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President’s Perspective – August 2017

President's Perpsective graphic

Countdown to October 2017

October will be a special time for A.T. Still University as we officially celebrate our 125th anniversary with events on both campuses and virtually. We hope you are able to celebrate with us in person, via our community projects, or by visiting with us at conventions, continuing education courses, and online.

During 2017-2018, each school/college will be involved in special 125th anniversary community service projects. To see what we are up to, please continue watching your email and iConnect for updates. I know you will be proud of the many activities positively impacting our communities.

Three focus areas for 2017-2018 academic year

1. Higher Learning Commission accreditation visit preparation

In fall 2018, ATSU will undergo an accreditation visit by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Preparing for and completing an accreditation visit allows ATSU an opportunity to demonstrate its mission accomplishments, successful student outcomes, and meaningful cooperation among schools, colleges, and programs. Accreditation visitors also view how the University functions in areas including governance, finance, campus climate, and coordination of services and resources.

The HLC Steering Committee continues preparing for ATSU’s accreditation visit. Each ATSU family member will be invited to participate in activities leading up to the fall 2018 visit.

Thank you, HLC Steering Committee members:

2. Opportunities to lead the way in wellness and prevention through ATSU’s healthcare delivery centers

More than 101,960 patient visits occurred at ATSU-related centers in 2016-2017. What an unprecedented opportunity we have to promote health, wellness, whole person healthcare, and our University’s mission with patients, their families, and friends!

Our deans will be working together to develop ideas, promotions, outcomes, and plans to continue improving the health of patients who entrust their care to ATSU faculty, staff, and students.

3. Information technology

Daily, information technology plays a greater role in each of our lives and at ATSU. This year, John Heard, PhD, vice president, research, grants, and information systems, will work with stakeholders to develop a five-year strategic plan to continue building upon our strong technological foundation. Faculty, staff, students, and external stakeholders will be asked to contribute through surveys, as well as virtual and on-campus forums.

Summer 2017 Commencements and White Coat Ceremonies

Over the last few months, ATSU celebrated more than 1,000 graduates during commencement ceremonies. We are proud of our graduates’ accomplishments and wish them success as they enter the next phase of their professional lives.

We also continue welcoming new students to ATSU. Our White Coat Ceremonies have been inspiring events, and we are looking forward to the ATSU-ASHS Audiology ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 9.


Graduates showing their diplomas


Saturday, May 20
Kirksville, Missouri
173 graduates
Commencement speaker: Adrienne White-Faines, MPA, CEO, American Osteopathic Association

Student preparing to attend graduation ceremonies


Friday, May 26
Mesa, Arizona
103 graduates
Commencement speaker: Sister Adele O’Sullivan, MD, family medicine physician for the homeless

ASDOH graduates


Friday, May 26
Mesa, Arizona
74 graduates
Commencement speaker: Rick Rader, MD, FAAIDD, director, Morton J. Kent Habilitation Center

ATSU-CGHS graduate receiving hoods


Friday, May 26
Mesa, Arizona
275 graduates
Commencement speaker: Will Humble, MPH, executive director, Arizona Public Health Association

Graduates read over program


Saturday, June 10
St. Louis, Missouri
42 graduates
Commencement speaker: Honorable Jeremiah W. “Jay” Nixon, JD, former Missouri governor

Graduates being congratulated by friends and family


Friday, Aug. 4
Mesa, Arizona
428 graduates
Commencement speaker: Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, OCS, president, American Physical Therapy Association

White Coat Ceremonies

White coat ceremony


PA white coats

ATSU-ASHS Physician Assistant Studies

ATSU-SOMA, ATSU-ASDOH, ATSU-ASHS Physical Therapy, and ATSU-ASHS Physician Assistant Studies
Friday, July 14
Mesa, Arizona
ATSU-SOMA: 108 students
ATSU-ASDOH: 76 students
ATSU-ASHS Physical Therapy: 60 students
ATSU-ASHS Physician Assistant Studies: 70 students

Dr. Wilson congratulates students


MOSDOH students attending white coat ceremony


Saturday, July 15
Kirksville, Missouri
ATSU-KCOM: 172 students
ATSU-MOSDOH: 42 students

ATSU-ASHS Audiology
Coming Saturday, Sept. 9
Mesa, Arizona

Dates to remember

Kirksville Community Thank You Dinner
Honoring ATSU’s 125th, Truman State University’s 150th, and Kirksville’s 175th anniversaries
Friday, Sept. 8, 2017
5:30-8:00 p.m.
Truman State University campus
RSVP by Aug. 30

Coffee with the President
Coming in September
Missouri campus

President’s Open Forum
Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017
Missouri campus

Founder’s Day – Missouri campus
Wednesday, Oct. 18, through Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017

Founder’s Day and community celebration – Arizona campus
Friday, Oct. 27, 2017

Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Symposium
Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017
ATSU Missouri campus (livestream available for all ATSU)

SparkTank – Missouri campus
Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017
Pre-proposals due Oct. 22, 2017

SparkTank – Arizona campus
Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018
Pre-proposals due Jan. 28, 2018

Faculty and staff updates (as of July 31, 2017)

Congratulations on recent promotions
Please view the complete list of employee promotions (pdf).

Accomplishment kudos
Please view the complete list of accomplishment kudos (pdf).

Well wishes to faculty and staff celebrating anniversary milestones
Please view the complete list of employee anniversaries (pdf).

Ideas or concerns?

Do you have a great idea for ATSU’s next 125 years? Please send it to the ATSU Idea Box at

How does the Idea Box work? Emails sent to the ATSU Idea Box go to Dr. Phelps and are only shared with the sender’s permission.

See something you are worried about? Please contact the anonymous Fraud Hotline to report situations or behavior compromising the University’s integrity. The hotline is available 24/7 at 1.855.FRAUD.HL (1.855.372.8345) or

In closing

We are fortunate to have outstanding faculty, staff, students, alumni, and external stakeholders working diligently to accomplish ATSU’s mission. As we look back on 125 years of ATSU and osteopathic medical education, we thank you and hope you will celebrate with us on campus, online, while attending events, or through your own personal way.

Yours in service,


Craig M. Phelps, DO, ’84


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