Palmer University Board Clarifies Recent Action

DAVENPORT, IOWA -- The Board of Trustees of the Palmer Chiropractic University System today released additional information to clarify their recent actions and reinforce their commitment to the institution they serve. The board outlined the resolutions passed at its January meeting to reassert the board's oversight role of Palmer Chiropractic University System, including: 1. Election of two board members to fill vacant officer positions. Elected were Dr. Trevor Ireland, D.C., as vice chair, and Mr. William Wilke, as secretary. 2. A revised board committee structure to provide the focus on critical topics. The committees now include Executive Committee, External Relations, Curriculum and Clinic, Finance and Operations, Strategic Organizational Development, and Trustee Development. 3. Employment of Mr. Larry Patten, on a temporary basis, to ensure that the board has complete, accurate and timely information to make informed and appropriate decisions related to University affairs. 4. Board approval of all hiring and salary increases across the University System until it is clear that policies and procedures are being followed. 5. A special audit of University System operations conducted by McGladrey & Pullen. "Former Chancellor Dr. Guy Riekeman opposed all of these resolutions except the audit and provided the board with the ultimatum that, if the Resolutions were not removed, he would resign," said board chair Vickie Palmer. "Yet, the first two resolutions -- election of officers and restructuring committees -- are board responsibilities concurrent with good governance, not the domain of an administrator. And the third and fourth resolutions were enacted to ensure administration of the University System was following University policy and administrative guidelines. The board is also concerned about the decline in enrollment." While a number of people have expressed concerns, the board says it is pleased by the support expressed by faculty, staff, alumni and many students. "Seeing these resolutions, it is clear that they are in the best interest of Palmer Chiropractic," said Michael Crawford, the Chancellor who preceded Dr. Riekeman. "I could have lived with the resolutions. Obviously, if that would have happened during my tenure, it would have signaled that I needed to take the initiative to communicate more effectively with the board and make sure that I was carrying out the requirements of my administrative position." The board also countered charges by Dr. Riekeman that he did not have direct access to the board chair and other members. "The board functioned for too long in an information vacuum," said board member Dr. Frank Bemis, D.C. "Hiring Larry Patten on a temporary basis to collect information has been an important step in regaining the board's oversight role of the University System. Mr. Patten facilitated the flow of information between the board and the Chancellor so that it could make more effective decisions. It is also important to note that the alumni, based on what we know today of the University's operations, were mistaken in our assessment of Mr. Patten's past performance as Palmer's Chief Operating Officer. I am confident that Mr. Patten's temporary fact-gathering assistance will speed the transition to better things within the Palmer Chiropractic University System." The board also clarified the terms of Dr. Riekeman's resignation. "He issued an ultimatum," said Dr. Bemis. "And the board could not subvert its oversight role, especially the stewardship of students' tuition dollars. The board had no choice but to accept Dr. Riekeman's resignation, and there will be no negotiation with the former Chancellor. We are moving forward with the business of delivering education based on the Palmer Chiropractic Tenets and Principles." Finally, the board announced that vice president of finance and operations William Jarr and vice president of planning Kevin McCarthy have been released. McGladrey and Pullen continues to conduct an audit of the University System, including Palmer Chiropractic College in Davenport, Iowa. "The Chancellor was not following University policies and was not communicating with the board," said Palmer. "This audit is ongoing and we may release material results as warranted." ABOUT PALMER CHIROPRACTIC UNIVERSITY SYSTEM The 109-year history of chiropractic education began at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, IA. Started by the profession's founder, Daniel David (D.D.) Palmer, Palmer is chiropractic's college. The science, art and philosophy of chiropractic evolved from D.D., and the institution has sent more than 40,000 alumni out to practice throughout the world. Palmer Chiropractic University System was created in February 1991, bringing Palmer College of Chiropractic and Palmer College of Chiropractic West, established in 1980, in San Jose, Calif., together under the same Board of Trustees. Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida at Port Orange, Fla. was added in 2002. Total current enrollment is approximately 2,400 at all three campuses; total full and part-time employment is 553.

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