President Search

Read a message from Interim President Harlan Patterson 


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Dear Bastyr University Board Colleagues and Community Members,
As you know, Bastyr is seeking a long-term President, who will succeed Interim President Patterson once he or she commences. The selection of the President is one of the chief duties of our Board of Trustees, and one it takes very seriously. To assist it, the Board has asked me to create an ad hoc President Search Committee (“Committee”) made up from our community, to provide advice on potential candidates, and at the end of the Committee’s work, forward to the Board several candidates for its consideration. The Board can, at its option, select one of these candidates, or another person, or determine we need to continue the search process.
As the Committee is charged with a lengthy process, much of which by necessity must be strictly confidential, we have decided it would be helpful for me to periodically brief the Bastyr community and community at large with updates on our work, to keep them generally apprised. This is Update No. 1.
I have in the last 10 days selected a diverse group to make up the Committee, and last Monday, August 14th we had our first meeting. Each Committee member was not selected to represent or advocate for any particular group. Rather, we seek a group of people with diverse experiences and perspectives, to inform our shared mission.
The Search Committee members are: [list plus two community seats pending]
Tayloe Washburn – Board member and Committee Chair
Jerry Hoffmeister – Board Member
Barbara Schuchart Wright – Board Member
Zamir Brown – MPH Student- Kenmore
Sierra Sugrue – ND Student – BU California
DeJarra K. Sims, ND – Assistant Professor – Naturopathic Medicine
Wendy Gordon, LM, CPM, MPH - Assistant Professor – Midwifery
Christian Dodge ND, Associate Professor – Naturopathic Medicine
Jeanne Galloway, ND (Alumna)
Kate Elliott – Research Operations Coordinator
Angela Murrell – Sr. Librarian – BU California
Linda Fontaine – Special Advisor to the President of AOMA
Keith Woody – VP for Human Resources (ex officio)
The Committee at our first meeting determined we will first interview and by early September select a search firm to provide some assistance to our work. We will then work with the search firm to conduct a wide-ranging and open comment process, reaching out to all campuses and faculty, staff and students to get their ideas and facilitate discussions regarding the qualities they would like to see in the next President. Questions for discussion will include what are the strengths and opportunities that Bastyr has to offer potential candidates? What are the needs of Bastyr? What are the key experiences, credentials, qualifications, skills and attributes the university is seeking in an ideal candidate? These community meetings will be conducted by myself and the Search firm at our three campuses in the September 25 – October 6 timeframe. This will be the best opportunity for our community to provide their input into the process.
While it may be refined as we go forward, the schedule we are starting out with will include the following key milestones:
  • By September 22 we will have our search firm selected. We have circulated a RFP to a wide number of search firms. I should note we are and will continue to find possible candidates in addition to candidates the search firm we pick may come up with.
  • Sep 25 – October 6 – as noted above, this is the period in which we will be actively seeking comments and input from the community on the questions set forth above. From these, we will develop a profile of the type of leader we are looking for. This profile will be used by the search firm to reach out across the country to find and interest qualified candidates. We will share this profile in an upcoming Update once it is developed.
  • By the end of the year, any interested candidates will need to submit their applications.
  • In the January to March 2018 timeframe, the search firm will work with the Committee to narrow the number of candidates to initially about 8-12, and then in a second stage down to 4-5 candidates.
  • In late March or April, the Committee will have in person interviews with 4-5 candidates and, after deliberation, present 2-3 finalists to the Board of Trustees for its consideration. If possible, we will conduct meetings with the community for these finalists at our campuses, so that the Board can get community input; however, given the confidentiality one or more of our finalists may insist on (for good reason), this step is not assured.
  • In April or May, the Board of Trustees will review all input gathered, conduct interviews of the finalists and, if it chooses, select a candidate. We will likely also have a backup candidate chosen by the Board, in the event we do not close a deal with the first candidate.
  • We hope to have the new President starting work by July 1, if possible.
A brief note as to why much of the Committee’s work must be strictly confidential. Keep in mind the hypothetical leader we want is likely a very successful President or senior official at their institution. While we hope to interest them in shifting to Bastyr, if we are to have any hope of doing so, they must be 100% assured that their application will be kept strictly confidential. Otherwise, their present job and reputation may be adversely impacted, and they would drop out. Given this very real risk, we must do everything we can to keep their candidacy strictly confidential. This is why we will do all we can to get input from the campus community and other stakeholders early in the process.
If you have questions or input for the Search Committee, we have agreed that I will serve as the Contact Person. Other than the three Board members on the Committee, the Board of Trustees will have no involvement in the search process until it is presented in springtime with the finalists proposed by the Committee. My periodic updates to the Board until that time will be the same information shared with the community in upcoming updates.
Tayloe Washburn
Bastyr President Search Committee Chair
Dear University Board Colleagues and Community Members,
About two weeks ago, your Presidential Search Committee issued Update No. 1, in which we listed Committee members and outlined our preliminary timetable. We have been very busy since then. First, a community representative has accepted my invitation to join our Committee. Nancy Ousley is a longstanding regional leader and highly respected municipal official. She presently serves as Assistant City Manager for the City of Kenmore. She is a longtime fan of Bastyr, and shares the passion of all Committee members to do all we can, with input from the entire Bastyr and AOMA Community, to locate and put forward to our Board of Trustees a few really excellent candidates for their consideration. It is great to have this informed perspective from someone who lives and works outside of Bastyr.
Second, we are staying on track with the schedule I shared with you earlier. We earlier developed and sent out to qualified search firms a Request for Proposal (RFP) to assist us in this effort. We did not invite the search firm used in the 2014-15 President search to participate. Our future candidates may come from suggestions from anyone in Bastyr and AOMA, the external community, or from the nationwide efforts of our search firm. Regardless of how we may find possible candidates, it is a highly complex process to first listen to the Bastyr community on the type of leader we seek, develop recruiting materials, identify sources where we may find really good candidates, reach out to them, interest them, and keep each serious candidate apprised of where we are in the process. The search firm will work with the Committee to vet each candidate and, over time, narrow the number of candidates down. The search firm will work intensively with the Committee every step of the way, leading up through the interviews to the Committee’s final list of proposed finalists for the Board. The final task of the search firm is to work with Board members and the finalists, conducting exhaustive due diligence on the finalists and working to keep each finalist engaged. All this work requires an experienced third party (the search firm) to get through this in a careful and effective way, and end up with a leader we can all work with now and in future years to fulfill Bastyr’s potential for its students and our nation.
Third, we received a number of good proposals responding to our RFP and at our Sep. 6 meeting selected two excellent firms to invite for interviews with the Committee in mid-September. We plan to select and engage a search firm shortly thereafter.
For anyone interested in this process and with thoughts on the type of leader that will best serve us going forward, the period between now and about October 10 is when we really want to hear from you. Thanks to many of you who have already shared with Committee members your views, which have been shared with the entire Committee. In addition, over these last two days there have been university-wide conversations occurring on the Washington and San Diego campuses in service of community healing and alignment of purpose. Through several of the activities that have been facilitated, there were mechanisms for providing input both to the Board and to our Search Committee regarding what people want to see in the next President. The search committee is looking forward to receiving this input. In addition, we will announce the formal actions the search firm we select will take to get as much community input as possible in the next few weeks. That will include visits by me and the search firm to the Kenmore and San Diego campuses, our Wallingford Clinic and our new affiliated campus in Austin, TX at AOMA. We will also aim to set up an electronic/digital tool so anyone can make suggestions at any time. This is your time to share your views and ideas on our next President. Feel free to send me at any time your thoughts as well. After October 10th, we will finalize our Candidate Specification Profile and move into high gear on getting the word out. We will share that with you and encourage you to help by sharing it with interested groups or people.
What is great about this search process is it allows all of us, at all campuses, to give thought to what we stand for, how we provide the very best education for our students, our vision for the future of natural medicine, and how we can serve as a thought leader and innovator in our nation’s health care future. This exercise will help us define the type of leader we need. The outreach across the nation we conduct with our search firm will spread the word far and wide about what’s going on at our institution and our exciting future. This promotes our Mission and Vision. If you have questions or input for the Search Committee, we have agreed that I will serve as the contact person. We will keep you posted!
Tayloe Washburn
Bastyr President Search Committee Chair
Dear Bastyr University Community Members,
The Search Committee (SC) has been busy since I last reported to you. We devoted the last two weeks to reviewing the RFP responses from several search firms. We selected two firms to invite to campus, and this past Monday spent many hours talking with both of them, and then deliberating on which would best serve Bastyr in our efforts to identify several outstanding candidates to lead Bastyr as we enter a new and exciting chapter in our history.
I am delighted to announce that we selected Jan Asnicar with Storbeck/Pimentel to help us on our search. I look forward to all of you meeting and talking to Jan, who will be devoting a major portion of her time to first listening to our community members, and ultimately reaching out broadly to identify and help recruit a number of great candidates which the Search Committee can start to examine in the coming months. The Search Committee was deeply impressed with Jan’s experience and communication skills. We believe you will find her to be a great listener and someone who is very easy to talk with. She is deeply committed to the success of our efforts.
Jan and I will be conducting community meetings in October at the BCNH, Kenmore, San Diego and Austin campuses to meet with students, faculty and staff to hear your ideas on what you would like to see in our next President, as well as any people you think might make strong candidates.
We will be at the San Diego Campus on October 4th before Jan meets with the Board at its fall retreat on October 5th to get their input. We plan to be at AOMA on Tuesday, October 10th, and the Seattle Clinic and Kenmore campus on Wednesday and Thursday, October 12th and 13th. The detailed meeting schedule for each campus is listed below. We will also be offering an electronic option on the website for those who cannot attend the meetings to provide their thoughts on the next president and upcoming initiatives at the university. This web site option should be up and running within the next couple of weeks. By late October we plan to have in hand a Position Profile created from your input which Jan, and all of us, can circulate far and wide as a key tool in our search process. We expect to have a number of potential candidates identified and applications from candidates in hand by the end of the year. The candidate review process will get into high gear in January, and we hope to identify finalists by mid-February for Board consideration and selection. If all works well, we plan to extend an offer in March 2018, for a July 1 start. This timing is driven in part because the best candidates will be making their career decisions for the Fall 2018 in early spring. We would expect that this timeframe would ensure that the best candidates will not yet have made other career decisions. Should the timeline need to be adjusted please know that we will keep you informed.
Let me once again encourage each of you to participate actively in this process. We all have a big stake in securing a new President who can accomplish the goals we set together as a community for Bastyr in the coming years. Our process and outcome will benefit greatly if we have input from all the members of our community in the coming weeks. Once the Search Committee, with Jan’s help, gathers all the input we can, we will finalize the Position Profile, and make it available publicly.
The schedule for community meetings to inform our Presidential search:
BU California, Wednesday, Oct. 4th
  • 12:00-1:00pm: Student Meeting (room A-101)
  • 1:00 – 2:00pm: Staff & Faculty Meeting (room A-101)
  • 2:00 – 3:00pm: Staff & Faculty Meeting (room A-101)
AOMA – Tuesday, Oct. 10th
  • 10:15am-11:15am: Staff Meeting (Classroom E2)
  • 11:30am-12:30pm: Faculty Meeting (Classroom E2)
  • 12:45pm-1:45pm: Student Meeting (Classroom E2)
  • Drive to North Clinic
  • 2:15pm-3:15pm: Staff Meeting (North Clinic)
  • 3:15pm-4:15pm: Faculty Meeting (North Clinic)
Seattle Clinic – Thursday, Oct. 12th
  • 10-11am Staff Meeting (room 166)
  • 11-12am Faculty Meeting (room 166)
  • 12-1 pm Student Meeting (room 166)
  • Lunch
  • 2-3pm Staff & Faculty Meeting (room 166)
Kenmore Campus – Friday, Oct. 13th
  • 9-10am Staff Meeting (room 146)
  • 10-11am Faculty Meeting (room 146)
  • Lunch
  • 12-1pm Student Meeting (room 146)
  • 1-2pm Staff & Faculty Meeting (room 146)
I want to close by thanking all of you in advance for participating in this positive step in our journey at Bastyr. I also want to sincerely thank the members of the Search Committee, who are taking their responsibility very seriously, putting in long hours already, and are working together as a great team on this important mission.
Tayloe Washburn,
Chair Bastyr Presidential Search Committee


Bastyr Presidential Search Committee

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