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Mount Mercy University President resigns after less than 3 months on the job


CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) -- Mount Mercy University announced Wednesday that Dr. Robert Beatty is resigning from his role as president after a little more than 2 months on the job.

Beatty was named as Mount Mercy's 10th president at the end of February, 2020 and assumed his duties as president on July 1. A Cedar Rapids native, Beatty previously served 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.

“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. We are absolutely thrilled to have him join us," Charlie Rohde, Mount Mercy’s Board of Trustees Chairman said at the time of Beatty's hiring.

The Board of Trustees has appointed Dr. Tim Laurent as interim president. Dr. Laurent has served as Mount Mercy’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs since 2018.

“We thank Dr. Beatty for his time at Mount Mercy and wish him well in his future endeavors,” Rohde said “We also thank Dr. Laurent for stepping in to serve as the interim president. His experience and commitment to higher education will continue to move the university forward.”

While at Mount Mercy, Dr. Laurent has led the implementation of four undergraduate majors, multiple graduate areas of emphasis, the Feld Chair for Innovation, and the Degree in Three and MMU Plus programs. As provost, he oversaw Mount Mercy’s faculty and academic operations, including undergraduate and graduate programs, the registrar’s office, library services, the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE), and institutional research and data.

Prior to his time at Mount Mercy, Dr. Laurent 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 began his professional career in higher education at Winona State University as an adjunct faculty member. He also served as head athletic trainer and faculty member at Saint Mary’s University and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. 

“I am honored to continue serving Mount Mercy and our mission of providing a student-focused education in the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy,” Laurent said. “I look forward to continuing the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy in meeting the needs of our time.”

Trevor Oates

Executive Producer

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