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Mercy College of Health Sciences President Announces Retirement

Posted by Jim Tagye on Aug 31, 2017 10:39:32 AM

Dr.BarbaraDeckerPhotoweb.jpgMercy College of Health Sciences announces plans for Dr. Barbara Quijano Decker to retire on June 30, 2018, ending her 12-year tenure as president of Mercy College.

Under President Decker’s leadership, Mercy College expanded facilities, increased the breadth and diversity of academic programming, and strengthened the ministry as a Catholic college. Her passion and persistence contributed to Mercy College’s favorable accreditation and performance outcomes, as well as the organization’s strong positive relationship with students, employees, alumni and the College board of directors.

“Barbara’s compassionate leadership has advanced the mission of Mercy College within our community tenfold,” said Mercy College Board Chair Glenn Lyons.

During her presidency, Dr. Decker honored Mercy College and its legacy as a leader in preparing health care providers in central Iowa for more than a century, through the establishment of three separate endowment funds: the Frank and Mary Quijano Endowed Scholarship Fund in honor of her parents; a President’s Endowed Innovation Fund to support student immersion trips and new college endeavors; and a third endowment fund to honor the charisms and legacy of the Sisters of Mercy.

After a comprehensive evaluation, the Executive Committee of the Mercy College Board of Directors recently retained Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc., a national higher education executive search firm, to assist in the recruitment of President Decker’s replacement. 

About Barbara Quijano Decker, J.D.
Dr. Decker began her employment with Mercy College in 2005. Prior to joining Mercy College, she served as Administrator at Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines from 2001 to 2005. Her previous experience also includes serving as Vice Provost of Human Resources at Drake University from 1988 to 2001.

Dr. Decker is a graduate of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, receiving a Juris Doctorate degree, Master of Public Administration degree, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Sociology. She was admitted to the Iowa State Bar upon her graduation from Drake Law School in July 2000. She has received scholastic honors as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Alpha Alpha.

She is a recipient of the 2007 Distinguished Master of Public Administration Alumnus Award from Drake’s College of Business and Public Administration and received the Robert D. Ray Ambassador Award from the Iowa Commission on Latino Affairs in 2006. Dr. Decker is a recipient of the Award for Excellence in Human Resources by the Central Iowa Society of Human Resource Management, which she received in 1998.

Dr. Decker is a member of various community boards and professional organizations including serving as board and executive committee member of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities; board member of the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities; Community Advisory Board member of Bankers Trust; member of the Greater Des Moines Partnership Talent Recruitment Committee; member of the Iowa Catholic Collegiate Association; board member of the Iowa Catholic Conference; and other related associations. She is past chair and member of the Iowa Campus Compact; past president of the Drake Law School Board of Counselors and former board member of The Homestead.

Dr. Decker is a member of the Vision Council at St. Ambrose Cathedral. She is actively involved in the health and ministry activities at the cathedral, supporting a large refugee parishioner population. Dr. Decker also serves as a member of Catholic Council for Social Concern, Inc., providing oversight and guidance to Catholic Charities, Diocese of Des Moines and the Diocese’s Hispanic Lay Ministry Formation Committee. 

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