Office of the President
Dr. Kathleen A. Getz is the 13th president of Mercyhurst University, assuming the office on July 12, 2021.
A mission-driven servant leader with 18 years of senior experience in major business schools, including 10 years at Catholic universities, Getz began her tenure at Mercyhurst by meeting with her colleagues across campus.
“There’s only one way I can see beginning this new venture in my life,” she wrote in her inaugural message to the Mercyhurst community, “and that’s by listening to you. As I said earlier, one of the key reasons I am here is because I was struck by the consonance of my own values with those of Mercyhurst. Leading people with whom I share certain core values to transform the lives of students and help our community seems to me to be the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Getz said her tenure will be marked by a climate of hope as the university works to reinvigorate the traditional Mercyhurst experience sans COVID and moves toward celebrating its Centennial in 2026.
An enthusiastic and successful fundraiser, Getz raised nearly $80 million over 10 years at two different universities. She is experienced with capital campaigns, annual and planned giving, cultivation, stewardship, special projects, and other development/advancement efforts.
She has expertise in identifying new revenue streams, reducing overall costs, and redirecting resources to achieve better results. She is also known for her influence in bringing together diverse efforts and populations toward common goals, such as accreditation and implementing new curricula.
The Mercyhurst Board of Trustees voted to name Getz as president in May 2021 following a five-month national search.
“After a robust national search that yielded a diverse and talented pool of candidates, Dr. Getz emerged as a passionate and accessible leader who we believe is ideally suited to lead Mercyhurst into the future,” said then-Interim President Joseph G. NeCastro. “Dr. Getz brings extensive experience in values-based education, business acumen, interdisciplinary collaboration, new program development, community engagement, innovation and entrepreneurship, fundraising, and diversity and inclusion.”
President Getz’s tenure marks the first time a woman has led Mercyhurst in nearly 50 years — since the 1963-1972 tenure of Sister Carolyn Herrmann, RSM, Ph.D., who was preceded in that role by six Sisters of Mercy, starting with Mother Borgia Egan, RSM, in the year of the university’s founding, 1926.
Getz previously served as the dean of the Sellinger School of Business and Management at Loyola University Maryland, a Jesuit Catholic institution whose business school is home to nearly 2,000 students, 55 full-time faculty, and 13 full-time staff. Before that, she was dean of the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago, one of the largest Catholic universities in the United States, and senior associate dean for academic affairs at the Kogod School of Business at American University.
Getz has been actively engaged with Results Baltimore Impact Network, a group of 150 Baltimore-area leaders committed to developing and implementing an effective, compelling response to Baltimore’s social and economic challenges. She also serves or has served on the boards of Conscious Ventures Lab, the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, Junior Achievement of Central Maryland, and St. Mary’s Seminary and University. She has been a speaker for the Catholic Business Network, Department of State International Visitors Program, National Association of College and University Business Officers, Washington Board of Trade, and other organizations. She is actively engaged with AACSB, the premier accreditor for schools of business, Past President and a Fellow of the International Association for Business and Society, and former associate editor for the journal Business & Society. She is the recipient of many awards, including being named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women for 2018.
Getz’s scholarship has considered issues at the intersection of corporate responsibility and global economic development, focusing on the role of business in responding to violent conflict and building peace, policies and practices related to bribery and corruption, and voluntary codes of conduct at the global level.
Getz earned a B.S. in Human Development from The Pennsylvania State University, an MBA from Gannon University, and a Ph.D. in Business Environment and Public Policy from the University of Pittsburgh.
She is quite familiar with Erie, where she and her husband, Gary, lived for several years. She worked as an assistant manager and retail lending officer at Mellon Bank from 1981 to 1986. She was also a member of the St. Patrick Parish Choir, and volunteered at St. Patrick’s Haven from 1989 to 1990.
Getz and her husband reside at Mercyhurst University’s presidential residence, the Kern House, on State Street, marking the first time the recently acquired residence will be home to a Mercyhurst president. The Getzes are the parents of one grown son, Dietrich, who lives in Lynchburg, Virginia, with his wife, Dr. Christen Laughorn.