Dear Fellow Bastyrians,
As we close in on the midway point of Winter Quarter, I want to pause for a moment to thank all of you who make our University such a vibrant and supportive community for our students, and to share with you some of the important developments weíve seen over the past month.
First, our Board of Trustees met yesterday to reaffirm its support for our mission ñ and in particular, to support all of our efforts to expand licensure and employment opportunities for all of our graduates. We were joined last Friday by the president of National University of Natural Medicine and a delegation from the Philippines to explore the possibility of partnering to create a naturopathic program that would provide additional residency and internship opportunities. Tonight many of our students will take an important step toward their future career success by participating in the NMSAís annual career panel and mixer. And next week we will continue our collaborative work when the president of National University of Health Sciences visits our Kenmore campus to discuss how the natural healing arts professions can continue to grow and expand.
Some of you already know that today at BUC, 10 other LGBTQ university presidents and I are meeting to discuss how higher education can continue to better serve marginalized and underrepresented students. I am grateful to everyone who continues to bring compassion, inclusion, and kindness ñ and to those who continue to ask that we do better every day for all those whom we serve.
Yesterday, Dr. Joe Brimhall, Chair of the Northwest Commission and President of Western States University, spoke to our Board about the importance of building alliances, of creating a supportive climate for student achievement, and of continually maintaining a focus on collaborative dialogue throughout a University. Thank you to all of you who attended the Kenmore Campus Library Rededication and spent time visiting with one another, with our Board, and with the Founders in attendance.
Last week, Dr. Pizzorno and I sat down for one of our regular conversations. We are blessed at the University to have his regular engagement and wisdom ñ and his sense of history and perspective on the trajectory of our University and the professions we serve. As we were discussing the challenges that surround us in the world, we expressed our gratitude at being able to serve Bastyr (he for 22 years as president and me for just over a year and a half now), but also recognize that there is work to be done. Work to grow our professions; work to build research and recognition for natural medicine; work to create opportunities for patients and practitioners alike; and work to realize the University culture that will make all of these things possible. Dr. Pizzorno's reflections on the University (Then and Now) are prescient, and I have asked him to provide a keynote address at our next OneBastyr in Kenmore, and to provide some wider communications for all faculty, staff, and students. We are blessed to be a University that has strength and stability, exceptional values and integrity, and a mission that will transform the lives of people around the world. What Dr. Pizzorno and I hope to continue to develop is a culture of communication that is respectful, positive, encouraging, and nurturing. A culture that is free of intolerance. A culture that is aware, reflective, and self-critical ñ yet does so without undermining our mission or denigrating those that disagree.
Evolving as an institution is constant, and can be both painful and invigorating. I have shared copies of John P. Kotter's book Leading Change with University leadership staff, and I invite each of you to join in experiencing what many consider to be among the best books on organizational culture ever written. The copies I have shared are to be passed along so that everyone who is interested has the opportunity to engage in an ongoing conversation about what we are all contributing that is supportive, and that which is not supportive, toward the healthy evolution of our University. As I read the book again over the holiday break, it became obvious to me in hindsight the ways in which I and the rest of the leadership have been both supportive and unsupportive of healthy change, and I hope that this continued self-reflection can become a part of all of our lives.
While there is much to do, there is much to be proud of. Thank you for keeping a keen focus on the positive momentum of our institution, and on the success of our amazing students.
Mac Powell, PhD, President