Chapter 7, Part 1 – 1977

The college enjoyed good news from 1976 through 1978:

  • The college submitted a development site plan and impact study, including a traffic mitigation plan, to the Multnomah County planning commission. The commission was satisfied with the college’s submission and signed a permanent land use permit providing for 550 students on the campus.
  • In March 1976, the college received official recognition from the Washington Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Finally, this would allow WSCC graduates to sit for licensure in that jurisdiction… or so the college thought. Washington State approves WSCC grads for licensure.
  • WSCC received a number of financial awards and grants. Four separate grants totaling $26,000 came from the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research (FCER). Federal Financial Aid Awards to students increased to $1,800 per student per year. Anabolic, a vitamin and supplement company, awarded two $2,500 grants. The Rockwell Foundation awarded $2,500 to upgrade the WSCC library.
  • In late June 1976, Robert (Bob) Boal, Ph.D., joined the basic science faculty. Dr. Boal, a graduate from Willamette University in Salem, had gone on to obtain a doctoral degree in biochemistry from Boston University. He would go on to become the stabilizing element around which the college built its basic science program. Like so many of his colleagues that would join him in the basic science department, Dr. Boal was a teacher, dedicated to the art of pedagogy. Dr. Boal was recognized by students for his mastery of the subject matter and his quick-witted lecture style.
  • Timmins,-Fay,-SchmidtDr. Richard Timmins, former Executive Secretary of the CCE, was appointed president of WSCC on July 1, 1976. Former Interim President Warren was made president emeritus shortly after.
  • The new campus was re-appraised for $1.5 million.
  • 47 freshmen enrolled in spring term 1976. The college projected 150 freshmen for the summer term and 120 freshmen for the fall term. Total enrollment for 1976 reached 315. Although it was too early to project precise numbers, the college was taking the necessary steps to accommodate a campus community of 431 students for fall 1977.
  • The class action lawsuit against Continental Securities Corporation was settled in favor of the college and its supporters; all of the money was returned. Some of the recipients chose to contribute their portion of the settlement ($12,800) directly to the college.
  • During 1976-1978, the college attracted a number of able administrators and faculty. Robert Tolar, DC, was hired to oversee administrative operations and Herbert Vear, DC, was hired as the academic dean. Mr. Jack Van Horn was brought on to administer college business affairs. Dr. Michael Carnes joined the basic science faculty in February 1977 to teach anatomy. He went to enroll in the chiropractic program and receive his DC degree, while still maintaining his teaching duties. Dr. Carnes moved to the clinical science division where he taught two of the four courses in neuromusculoskeletal diagnosis and treatment. Each contributed substantially to the progress and stability of the college.
  • In late 1977, the college started a radiology residency program.
  • At its December 1977 meeting, the Board of Trustees entertained a request from Dr. Tolar to consider a mission statement focused on teaching, education and public service. Some members of the board wanted to focus on defining chiropractic philosophy to include innate intelligence and universal intelligence. WSCC struggle to establish identity continues.
  • In February 1978, Western States Chiropractic College became the first professional school admitted to the Association of American Colleges.
  • In early 1978, the board renamed the college’s library: the W. A. Budden Library. At the dedication ceremony, they recognized Dr. Mel Higgens by conferring to him an honorary doctor of sciences degree.
  • In August 1978, to appease a CCE concern, incorporation documents were filed with the Corporation Division of the State of Oregon to change the name of governing body, Western States College Foundation, to “Western States Chiropractic College.”
  • With the fall 1978 entering class, total student enrollment rose to 505 and a local bank extended the college a $100,000 line of credit. Times were good.

The WSCC Reporter, official newsletter January 1976
The WSCC Reporter, official newsletter Summer 1976
The WSCC Reporter, official newsletter November/December 1976
May 1976 Commencement Exercise Program
December 1976 Commencement Exercise Program

For all the good news experienced by the college during this period, it continued to struggle with its accreditation status.

In April 1977, the Council on Chiropractic Education notified the college that “…Western States Chiropractic College was granted Recognized Candidate for Accreditation Status.” The new designation did not move the college any further up the accreditation ladder. Actually, it was nothing more than the elimination of one designation, correspondent status, with the replacement of another, recognized candidate for accreditation status. It was a setback. Along with the designation came specific time limits by which a recognized candidate had to achieve progress towards full accreditation. The college now had an “expiration date” on its efforts to obtain full accreditation.

Accreditation would not be the only pressing issue. In April 1977, immediately after CCE notified the college of its recognized candidate accreditation status, the Washington Board of Chiropractic Examiners informed WSCC its graduates would not be allowed to sit for licensure examination in that state. It had been only one year, almost to the day, since the college had been put back on the approved list of chiropractic colleges from which graduates could sit for licensure in Washington. Now, the college was taken off the approved list again.

The Washington board interpreted recognized candidate accreditation status to mean that it was inferior and felt that graduates from institutions holding that designation were not sufficiently educated or prepared to be licensed in its jurisdiction. Despite the explanation given by the Washington board, The college viewed the decision of the WBCE as an attempt to inject more chiropractic philosophy into the curriculum. Another round of demands and responses were exchanged between the two parties, but nothing was resolved. Following months of fruitless discussions with the WBCE, the college finally made a formal appeal to the CCE for help.

The college asked the CCE to inform the Washington board that “Recognized Candidate Status” was not a pejorative, nor did it connote deficiency or inferiority. The CCE complied with the college’s appeal by sending a letter to the Washington board. Five months later, the Washington Board of Chiropractic Examiners once again approved WSCC graduates for licensure examination in its jurisdiction. Washington was not the only state to insist on its own accreditation approval process of chiropractic colleges.

Early in 1977, the State Chiropractic Examining Board of Ohio notified the college that it was sending its own accreditation site team to WSCC for an inspection. At some point, the Ohio board must have reconsidered that decision because it abandoned the planned visit and simply accepted graduates for licensure in its jurisdiction.

The New Jersey Chiropractic board was equally concerned about the ambiguous accreditation status of WSCC. In November 1977, the New Jersey board sent an accreditation team to inspect the college. The following January, the college was notified by the New Jersey board that graduates would be allowed to sit for its licensing examinations.

The WSCC Reporter, official newsletter Spring 1977
The WSCC Reporter, official newsletter Fall 1977
The WSCC Reporter, official newsletter November/December 1977
March 1977 Commencement Exercise Program
June 1977 Commencement Exercise Program
September 1977 Commencement Exercise Program

[A historical footnote: In 1977, the college discovered that its employee health insurance policy contained a provision for chiropractic treatment, but only in cases where the patient had a “fractured spine.” A few hours after this discovery, the college found a new health insurance provider.]