ATSU names new president

Dr. Craig Phelps

After months of searching all across the nation for the perfect candidate, A.T. Still University is excited to announce theyâ??ve found a replacement for outgoing President Dr. Jack Magruder.

Dr. Craig Phelps of Arizona will become ATSUâ??s new president effective July 01, 2012.

Dr. Phelps is no stranger to Kirksville or ATSU. He graduated from ATSUâ??s Kirksville College of Osteopathic (KCOM) in 1984, and became provost of the Universityâ??s Arizona campus in 1998.

The university says Dr. Phelps is the best candidate for the position, and he has the resume to prove it.

â??He has the qualities that make him an excellent president. He has the leadership skills, as evidence by his long term provost of the Arizona campus,â?? said Vice President for Communication and Special Assistant to the President, Heinz Woehlk, Ph.D. â??He has the academic background; he's a D.O., graduated from KCOM here in Kirksville. He also helped establish the Arizona campus along with other people under his leadership, which is highly successful now including medical, dental and the health sciences school.â??

Once he becomes president, the university says he will follow in the foot steps of Dr. Magruder and continue with the strategic plan the university has developed over the last 18 months.

â??Dr. Phelps is very familiar with the strategic plan the university has developed over the last 18 months and approved by the board of trustees, and I know that he will carry out the mission of the university, the vision of the board and work closely in a collaborative manner with everybody to move the university toward permanence in house science education,â?? said Woehlk. â??That's where we want to go, and I think he's going to be an excellent president leading us in that direction.â??

The university says both Dr. Magruder and Dr. Phelps plan to work together in the coming months to make sure itâ??s a smooth transition not only for Phelps, but for the university and the community as well.

â??Dr. Magruder and the board have developed the university's strategic plan and that's the blue print that Dr. Magruder has worked with and that Dr. Phelps will work with,â?? said Woehlk. â??So I don't anticipate that there will be any big changes. I'm sure Dr. Phelps will continue on the path that Dr. Magruder has set up.

When asked if the community should be concerned with the possibility that Dr. Phelps would move his office to Arizona, the university said no.

â??Dr. Phelps has indicated that he will establish a residency here in Kirksville,â?? said Woehlk. â??He does have Kirksville roots having gone to school here at KCOM and having lived in the community and volunteered in the community when he was a student. He was also a professor at KCOM. Heâ??s not originally from Arizona; heâ??s originally from northern New England and went to undergraduate school in California then eventually moved out to Arizona where he helped establish that campus. But, I know for sure he will be here on campus and will be very active in the Kirksville community.