Chapter 8, Part 3 – 1984 and 1985
1984 and 1985 were mostly quiet years. In 1984, the clinic utilization study authored by Drs. Nyiendo and Haldeman (and unceremoniously rejected by the International Congress of Manual Medicine) was accepted for presentation at the annual convention of the Lumbar Spine Society of North America in Montreal. It would the first time in the society’s history that a paper representing chiropractic was presented, but it would not be the last. Dr. Nyiendo may have been momentarily slowed by the disrespect of the ICMM, but she had not been stopped.
In fall 1984, the college invited Dr. Richard Stonebrink to return to the college on a full-time basis. He was already working for the college, offering his 300-hour diplomate course in orthopedics, through the postgraduate department. He had not taught in the DC program for 10 years and his chiropractic knowledge and experience was needed. He graciously accepted the invitation, a decision that would benefit the college and its students for the next 12 years.
Unexpectedly, the college ended 1984 “in the black.”
1985 opened with a proposal from President Vear to reorganize the campus facilities into a more effective configuration. The objective was to maximize space for instruction, administrative operations and faculty offices. The proposal was not without its drawbacks; the costs would be substantial and various projects would consume considerable personnel time. The plan focused on:
- construction of a new outpatient clinic on campus
- deconstruction of clinic services at the 102nd Avenue clinic
- razing of the “White House”
- moving the library from West Hall to Elliot Hall (now the W.A. Budden Library)
- creation of two lecture halls in the gymnasium, separated by a moveable, soundproof wall
- moving faculty and administration from Elliot Hall to the annex (now the administration building)
Some of the changes were done quickly and inexpensively. Over spring break, the faculty and administration moved into the annex and the library moved to Elliot Hall. Construction of the campus clinic would start in the spring or summer, depending on when the permitting process was completed and a building contractor identified. Construction would take close to a year, which meant clinic operations at the 102nd Avenue clinic could not be discontinued until that project was complete. Completion of some of the projects would not occur for years and in some cases, not at all. Razing of the “White House” would not occur until 2009, and the gymnasium was never retrofitted with a soundproof wall.
As necessary as physical changes were to the campus, changes to some of the college’s relationships were equally necessary. This was certainly the case with the alumni association. The relationship between the college and the association had been somewhat strained for years. The college saw the association as an extension of itself, but with limited authority. The college’s vision for them was to provide financial support to the institution, leaving governance of the institution to the board and administration. However, it saw itself as a “separate and distinct” body, accountable to no other than itself. The association envisioned itself in a greater participatory role, providing guidance to the college. Some members of the association’s board were vocally critical of several positions taken by the college and were not shy about making their displeasure known. The association felt an obligation to counter college positions and decisions with which it disagreed.
In spring 1985, the relationship between the college and the alumni association’s board began to unravel. The WSCC board of trustees notified the association, in writing, that it had to surrender $22,000 it had collected in the college’s name. The board recommended that a ceremony take place to mark the occasion of placing $22,000 into an endowment in the name of the Alumni Association. The Alumni Association politely refused the offer.
There was more behind the college’s move than just the fact that the alumni association had inappropriately used the college’s name to solicit donations. The association was also conducting continuing education seminars, an activity that put them in direct competition with the college’s postgraduate and continuing education department. However, it was not the solicitation of donations in the name of the college or the offering of continuing education seminars that most concerned the college.
The alumni association was also using the college’s tax identification number in conjunction with those activities. If that wasn’t problematic enough, the association had never filed a federal tax return on the revenue collected. Not only was this an unacceptable practice for a not-for-profit organization, it also jeopardized the tax-exempt status of the college. Rather than surrender to the college what it had collected in their name, the association decided to apply for its own not-for-profit status, using the college’s name. The association wished to remain autonomous and free to continue its revenue-generating activities. The college attempted to dissuade them from pursuing this approach, but to no avail. In response, the college respectfully notified the association there was no choice in this matter; they could not use the college’s name or tax identification number. Furthermore, they would not be allowed to solicit contributions, conduct seminars, or engage in any other activities to generate income for itself. The association was directed to turn over the $22,000 collected in the college’s name which would be placed in an endowment fund. The association chose to characterize the college’s position as nothing less than an attempt to “steal” its money.
In October 1985, the alumni association informed the WSCC Board of Trustees of its willingness to cooperate, but insisted it remain a “distinct entity.” This disagreement was the beginning of an unproductive dialogue between the college and the association; communication between the two would become even more contentious.
A notable achievement in 1985 was revision of the WSCC institutional mission policy, a document which had remained unchanged since 1978. Administration and faculty contemporized the document to make it consistent with current chiropractic practices. At its core, the document committed the college to producing “physicians” who “diagnose” and practice as “primary health care providers,” not limited to “spinal analysis.” The document committed the institution to the instruction and training of chiropractic as “a science” and recommitted it to retain “minor surgery” as a core curricular element. The document contained a “philosophy statement” establishing the “chiropractic domain” for WSCC. It was a very forward-looking document that definitively distinguished WSCC from other chiropractic programs.
In fall 1985, authorization to offer clinical services on the WSCC campus was granted by the county, removing the last barrier to construction of a campus outpatient clinic. By December, the board approved the procurement of a $1,400,000 loan for construction of the new campus clinic and other campus remodeling needs.
1985 would also be the year in which the college hired Dennis Hoyer, DC. Dr. Hoyer joined the faculty as a clinic director, but it would not be long before he was invited to join the clinical science faculty, to teach in the classroom. Prior to becoming a chiropractor, Dr. Hoyer worked in a medical lab as a licensed medical laboratory technologist. This made him ideally suited to teach the clinical lab and clinical pathology courses. Eventually, he would go on to teach the correlative and differential diagnosis course, the most challenging of the courses in diagnosis.
The same year, Dr. Karen Petzing joined the outpatient staff at the 102nd Street clinic as a clinic director. Dr. Petzing, a graduate from National College of Chiropractic, soon became the clinic’s resident expert on women’s health. Through her urging, the college expanded clinic services to female patients and significantly improved the quality of care provided to this patient population.