Chapter 4, Part 1 – Milton I. Higgens
The passing of Dr. Alfred Budden left the college without a leader. Fortunately, the Health Research Foundation had Dr. Milton I. Higgens at the helm.
Milton I. Higgens
Responsibility for running the college fell to Dr. Higgens. Without hesitation, Dr. Higgens took on the responsibility of overseeing the college, making command decisions with the confidence of a seasoned leader.
Dr. Higgens was not without leadership experience. He had served many years as Idaho’s representative to the National Chiropractic Association and continued to serve in that capacity well after he inherited oversight of WSC. Dr. Higgens shared many of the same ideals, values and principles held by Dr. Budden. He was an idealist, a skilled politician and a person of unequaled generosity. Dr. Higgens ruled with authority, and his decisions delivered convincingly, with conviction and without ambiguity. He understood that to lead effectively the HRF would have to be the final authority; decision-making would be the purview of the WSC Board of Trustees.
The most immediate of a number of challenges facing Dr. Higgens was the need to find someone to conduct the daily affairs of the college. Dr. Higgens lived and practiced in Couer d’Alene, Idaho, making it impractical, if not impossible, to oversee the operational details in any meaningful way. Dr. Higgens and the other trustees of the HRF recruited Ralph M. Failor, DC, ND, to serve in that capacity. A contract was drafted and signed on Dec. 15, 1954. Dr. Failor seemed a perfect choice, having experience in business administration and a background in postgraduate education. Also, Dr. Failor was both a chiropractor and naturopath, which made him doubly suited to represent both degree programs at WSC.