The Presidential Search Committee of Bastyr University invites applications, expressions of interest, and nominations of candidates in its search for the University’s seventh president.

Bastyr University believes that inclusive diversity is essential for achieving academic excellence and creating a profoundly enriching university experience. Our faculty and staff are committed to achieving our mission by educating students to be future leaders that bring the natural health arts and sciences to people from all backgrounds. Promoting an educational environment that allows students, faculty and staff to develop their talents while experiencing a sense of community, we expect campus members to engage in respectful communication, behaviors and thoughtful self-reflection, increase their understanding of cultures and empower people who are disenfranchised, marginalized or oppressed. In so doing, the University pledges to prepare our students (and support faculty and staff) to recognize and appropriately respond to health inequities that affect multiple communities. This involves infusing DEI knowledge, skills, and practices in all academic programs, clinical training and patient services. In all, Bastyr University is dedicated to the welfare of our students and patients as well as to promoting equal opportunity and access in education and health care.

In alignment with Bastyr’s DEI commitment, applications from members of underrepresented groups are encouraged.

Bastyr University seeks an experienced leader with energy, vision and a commitment to the institution’s mission and values as well as an understanding of natural and integrative approaches to health care. The successful candidate will join a diverse, inclusive, and collaborative community of faculty and staff who are committed to shaping students into well-educated, thoughtful natural health leaders focused on transforming the health and well-being of the human community.

The first fully accredited school of its kind in the world, Bastyr University was founded in 1978 as the John Bastyr College of Naturopathic Medicine, and in just over 40 years has grown to become a leading academic center for advancing and integrating knowledge in the natural health arts and sciences. Today Bastyr’s doctoral, graduate, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate and certificate programs offer a multidisciplinary curriculum at campuses in Seattle, Washington and San Diego, California. Bastyr currently enrolls 904 students (684 in Kenmore, WA, and 220 in San Diego, CA), and more than 6,000 graduates have gone on to serve their communities and improve lives locally, nationally, and internationally. For FY 2021, the operating budget of Bastyr is $36,125,506. As of June 30, 2020, the endowment fund was $4,183,186.

The next President of Bastyr University must possess a passion for integrative health and the transforming power of a natural health arts and sciences education. Bastyr seeks a leader whose professional experiences and personal values align with Bastyr’s community-oriented ethos. A master’s degree from an accredited institution and a record of progressively responsible senior-level administrative experience is expected. An earned doctorate from an accredited institution and a record of progressively responsible senior level administrative experience in a complex mission-driven institution would distinguish the candidate, as would academic preparation in integrative health and medicine or a related field.

Under the leadership of its next President, Bastyr University will continue to promote the natural health arts and sciences as a means of addressing the accelerating need for health care practitioners and thus help usher in a new era when natural, preventative care is accessible to all.

Role of the President

The President of Bastyr University is the chief executive officer and the chief advisor to and executive agent of the Board of Trustees. The President is responsible for leading the University, implementing all board policies, keeping the board informed on appropriate matters, consulting with the board in a timely manner on matters appropriate to its policy-making and fiduciary responsibilities, and serving as the University’s key spokesperson. The President has the authority to execute all documents on behalf of the University and the Board of Trustees consistent with board policies and the best interests of the University. The President is a non-voting member of the Board and an ex-officio member of all Board committees.

The President is advised by many constituents and is assisted by the Cabinet, comprised of the Senior Vice President and Provost, Vice President of Student Affairs, Vice President for Advancement and Enrollment Services, Associate Vice President of Budget and Finance/CFO, Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Associate Vice President of Human Resources. Additional members of the Executive Leadership Team include:

  • Associate Vice President for Bastyr University California;
  • Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management and Admissions;
  • Chief Medical Officer, Bastyr University California;
  • Dean of the School of Naturopathic Medicine;
  • Dean of the School of Traditional World Medicines, and School of Health Arts and Science; and
  • Executive Director of Clinical Training and Chief Medical Officer

In collaboration with the Senior Vice President and Provost and other cabinet-level administrators, the President oversees long-term planning, both institutional and academic, concentrating on innovation, sustainability and adjustment to external forces, including changing markets, the demands of accreditation and the evolution of the state and federal regulatory environment.

In collaboration with the Vice President for Advancement and Enrollment Services and other cabinet-level administrators, the President oversees marketing, recruitment, admissions, and fundraising efforts critical to the strategic growth of the University and its teaching clinics.

In collaboration with the Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO, the President presents and manages annual budgets and multi-year budget projections that advance the interests of the University and sustain long-term financial stability. For FY 2021, the operating budget of Bastyr is $36, 125, 506. As of June 30, 2020, the endowment fund was $4, 183, 186. The President also oversees, in collaboration with the AVP/CFO, information technology and operations of the university, the auxiliary services of emergency management, as well as the dispensary, food services, bookstore, facilities, and parking.

In collaboration with the Vice President for Student Affairs and other cabinet-level administrators, the President oversees student registration and retention efforts, student scholarships and financial aid, alumni relations and career preparedness, and other student services critical to the wellbeing of the University and its students. This also includes student housing on the Bastyr University Kenmore campus.

In collaboration with the Vice President for Human Resources and other cabinet-level administrators, the President oversees recruitment, compensation, and retention efforts critical to advancing the competencies of University faculty and staff.

In collaboration with the Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and other cabinet-level administrators, the President co-leads the university efforts critical to advancing the DEI competencies of University faculty, staff, and students to create a university that is truly competent at inclusive diversity.

The President serves as spokesperson and ambassador of the University to multiple external constituencies, including local communities, community leaders, educational leaders, elected officials, the state legislature, and national groups and leaders of importance to the University. In this external role, the President is also a powerful voice for the university in identifying and developing community partnerships.

In collaboration with the senior development team, the President also leads University fundraising efforts.

The President confers regularly, formally and informally, with students, faculty, staff, friends, and the founders of the University to communicate important information and developments, to learn from the experience of these constituencies, and to convey their knowledge and concerns to other administrators and to the Board.


  • Provide a clear strategic direction and vision for the University that is inspiring and compelling to all constituents while promoting the goals, mission, and values of the institution.
  • Provide this strategic direction and vision for Bastyr University with external groups – be the “face and voice” of the institution.
  • Understand and provide broad support for integrative health practices. Provide leadership in the national conversation of health policy as it relates to merging natural health solutions with the more conventional medical system.
  • Be a visible, accessible, and participative member of the campus communities; understand and address issues that are crucial to the success and well-being of staff, faculty, and students.
  • Lead and manage strategic risk in collaboration with the University’s leadership to move the institution to its next level of growth and success.
  • Explore ways to broaden revenue streams, especially through philanthropic support, to allow for expanded program research and development, among other strategic priorities.
  • Effectively manage the University at the senior-administrative level by supporting, retaining, and hiring outstanding, collaborative, forward-thinking leaders.
  • Strengthen the level of communication and collaboration across functional areas as well as at both campuses.
  • Identify, understand, and articulate Bastyr’s mission and values, both internally and externally; celebrating the University as a welcoming and inclusive community in which to learn, work and educate.
  • Work effectively with the Board of Trustees; facilitating its continued growth and commitment to the University through best practices and responsible governance.
  • Understand and affirm the importance of shared governance, which strives to maintain the delicate balance between faculty and staff participation in planning and decision-making processes and administrative accountability.
  • Oversee continued growth in all aspects of enrollment management, including admissions and increased retention; build a stronger relationship with the medical community and with other institutions, including international institutions, which may expand recruitment potential.
  • Support the continued focus on student support and success, both inside and outside the classroom.
  • Lead the Bastyr community in making entrepreneurial and strategic decisions connected to budgetary priorities in a continued spirit of openness and transparency.
  • Continue to be at the forefront of creative and strategic thinking about collaborative opportunities between integrative health and medicine and the conventional medical community.
  • Support and implement policy decisions that are the purview of the Board of Trustees; ensure sound fiscal and facilities management; ensure the adequacy of legal and risk management policies and programs to protect Bastyr University, its officers, and Trustees and to shield assets from loss.

Opportunities and Challenges

With bold and collaborative leadership and enthusiasm for Bastyr’s mission, the next President will embrace the following opportunities and challenges:

  • Collaboratively develop, articulate, and implement a distinctive and responsible vision for Bastyr’s future: Working with the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, and students, the next President will lead a transparent and inclusive process to identify priorities for the University that both stays true to its unique traditions, locations, and natural health and science values, and also embraces the future for Bastyr’s broad and diverse community. While maintaining Bastyr’s commitment to practicing the best of naturopathic medicine and integrative health, the University will need to assess rigorously its current mix of program offerings and delivery methods to ensure alignment with student interests and available data.
  • Increase the financial capacity and resources of Bastyr to chart a financially-sustainable future: The economic and enrollment challenges facing private higher education and the students it serves require strategic leadership and planning. As a tuition-driven institution, Bastyr seeks to optimize the size and success of its student body, gradually increasing enrollments and retention rates over the next few years. In addition, the next President must be someone who can help broaden the base of philanthropic support from a variety of constituencies to prepare Bastyr for future financial challenges and opportunities, such as addressing staffing, technology, physical plant issues, and programmatic innovations. While these projects may require a concentrated financial investment initially, they will allow for a more efficient and effective way to recruit and retain students and faculty as well as strengthen relationships between campus locations for students and faculty. 
  • Support Bastyr’s high-functioning, tight-knit community of faculty, staff, and students on both campuses: The next President must bolster the campus community through listening, transparency, and consensus-building focused on shared institutional purpose and clear communications between all stakeholders. The next President must create a strategic approach for communication that connects with all faculty, staff, and students, and communicate using formal and informal channels, doing so regularly, honestly, and professionally. The next President will identify ways to highlight the value provided to the University by staff and faculty and develop a recognition and reward system that demonstrates this appreciation and effectively improves overall retention.
  • Champion the recruitment, inclusion, support, and retention of individuals from underrepresented backgrounds: Bastyr is dedicated to recruiting and retaining highly qualified faculty, staff, and students, with an emphasis on attracting and supporting faculty, staff, and students from underrepresented backgrounds. The next President must strengthen the University’s commitment to diverse, underserved adult students, support social justice initiatives across all campuses, and provide more campus-based social and community-oriented opportunities for a broader student population. The next President must ensure that all students feel heard, valued, and accommodated, fostering a safe environment for intellectual discourse. The next President will reaffirm Bastyr’s commitments to and on-going training around diversity, equity, and inclusion, continuing the work of creating and sustaining an intercultural community that welcomes and empowers all faculty, staff, patients, and community partners. Additionally, a particular emphasis needs to be placed on training community health providers to serve an increasingly diverse base of patients. 
  • Continue to elevate the local, national, and international profile of Bastyr: Students from across the country and world are attracted to Bastyr’s commitment to practicing the best naturopathic medicine and integrative health. The next President will play an integral role in continuing to enhance the University’s standing and “brand” in several ways, among them: broadeningresidency, training, and research experiences to include conventional medical settings; strengthening all programs, disciplines, and delivery models on both campuses; building a University-wide commitment to collecting and using data and research that demonstrates the efficacy of integrative health; and expanding clinical opportunities for all students. The next President must engage actively on the national and international stage to advocate for the natural health arts and sciences, furthering Bastyr’s goal of ensuring that natural medicine is being incorporated into the conventional medical system as a complementary and primary care modality, rather than as an alternative choice.

The next President of Bastyr University must possess a passion for integrative health and the transforming power of a natural health arts and sciences education. Bastyr seeks a leader whose professional experiences and personal values align with Bastyr’s community-oriented ethos. A master’s degree from an accredited institution and a record of progressively responsible senior-level administrative experience is expected. An earned doctorate from an accredited institution and a record of progressively responsible senior level administrative experience in a complex mission-driven institution would distinguish the candidate, as would academic preparation in integrative health and medicine or a related field.  Additionally, the next President will possess many of the following qualifications and desired attributes and skills:

  • A record of collaborative leadership that will promote unity and a shared vision within the Bastyr community as well as with external stakeholders;
  • Demonstrated ability to cast a vision that ignites sustained activity and excitement in the Bastyr community about the unique education and contributions of faculty, staff, students, and alumni;
  • Demonstrated deep commitment to and a track record of advancing initiatives in support of diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • Nuanced understanding of the evolving nature of health education in the 21st century and success navigating strategic responses;
  • Financial acumen and entrepreneurial spirit, able to steward and allocate resources strategically;
  • Demonstrated ability to increase revenue streams through enrollment growth, strategic partnerships and fundraising strategies;
  • Record of accomplishment in hiring, empowering, and retaining diverse and high-functioning faculty and staff;
  • Excellent communication skills in small and large groups as well as in one-on-one communication with staff, faculty, and students;
  • Proven ability to work with multiple constituencies in a complex environment and a collaborative manner that demonstrates understanding and a sense of value for each constituent; and,
  • Strong capability in developing strategies and assisting the leadership teams in the deployment of those strategies through tactical steps and experience in effectively holding people accountable for achieving those objectives.

Additional Desired Attributes and Skills

  • Nimble and innovative regarding strategic opportunities, willing to make hard decisions, and take measured risks to accomplish goals;
  • Ability to lead an institution through a review of current and potential future programs in order to establish a long-term academic vision for the institution;
  • Ability to be a clear, effective, honest, and open verbal communicator in diverse settings; 
  • Experience working within a truly shared decision-making model;
  • Demonstrated ability to lead people through change in a collaborative culture;
  • Ability to demonstrate the highest degree of personal integrity and ethical standards;
  • Commitment to and ability to partner with DEI leadership to advance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) change initiatives and making DEI part of how the organization thinks, talks, and acts;
  • Successful experience leading an organization where success is measured primarily using criteria other than financial success. Financial sustainability is still a must, but return on investment or net margin is not the primary determinant of success;
  • Ability to work with a board;
  • Ability to work with faculty, staff, students and external community members;
  • Interest in and respect for the positive role of the natural health arts and sciences to improve individual health, health in the community, and the equitable distribution of good healthcare;
  • Experience with and ability to advocate for science-based natural medicine with various external constituencies;
  • Demonstrated ability to support institutional fundraising efforts;
  • Experience leading within an institution of higher education;
  • Proven facility for enhancing and deepening meaningful positive relationships between an institution and its local community, and
  • Interest in making a commitment to Bastyr to bring to fruition the aforementioned challenges and opportunities.

Applications and Nominations

Screening of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. For best consideration, please send all nominations, inquiries, and applications in confidence, to:

Susan VanGilder, Partner, Storbeck Search

Matthew Bunting, Managing Associate, Storbeck Search

Michelle Bonoan, Managing Director, Koya Partners

For more information, please visit Bastyr University’s website:

Bastyr University does not discriminate against any person in matters of employment, application for employment, student or applicant for admission, or participation in our programs or benefits on the basis of the following protected classes: ancestry, gender, gender identity, or expression, sexual orientation, race, creed, color, religion (includes religious dress and grooming practices), sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and/or related medical conditions), ethnic or national origin (includes language use and possession of a driver’s license issued to persons unable to prove their presence in the United States is authorized under federal law), age (40 and above), disability (mental and physical, including HIV and AIDS), marital status, genetic information, medical condition (genetic characteristics, cancer or a record or history of cancer), veteran or military status or any other protected category under applicable local, state or federal law.
All applicants must prove authorization to work in the United States at the time of a position offer. Individuals must be able to perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation. Any applicants requiring special assistance or an accommodation due to a disability during the application process should contact Human Resources at (425) 602-3087 (phone), (425) 602-3058 (fax) or