of Mercy established Mount Mercy Junior College, a two-year college

supervised training for students in the Marriage & Family Therapy graduate program (the only practice-based, accredited program in Iowa).

for women. The junior college flourished and transitioned to a

While constantly growing and adapting to the needs of our time,

four-year college in 1960, granting bachelor’s degrees and

Mount Mercy has remained the regional Catholic, Mercy university

eventually becoming co-ed in 1969. As time passed, Mount

that promises students of diverse backgrounds, ages, and faiths

Mercy added new programs that continued to reflect its original

a challenging, practical education that inspires them to discover

mission and values.

knowledge, build community, and lead courageous lives.

Building on its reputation for high-quality, student-focused

Traditional residential and transfer students find majors that ignite

undergraduate education—and carrying forth its mission to meet

their passions—on a vibrant, welcoming, and safe campus that

the needs of its time—Mount Mercy launched its first master’s

offers rich co-curricular activities and experiences. Working

degree programs in 2008. The addition of graduate programs

adults, striving to balance careers and families, find undergraduate

and a new core curriculum, coupled with community-focused

and graduate programs (on campus and online) that fit their busy

programming, positioned the institution for designation as a

lives and schedules, in competitive fields that drive their

university in 2010.

careers forward.

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OUR MISSION Mount Mercy is a Catholic university that provides student-focused education in the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy and welcomes people of all beliefs to join our community in pursuit of undergraduate and graduate education and compassionate service to those in need. We strive for excellence in accomplishing our mission through four interdependent goals: using reflective judgment, engaging in strategic communication, serving the common good, and promoting purposeful living.

OUR VALUES As members of the Mount Mercy University community, grounded in the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy and our Catholic identity, we are committed to:

OUR CATHOLIC IDENTITY & MERCY CHARISM Mount Mercy is sponsored by the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, through the Conference for Mercy

• Lifelong learning and education of the whole person

Higher Education. Built on the Sisters of Mercy’s faith tradition

• Pursuit of truth and dignity

and charism, Mount Mercy encourages students to explore

• Commitment to students

Catholic Social Teaching and the Sisters’ five Critical Concerns—

• Justice

earth, immigration, nonviolence, racism, and women—within an

• Gratitude

educational setting that reaches far beyond the classroom.

• Hospitality • Service

The university community strives to educate within the Catholic intellectual tradition, welcoming all people to explore truth, wisdom, faith, and reason. Through service learning and volunteer opportunities, students are challenged to take what they learn in the classroom and address the Critical Concerns in a wide array of projects that benefit their community and the world around them. The Campus Ministry team—including a residential chaplain, campus minister, volunteer/service learning coordinator, and peer ministers—supports students’ faith development and spiritual life through daily mass, retreats, service learning opportunities, and vocation discernment activities. MMU | Presidential Leadership Opportunity | 3


Private, Catholic liberal arts university founded in 1928 Co-ed, residential campus with 1,800+ students Located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (pop. 130,000) Undergraduate and graduate education with 85+ areas of study • Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy through the Conference for Mercy Higher Education


2019-2020 A RECOGNIZED LEADER • Named a 2019–20 College of Distinction based on engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities, and successful outcomes • Named a 2020 Top 50 Best Regional Midwest University, Top 50 Best Value School, Top 50 Best College for Veterans, and Top 25 Performer on Social Mobility by U.S. News & World Report • Nationally-ranked student Enactus team—using entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world • Award-winning volunteerism and service learning programs

1,808 (Fall 2019) 68% female, 32% male 16.6% student body diversity (including international students) 66 international students from 30+ countries


100% of first-year students receive scholarships Student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1 Classes taught by faculty, not TAs Strong academic assistance, internship, research, and career development programs • 68% of traditional, graduating students participate in experiential learning with a goal of 100% by Fall 2020 • 38% of traditional undergraduates are student-athletes

FACULTY • 83 faculty members (including tenured, tenure-track, non-tenured track, and special appointments) • 58% of faculty hold a terminal degree in their fields • Fulbright Fellowship winners

ALUMNI • 98% of alumni are employed or start graduate school within nine months of graduation • An alumni network 15,000+ strong with more than half in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Corridor

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ACADEMICS More than 85 areas of study are organized into eight academic departments—serving traditional residential, transfer, and working adult students: Business Communication, Literature & Arts Education History, Politics & Justice Natural & Applied Sciences Nursing Philosophy & Religious Studies Psychology, Sociology, Social Work & International Studies

EIGHT IN-DEMAND GRADUATE PROGRAMS ARE OFFERED: Master of Arts in Criminal Justice (MACJ) Master of Arts in Education (MAEd) Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy (MFT) Master of Business Administration (MBA) Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Master of Strategic Leadership (MSL) Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage & Family Therapy (PhD in MFT)

THE UNIVERSITY ALSO OFFERS 10 ONLINE PROGRAMS: Applied Management Business Human Resource Management Management Marketing Health Care Administration RN to BSN Religious Studies Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Master of Business Administration

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STUDENT & CAMPUS LIFE At Mount Mercy, students of all ages and interests come together to create an active, welcoming campus community bound together by a heartfelt commitment to succeed in the classroom, build rewarding lives and prosperous careers, and truly make a difference in the world.

ATHLETICS Mount Mercy offers 18 intercollegiate sports within the Heart of America Athletic Conference through the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics). More than one-third of the university’s traditional undergraduate population are student-athletes. Opened in 2017, the $16 million Robert W. Plaster Athletic Complex provides a permanent home field for six of the university’s outdoor sports. Just across the street from the Athletic Complex sits the Rinderknecht Athletic Center, a state-of-the-art wellness and athletic performance center. Opened in 2019, the Athletic Center houses batting cages, golf hitting and putting greens, a sprint track, an athletic training room, fitness/cardio/ weight equipment, a dynamic movement area for yoga, and the dugout—a place for all students to gather, study, or watch film.

MUSIC Co-curricular music involvement has increased from 24 students in 2010 to more than 150 students today. Vocal ensembles include choir, show choir, and jazz choir. Instrumental ensembles include band, jazz band, and pep band.

FAST FACTS • More than 30 registered student organizations • Persistence rate of 75.3% with a goal of 85% by Fall 2020 • Tutoring, writing, counseling, and study skills assistance • Research opportunities, annual Scholarship Festival, and an Honors Program

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MEETING THE NEEDS OF OUR TIME A bold and exciting Strategic Plan for Mount Mercy is in place, fostering an enduring commitment to meeting the evolving needs of our time. Specific objectives exist within four areas of importance: • Significant Enrollment Growth • Leveraging Learning Experiences • Engaging All in Our Compelling Story • A Great Place to Learn, Work & Live

To learn more, visit

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ABOUT CEDAR RAPIDS & THE CREATIVE CORRIDOR As 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

• An ever-growing shopping scene, fabulous restaurants, award-winning wineries and breweries, and endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts • Professional and semi-professional sports—baseball, arena football, hockey, and soccer • A hub for arts and culture—Paramount Theatre, Theatre

Iowa is home to the University of Iowa, the state’s flagship

Cedar Rapids, Orchestra Iowa, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre,

comprehensive research university, as well as the state’s

U.S. Cellular Center, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, National

largest community college and several private colleges. Cedar

Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, African-American

Rapids is positioned conveniently and centrally between six of

Museum of Iowa, Mother Mosque of America, the popular

the Midwest’s major metropolitan areas: Chicago, Kansas City,

Czech Village and NewBo areas, and Brucemore (Iowa’s

Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Omaha, and St. Louis.

only National Trust historic site)

Cedar Rapids anchors Iowa’s Creative Corridor—a strategic, seven-county alliance dedicated to economic progress, workforce development, and fostering a culture of innovation.



BEST PLACE IN AMERICA TO RAISE A CHILD SmartAsset, 2017, 2016, 2015



• Low unemployment and dynamic education, health care, and social services sectors • A home to many Fortune 500 companies including Collins Aerospace, AEGON, General Mills, Cargill, Quaker Oats, Archer Daniels Midland, Nordstrom, and hundreds of manufacturing firms and businesses

BES T S TATE U.S. News & World Report, 2018

To learn more about Cedar Rapids, visit

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The Board of Trustees has established the following six

The world of higher education is rapidly changing. Mount Mercy

expectations for the next president: 1. Think in new ways to uphold Mount Mercy University’s


students expect more coursework to be online or taught in hybrid form. Adult learners seek collegiate-level learning, but

mission and values and its commitment to the Sisters of

aren’t necessarily pursuing a degree. Employers are pressuring

Mercy’s Critical Concerns while accepting all faiths and

universities to produce graduates who are job ready, increasing

supporting the ideals of diversity and inclusion.

the need for and value of internships and other forms of

2. Focus on the enhancement of revenue sources to create

experiential learning.

long-term financial sustainability. Maximize the potential

The next president must be prepared to coordinate a complex,

of existing effective programs (nursing and business)

multifaceted academic operation where change is the norm rather

to develop a business model for a more diverse set of

than the exception. The president will encourage the faculty to

financially viable programs.

embrace new technologies and pedagogies as needed to improve

3. Take the lead in increasing the fundraising capacity of the university by becoming a significant influencer in the greater community, developing productive relationships with donors and securing donations. 4. Develop a 360-degree plan to address the technology

student learning and prepare the next generation of leaders. The next president must be prepared to determine the extent to which Mount Mercy will court graduate students and adult learners. Online education, especially, is evolving rapidly and the competition for students is becoming more intense. In order

needs of all constituents to position Mount Mercy to

to be a serious player in this arena, Mount Mercy will need to

compete for faculty and students and effectively manage

establish a competitive niche and move beyond a zero-sum

university functions.

game, drawing new students from outside the pool of currently

5. As learner and teacher behaviors change with the evolution

expected candidates.

of technology, ensure that a sense of community is created

The next president will possess a true affinity for academe, an

and leveraged to carry out the Mercy mission.

appreciation for Catholic higher education, and the roles that

6. Preserve and enhance the quality of existing academic programs with an emphasis on the liberal arts foundation. Promote the development of high quality, financially viable, classroom, online, and blended/hybrid programs.

teaching and research play in achieving student success. He/ she will understand what students seek from their educational experience and use that knowledge as a touchstone in implementing Mount Mercy’s mission and values.

Candidates for the position should consider these expectations

To accomplish this, the next president must be prepared to earn

to be the guiding light for their presidency.

and maintain the respect of a talented and innovative faculty with high expectations for its leadership.

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POSITION PROFILE RESPECTFULLY LEAD THE DISCUSSION OF CATHOLIC IDENTITY The next president will recognize that the dynamic tension that accompanies the debate over the role of Catholic identity can be a positive force for learning and seek ways to move the discussion forward. He/she will accomplish this by engaging the campus in open and active conversation, and make timely and thoroughly communicated decisions. At the same time, the next president will continue the crucial Mercy mission focus, supporting and exemplifying the mission and values of the university. The next president will build trust, openness, and an inclusive and welcoming environment, within the Mercy and Catholic tradition, that celebrates diverse viewpoints and promotes justice with compassion.

TEND TO FINANCES Independent colleges and universities, especially those whose

by communicating a passionate vision for the university that inspires them. He/she will take ownership of fundraising goals, strategies, and tactics.

STRENGTHEN AND DEVELOP PARTNERSHIPS Mount Mercy has always relied on strategic partnerships with businesses, medical centers, social service agencies, educational partners, and units of local and regional government as key elements of its success. The next president will have the opportunity not only to strengthen existing partnerships but also to identify and develop new and expanded partnerships. A new president will be as prepared to work outside the academy as within its confines, to develop a vision and execute a plan for increased and significantly strengthened partnerships.


budgets are tuition driven, are aware that enrollment can

The president of Mount Mercy University serves as both an

dramatically change the institution’s budget outlook. The next

institutional leader and a community leader and spokesperson.

president must be conversant with contemporary enrollment

He/she will be expected to promote the university’s visibility and

strategies and marketing approaches and be able optimize the

reputation by demonstrating strong leadership and personal

dynamic range of students and educational delivery systems

integrity. The next president will actively seek opportunities to

to best propel Mount Mercy into the future. This will include an

increase awareness of the university and will effectively convey

assessment of the facility and infrastructure needs required

the university’s unique academic mission, strengths, and values

to meet the changing student dynamics. The next president

to all constituents.

will inherit a university that is financially stable, supported by a Board that is committed to, and working toward, Mount Mercy’s continued success. That said, he/she must be prepared to function, with the senior leadership team, as a vigilant steward with a mastery of university finance.


The next president must be an effective representative of the university, exemplifying strong workplace and personal ethics and moral character.

QUALIFICATIONS & QUALITIES The next president will be a practicing Catholic or a non-Catholic

The Board of Trustees expects Mount Mercy to improve its

Christian who understands, appreciates, and is committed to

financial position as it moves into the future. With 15,000+

the Catholic tradition and the charism of the Sisters of Mercy,

connected alumni—7,500 of which reside in the Cedar

including the five Critical Concerns.

Rapids/Iowa City corridor—and a record of hiring Mount Mercy

He/she will possess a terminal degree and present a record of

graduates, the city of Cedar Rapids and Mount Mercy have a longstanding mutually beneficial relationship. Cedar Rapids includes among its residents many with the capacity to give and a record of generosity. The next president will find a community ready to hear Mount Mercy’s story anew. The president will

success as a leader in a higher education setting. Successful experience in managing change, community relations, and fundraising is highly desired. In addition, the following qualities are desired:

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POSITION PROFILE LEADERSHIP • Direct experience fostering a learning environment in which academic rigor leads to successful learning outcomes. • A collaborative leadership style, demonstrated through the ability to function as a team builder and a team player. 
 • The style and experience of a planner and a doer. Someone who takes pride in assembling the right team, setting clear, measurable goals, and achieving success. • The ability to champion and lead “smart” growth of an organization that works with a small margin for error. • Experience building and motivating—the capacity to inspire.
 • Capacity for strategic thinking and innovation. 
 • Ability to drive consensus but also be decisive when appropriate. 

RELATIONSHIP BUILDING • The ability to build trust and respect across multiple constituencies (students, parents, alumni, faculty, administration, trustees, community, and strategic partners). 
 • The ability to develop and nurture partnerships with external leaders and organizations. 

BUSINESS ACUMEN • Experience operating a complex educational organization. • Experience in assisting data driven decision-making. 
 • Experience managing budgets and financials. • Experience successfully managing human resource issues in higher education. • Experience with marketing and enrollment management functions in a highly competitive education marketplace. 
 • Strategic planning experience at an academic institution. • Mastery of marshalling resources, organizational structure, and other human capital strategies.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS • The ability to comfortably interact with faculty, staff, and students in a variety of settings, respectfully and appropriately engaging in the processes of teaching and learning. • Strong interpersonal skills. • A genuine desire to leave one’s office and engage people where they are. • Effective verbal and written communication skills. 
 • The ability to listen carefully to a wide range of constituents. 

FUNDRAISING • A genuine interest in all aspects of fundraising. 

• The ability to adjust style to communicate effectively to a wide variety of audiences. 

• The ability to enthusiastically influence various donor constituencies. • Energy to convey the Mount Mercy vision to inspire transformative gifts.

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POSITION PROFILE PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS • A genuine affinity for the academic process and an appreciation of the work of scholars and teachers. • A genuine affinity for the student experience.

THE APPLICATION PROCESS The Mount Mercy University Presidential Search Committee will begin reviewing and evaluating applications as they are received and will continue to accept and review credentials until

• An international outlook and global perspective.

a new president is selected. To ensure fullest consideration,

• The highest ethical and moral standards in both

candidates are advised to submit their materials by

professional and personal life. 
 • Perseverance, work ethic, and drive to build a legacy of success at Mount Mercy University. • Intellect—as evidenced by a terminal degree—curiosity and open-mindedness. 
 • Eagerness and stamina to serve 24/7 as an institutional advocate and spokesperson. 
 • Humility and a sense of humor.

December 10, 2019. Dr. Richard A. Wueste and Dr. Ronald Carter, of AGB Search, are assisting with this search. Nominators and prospective candidates may contact Dick at or at (540) 431-5131, and Ron at or at (704) 930-6515. Applications should be submitted electronically in Word or PDF format to: Materials must include: • Letter of interest that directly links the candidate’s CV to the Expectations for the Next President, Opportunities & Challenges and Qualifications & Qualities sections of this profile. • Complete CV or resume. 
 • Names and contact information (telephone and e-mail) for five references, none of whom will be contacted until a later stage of the search or without the formal permission of the candidate. All inquiries and applications will be received and evaluated in confidence. Mount Mercy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Men and women of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Mount Mercy University is a smoke-free campus.

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Profile for Mount Mercy University

Mount Mercy University: Presidential Leadership Opportunity  

The Board of Trustees of Mount Mercy University invites nominations and applications for the position of president. AN EXCEPTIONAL OPPORTUN...

Mount Mercy University: Presidential Leadership Opportunity  

The Board of Trustees of Mount Mercy University invites nominations and applications for the position of president. AN EXCEPTIONAL OPPORTUN...