FROM: Guy F. Riekeman, D.C., President

As you have heard by now, Life University has lost its accredited status with CCE. The Palmer Chiropractic University System is saddened by this news. We are especially aware of and sympathize with the disruption this will cause in the lives of Life University’s students, faculty, staff and administrators.

Since the basis for the decision of the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Chiropractic Education (COA/CCE) to revoke Life University’s accreditation is confidential, Palmer has no comment on the specifics of Life’s situation. Nonetheless Palmer believes that Life University has been an important influence in Chiropractic and a critical ally with Palmer on many issues that face the profession. While we don’t agree on every issue, we feel that Life University’s continued survival is of importance to the profession.

I have spoken with Dr. Williams, who is a friend, to express our concern and offer our support. Life University’s Board of Trustees, however, has several options for how to proceed and we must necessarily wait for their direction to know how we might be able to help. They may decide to appeal the COA’s decision, a process that would take 90 to 120 days. During that time, Life University would maintain its accredited status with the CCE and the students in its chiropractic program may still be considered to be in accredited classes. It is this uncertainly that is unsettling to students and faculty. If the appeal fails, Life University may opt to go to court to seek an injunction against the CCE’s disaccreditation decision. Since no one can predict what the outcome of such an appeal or a lawsuit might be, we don’t know what support, if any, we might be able to provide.

Regardless of our support for Life University in this time of challenge, it now appears that hundreds of Life students are actively pursuing transfers to other chiropractic programs. In fact, some colleges actually sent representatives to Marietta within days encouraging students to leave. Contrary to circulated reports, Palmer intentionally chose NOT to do that. We are, of course, responding to those students who express an interest in transferring to one of the Palmer colleges. It is fitting that we should. We will even encourage those students who are already intent on transferring out of Life University’s chiropractic program to consider the Palmer Chiropractic University System. Our doing so supports those Chiropractic values and perspectives we share with Life University.

Of course, we will apply the same rigorous admissions criteria and high academic standards we hold throughout the University System in considering any transfer applications. We are analyzing our capacity to accept transfers, laying down the plans to accommodate any students with a minimum of academic disruption and financial duress. We have not changed our strategic plans. In Florida, for example, we will not alter or disrupt our program start-up timetable just to accommodate transfers. But at all of our three campuses, for students who want to transfer from Life, we will do our best to help them finish their chiropractic education within their current timetables for graduation. We will assist them financially, as professionally appropriate, to keep their student loan debt to a minimum.

You will hear a lot of rumors flying around. Please react cautiously, with tolerance, and give people and organizations the benefit of the doubt. We will keep you informed as issues progress.

From The Fountainhead,
Guy F. Riekeman, D.C., President @ 4:12 pm | Article ID: 1024096360