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WesternU President Philip Pumerantz to retire Sept. 8

by Jeff Keating

April 3, 2015

Read 2 mins

Special Announcement

Please read the letter below, which President Pumerantz sent this morning to WesternU Board of Trustees Chair Richard Bond, DO.

Richard Bond, DO, DrPH

Chair Board of Trustees

Western University of Health Sciences

Dear Richard,

Recently I found myself reflecting on Chapter Three in Ecclesiastes, which opens "To everything there is a season and time to every purpose under the heaven." Perhaps it is natural to think of those words when I realize that this next September, Western University of Health Sciences will have existed for 38 years, including the time we spent organizing before the official opening of the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific.

I have many fond memories of the efforts of Drs. Ethan Allen and Don Dilworth and others to convince me to leave the American Osteopathic Association in Chicago and come west on an initiative that, to many people, was a fool’s errand: to start a school and restore osteopathic medical education in the state of California. That vision had many people shaking their heads. I’m indebted to my wife, Harriet, for her support when I suggested we take on this challenge. Together, we have devoted ourselves to COMP, and now Western University of Health Sciences, for 38 years.

Over this time span, the University has grown from 36 to nearly 4,000 students; from one college and degree program to nine colleges and 23 programs; and to an operating budget of $180 million, more than 1,000 employees, and campuses in California and Oregon. But most important, WesternU has produced more than 10,000 health professionals, and through them has touched the lives of countless individuals. As I contemplate this remarkable success, I also realize my season as President at WesternU is complete. The time has come for me to move to a new role, and in the process allow for an orderly transition and wise leadership succession for the University that Harriet and I have loved so tenderly over all these years.

Accordingly, please accept this letter as the formal announcement of my intention to retire from the presidency of Western University of Health Sciences, effective September 8, 2015.

As part of this decision, I request that the Board of Trustees officially form a search committee to assemble candidates capable of serving as the next president of WesternU. It is my hope that this committee will be composed not only of Board members, but of senior administrators, faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

I look forward to my role as President Emeritus, and to continuing to assist the next generation of leadership in taking Western University of Health Sciences to levels that I could never have imagined even a few short years ago.


Philip Pumerantz, PhD

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