Harlan Patterson has been appointed to be Bastyr University’s president. Patterson stepped into the office as interim president last July after serving on the university’s board of trustees for almost six years.
Prior to his role as interim president, Patterson served in multiple executive capacities with the University of Washington, including chief financial officer for the UW school of medicine and the vice provost for planning and budgetting. He holds an MBA from the University of Washington and a BA in Business from Montana State University.
“I’ve been involved in higher education for over 25 years with the University of Wasington’s school of medicine and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center,” he said. “During that time, I became introduced into homeopathic and natropathic medicine and that has become the standard primary care focus for our family’s health care. I’ve had the oppotunity to watch the evolution of primary care in allopathic schools as well as the natural sciences schools and I’ve always felt that the approach that the natural sciences have is superior in helping to address human health.”
Patterson said his background has prepared him well for this position. He has a good understanding of how programs develop, how they’re resourced and how the engagement of faculty, students and administration works to bring a program forward.
“The role as a president is really [about] thinking stragetically and holistically where is the institution going and how do we bring together resources to help achieve the objectives of the university,” he said.
One of Patterson’s goals for the university is developing an academic master plan and conducting a review of the university’s clinical education. The master plan is expected to be completed this fall of the clinical-based programs.
“[The master plan] is really asking the question of what programs do we want to have in the future, what size and focus should those programs be, and what we should be adding,” he said.
As a long-term goal, Patterson is looking forward to the future of Bastyr and the integration natropathic and allopathic medicine in health care.
“This is a really fruitful period of time to really help spread the kind of medicine and approach that we have to a much bigger scale within the overall integrated medicine world where there [won’t be] this kind of divide between alternative medicine and the regular medicine … that it will be seen as a gathering together of a variety of medicine aproach and philosphy that work well together than in competition,” he said.
Patterson said he is deeply appreciative of the community’s support.
“The general level of support that we have for Bastyr that we have from the community is really stellar,” he said.