Bastyr's new president

Oct 9th, 2015
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  1. Bastyr's new president
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  3. Eric Yarnell
  4. Message 1 of 13 , Sep 10
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  6. My apologies for hijacking this forum for a political purpose, temporarily.
  8. I would urge all Bastyr alumni to look carefully at the new president. You might want to look at his curriculum vitae very carefully, see if you can find a copy of the book he wrote about marriage and family counseling. See if he spelled the title of his own dissertation correctly. Maybe ask who on the hiring committee of the board of trustees worked for the same parent company he worked for. Maybe check in with students, faculty and staff at the university to see what their interactions with him have been like and other events that may have happened, and whether you think those are what you would want to see coming from the president of OUR university. I am just urging people to gather information and make their opinions known to the board, if you care to. Maybe ask why and how he could be chosen over Jane Guiltinan, ND (did he really have more experience or more applicable experience somehow?), who was one of the three final candidates for the position. Maybe look at reviews of his job performance at his prior institution on Just maybe start asking questions, if you want. Or don’t. Of course I expect anyone to be given the benefit of the doubt, but shouldn’t we have due diligence? Maybe ask why he cut administrative credits such that there is no longer a chair of homeopathy at the school (not my area, but I thought maybe some people who are concerned about how homeopathy is being handled at the school might want to ask questions). I am not asking for anyone to be reactionary or take anything I’m saying at face value; I just want people to check in and see what they find out and form their own opinions if they feel like it and happen to have the time.
  11. Eric Yarnell, ND, RH(AHG)
  12. Seattle, WA
  13. Natural Approach to Gastroenterology 2nd ed (
  14. Northwest Naturopathic Urology (
  17. jacobschor
  18. Message 2 of 13 , Sep 11
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  20. Goodness Eric, as if we have time at our computers to do all this? It would seem that you have made time so how about sharing some of the relevant links and make our lives a bit more efficient.
  22. Jacob Schor
  23. Denver CO
  24. technological Troglodyte
  27. Eric Yarnell
  28. Message 3 of 13 , Sep 11
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  30. 1 Attachment 365 KB
  31. PDF365 KB
  32. Mac Powell CV.pdf
  33. Save
  34. Here is his CV which was made publicly available. It’s easy to Google information from it. I don’t know the other links beyond just Googling the names of the institutions involved and such. Oh except the link I already noted.
  36. Eric Yarnell, ND
  37. Seattle, WA
  40. flanagan.laura
  41. Message 4 of 13 , Sep 13
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  43. Dear Eric
  44. Thank you for bringing up these issues. As one who lives hundreds of miles away and nearly 2 decades out of school I feel very removed from the institution. Nevertheless, for good or bad the future and reputation of our profession is closely linked to the reputation of our schools.
  45. I do not know students to ask about the changes and I really do not know about the Board of Trustees connections to National University and JFK University. It does not feel right though. Could they find no one with a medical or health sciences background?
  46. If others learn more, please share. I feel out of the loop but concerned.
  47. Laura Flanagan ND
  48. Spokane WA
  51. Emily Kane
  52. Message 5 of 13 , Sep 13
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  54. I also feel out of the loop and wish these concerns had come to light sooner. I'm aghast that Jane Guiltinan was passed over. Really incomprehensible. Eric, what do you suggest the process might be to replace what's his name with Dr. Guiltinan?
  55. Thanks
  56. Emily Kane ND
  57. Juneau AK
  62. Join with me in
  63. Cultivating Exuberance
  66. Emily Telfair, ND
  67. Message 6 of 13 , Sep 14
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  69. Dear Colleagues,
  71. I was a very strong advocate of Jane Guiltinan becoming Bastyr's next president. Even before she was sure that she wanted to be a candidate, I was encouraging her to consider the position (probably one of many people doing so!). I was interviewed by the organization hired to talk with alumni about what would be important qualities and skills to have in a new president and I even used Jane as an example not knowing that she was among the few remaining candidates at that time. So I, too, was surprised by the announcement that Dr. Powell was chosen. Then I had a chance to meet Dr. Powell at the AANP conference and saw him attending meeting after meeting to learn more about the profession and issues that NDs face - especially in regards to licensure (or lack thereof). He is personable, engaging and seems genuinely committed to his new role. I also had a chance to talk with Dr. Guiltinan about her continued commitment to support the Bastyr community through her role as Dean. And in my heart of hearts, I believe that Dr. Guiltinan will be able to direct her energies and talents even more strongly to the ND community when she is not split by running an entire school and all that comes with it.
  73. The more positive energy that is directed towards this time of change for the Bastyr community, the more likely it will be that positive changes will result. Let us all be mindful that students can read these posts (I think?) and I would like them to have trust and faith in the investment they are making and the leadership that will guide them to success.
  75. Peace to all,
  76. Emily Telfair, ND
  77. Baltimore, MD
  80. Eric Yarnell
  81. Message 7 of 13 , Sep 14
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  83. Laura,
  85. I think you are correct, really we should all be concerned about the health of all our naturopathic institutions. They are part of our profession; we are not isolated as much as we might think or feel that we are.
  87. Jane Guiltinan, ND was one of the three final candidates for the presidency, and I can’t think of anyone more qualified for the job. So yes, they could find someone with a naturopathic background who has been in the administration of the university for decades and who has incredibly strong ties in the community (naturopathic and conventional medical). This is part of makes me feel so discombobulated: they had a perfect candidate and passed her over. Extremely frustrating.
  89. I received permission from Sue Russell, soon to be retiring head of the department of continuing education at Bastyr, to publish a letter she wrote about the problem and situation documenting in detail her concerns and experiences. However, I do not feel comfortable sharing it in this forum due to the recent concerns about it being hacked and strong likelihood this will happen again in the future as these forums have very low security. I don’t need the whole world I am open to suggestions of how to circulate this letter more securely that doesn’t involve me responding to 100 separate emails and thus a huge amount of work.
  93. Eric Yarnell, ND, RH(AHG)
  94. Seattle, WA
  97. Eric Yarnell
  98. Message 8 of 13 , Sep 14
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  100. I would suggest that concerned alumni call and ask for a meeting with Dr. Powell and ask him the hard questions we would be asking of anyone in his role. But even more, I would suggest you look at the list of people who are on the board of Bastyr and call them and say, “What in the world went on with this selection, it doesn’t make sense?” if that is your opinion. Or whatever your opinion is. But if the alumni don’t make their voices heard, they will remain a factor the university will ignore.
  102. Eric Yarnell, ND
  103. Seattle, WA
  106. Eric Yarnell
  107. Message 9 of 13 , Sep 14
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  109. It is good to finally hear someone who had a positive interaction with Dr. Powell. I haven’t gotten many of those reports. Anyway, just meeting him and having him ask some questions is all well and good, but there is a lot more to assessing him and the process that put him in his position than this.
  111. I have already been in touch with the students at Bastyr to make sure they have as complete a picture of what is going on is possible, to push them to ask their own questions and come to their own informed opinions. If there is anyone who most deserves to know what is going on, it the students. For who else does the university really exist for??? Trying to insulate students from the politics of the university they are attending would, to my mind, be like advocating patients just let their doctor tell them to do and not worry about having any responsibility of knowledge about their health. That may seem like an extreme characterization but a think it is an honest one. Rather than going on faith or trust, I prefer facts when they can be had. And if those facts do not point toward a fair, honest, or proper decision or process, it should be condemned, disputed, and hopefully corrected.
  113. Eric Yarnell, ND
  114. Seattle, WA
  117. cleeengel
  118. Message 10 of 13 , Sep 14
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  120. Dear friends,
  122. Thank you so much for your concern; and Eric thank you for being your gutsy self, as always.
  124. I have been thinking all evening about what I could write here to corroborate Eric, and to let you know the extent of the distress in the living body of the university since Dr. Powell's arrival 2-1/2 months ago. Directly related to his interpersonal behavior, his communication and management "style," and his operational decisions, the symptoms range all the way from no problem for some, to mild discomfort for others, to strong concern and upset for many, to intense anxiety, anger, shame, and pain for a few vulnerable colleagues.
  126. And, while some members of the community have not noticed it, or are purposely turning the other way, or are even satisfied with what is happening, a number of us (students, staff, faculty, administrators, some alumni, some Trustees) are at least connected enough that we share a growing sense of dis-ease affecting the whole.
  128. Many people have only seen the side of him that you have described, Emily. Especially students, alumni, donors. He can be soft-spoken, personable, speaking in complete sentences, saying all the right things. I am sure that is the only side of him that our Trustees ever saw when they decided to hire him.
  130. The other side fits exactly this definition of institutional/workplace bullying: "Workplace Bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators. It is abusive conduct that is : Threatening, humiliating, or intimidating, or Work interference — sabotage — which prevents work from getting done, or Verbal abuse."
  132. More than a few colleagues (especially staff and administrators) have had experiences of frankly intimidating, dismissive, condescending, and even oddly casual threatening interactions with him (one colleague told me "I am tired of being tortured" and will soon be resigning their position - and even so is hesitant to be identified and risk some future retribution). And many more have had less intense but still stressful interactions.
  134. But even if it were only happening to one person, it would be against everything we stand for and know to be true, to pretend that what injures one part of the living system doesn't affect us all. And to pretend that it's not wrong.
  136. Now the knot in my stomach tells me that I have already said way more than I feel "safe" writing in such a large forum. Please feel welcome to contact me if you would like to know more (please use my personal email <cdleee@...> and we can set up a time to talk)
  138. with my warmest wishes and appreciation for you,
  139. Christy
  141. Christy Lee-Engel, ND, EAMP
  142. Director, Center for Mind, Body, Spirit and Nature
  143. Adjunct faculty, Naturopathic Theory and Practice
  147. Emily Kane
  148. Message 11 of 13 , Sep 15
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  150. Hi again Eric
  151. The only person on the board I know is Carrie Louise. How does she feel about Powell?
  157. kmckenzie
  158. Message 12 of 13 , Sep 15
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  160. The mid-1990s was a very difficult time in NCNMs history when that institution hired a president with questionable qualifications. His tenure was relatively short. I don't know how he came into his position nor the circumstances under which he left.
  162. Perhaps mid-1990s NCNM faculty can now openly and safely speak to how that president came into position, what occurred during his tenure and how it was that he eventually left leaving the seat to one who, from the outside, seemed to be a highly effective leader in the field of education, Dr Clyde Jensen.
  164. Powell became president of JFKU in May of 2013. Two years ago. Why the short tenure?
  166. I cannot find his book on marriage and family therapy but because concerns have been brought forward I can only presume that those of us who are members of or allies to the LGBTQ community should have some concern. What do others know about his writings, teachings and practice on family therapy?
  168. In assessing the current president of BU it might also be of benefit to look at the composition of the board of trustees that made the final determination. It appears that only 2 women serve on the 12-member board of BU. It's a gender imbalance that we also often see in naturopathic and allopathic speaker line-ups at conferences. One of the board members retired from his previous profession for reasons that may, or may not, affect his ability to make decisions such as the one recently made at BU.
  170. Has NCNM, BU, SCNM or CCNM (free-standing naturopathic colleges as opposed to universities with departments of naturopathic medicine i.e. in CT and IL) had a female president in the last 20-30 years? If not, why not? What lies behind the inability to select women as leaders of our universities?
  172. Is the future of naturopathic medicine to be cultivated as the "BUSINESS of naturopathic medicine" (reflecting the composition of the current BU board of trustees, many of whom are likely invaluable assets to the operational end of an educational institution) or the "PRACTICE of naturopathic medicine" (thus calling for greater representation of NDs on the boards of trustees of our schools)? Balance is where optimal harmony emerges, yes?
  174. Workplace bullying…a colleague brought up today…THAT needs to be addressed IMMEDIATELY as it can destroy lives and careers.
  176. Thanks to all who are opening dialogue on this topic of administrative leadership, including those who are at higher risk for doing so.
  177. Keyena McKenzie, ND, LM, CPM
  178. Madison, WI
  181. Gabrielle Duebendorfer
  182. Message 13 of 13 , Sep 15
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  184. Christy I am so sorry to hear this news from you and commend you for sharing it with all of us. I had no idea what has been going on and it is good to hear from somebody on ground. As an alumni of Bastyr I am deeply concerned and will contact the board of trustees. Is there any other action we all could take? thanks for your openness and courage, Gabrielle
  186. Aspen WellSpring
  187. Dr. Gabrielle Duebendorfer, ND
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