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President Victor announces cabinet

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mercyhurst University President Michael T. Victor, J.D., LL.D., has reorganized administrative operations at the university to facilitate achievement of his strategic goals and to create a more efficient operation.

His first appointment was made earlier this summer when Mercyhurst alumnus David Dausey, Ph.D., assumed the position of Victor’s chief of staff as well as chief academic officer/vice president for academic affairs.

An internationally respected public health expert, Dausey returned to his alma mater in 2011 to launch a public health program and, in short order, grew the major into a popular field of study that led to the establishment of the School of Health Professions and Public Health. Dausey will continue to oversee operations of the public health school until a national search secures his replacement. Prior to Mercyhurst, Dausey was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and the senior director of health programs and initiatives at CMU’s Heinz College. Dausey also worked at the RAND Corporation’s Global Health Division, engaging in groundbreaking research on public health systems and global health.

Another Mercyhurst alumnus and former employee both in residence life, student conduct, and alumni relations, Joseph Howard has been named vice president for enrollment. During the past academic year, Howard had been consulting in the areas of admissions and marketing at Mercyhurst while completing his doctoral coursework in higher education at the University of Michigan. During his study at Michigan, Howard focused on big data and business analytics in higher education, access and equity in higher education and public policy. In his new role, Howard will direct Mercyhurst in expanding its applicant pool, increasing outreach to non-traditional student populations and enrolling a diverse and academically talented student body.

Jeanette C. Britt, M.B.A., is the chief information officer at Mercyhurst University and will continue in that position. Prior to leading the information technology area, Britt’s spent many years in leadership roles in the advancement office. During her time in advancement, she implemented the Ellucian Colleague Advancement system, developed all management reporting for the advancement area and participated in the planning and execution of two successful capital campaigns. In 2013, she became chief information officer, using her broad experience to provide vision and leadership for the university’s shared information systems.

Victor has chosen to retain Hoa Nguyen, M.B.A., who joined the Mercyhurst administration on March 2, 2015, as vice president for finance and administration. He comes to Mercyhurst from Saint Joseph College in Rensselaer, Indiana, where he was vice president for business affairs and treasurer to the board of trustees. While at Saint Joseph’s, he refinanced the long-term debt and resolved the debt covenant issues, implemented a new budget planning model, overhauled business practices, and identified cost reduction strategies and key revenue enhancement opportunities.

Sister Lisa Mary McCartney, RSM, Ph.D., serves as the vice president for mission integration at Mercyhurst University. The Office for Mission Integration, established in 2008, assists the president of Mercyhurst University in promoting and integrating the university’s educational mission, and the beliefs and values of the Catholic identity and legacy of the Sisters of Mercy. The work of the office is many faceted, but essentially directed to educating and encouraging all members of the university community from students to trustees to advance the mission of Mercyhurst.

Monsignor David Rubino, Ph.D., is vice president for advancement at Mercyhurst and will continue in that role. Rubino led a fundraising effort last year to the tune of $6.3 million, earning the advancement office its greatest fundraising year in history. Previously, Rubino served as senior vice provost of Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. During his career he also served as executive assistant to the president of Seton Hill College, guiding it to university status and managing the transition to co-education. He was president of Gannon University from 1992-2000. 

Laura Zirkle, Ph.D., is the vice president for student life and will continue to serve in that position. Her Mercyhurst career spans 15 years, beginning in 1999 as director of residence life, where she oversaw the expansion of student housing on the Erie campus to include many of the surrounding apartment buildings. During her tenure, she developed and implemented pioneering programs like Alcohol.Edu for College, a substance-free freshman living area, and a Stop the Hate program. She has excelled as a leader, supervising 12 departments, creating the university’s Emergency Response Plan and revising New Student Orientation.