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In sympathy – James J. McGovern, PhD, former ATSU president, passes

James McGovern, PhD, 10th president of A.T. Still University

It is with sadness I share with you the passing of James McGovern, PhD, 10th president of A.T. Still University. Dr. McGovern served as ATSU’s president from 1997-2008. 

A New York native, Dr. McGovern earned a bachelor’s degree from Iona College and a master’s degree from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, both in New York. He earned his doctorate degree from the Department of Administrative and Organizational Studies, New York University.

Dr. McGovern, a physics professor, served in many administrative positions, including Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio; Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia; the Illinois and Connecticut Boards of Higher Education; and the State University of New York. He was director of health finance for the state of Illinois and director of the Issues Analysis Institute, part of the State University of New York.

In 1997, Dr. McGovern was appointed president of Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine and, in 2001, oversaw the transition to a university structure and the new name A.T. Still University of Health Sciences. During his tenure, he also led the addition of three additional graduate schools: School of Health Management in 1999 (now College of Graduate Health Studies), Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health in 2003, and School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona in 2006.

In 2003, he co-authored “Your Healer Within: A Unified Field Theory for Healthcare,” with his wife, Rene McGovern, PhD, a former ATSU professor of neurobehavioral sciences.

On behalf of the entire ATSU family, we offer our deepest condolences to Dr. McGovern’s family, friends, and colleagues during this difficult time.

Yours in service,

Craig M. Phelps, DO, ’84


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