Chapter 7, Part 6 – New Faces

New Faces

In early October 1979, Fred Colley, Ph.D. joined the basic science faculty to teach microbiology and public health. Dr. Colley had spent time abroad working in his area of interest, traveling extensively through Thailand, India, Nepal, Malaysia and Indonesia. From photographs taken during his travels, he had created a formidable slide presentation of tropical diseases and disorders. As “gross” in appearance as the slides may have been, they were no less intriguing and students always looked forward to being entertained by his lectures. Dr. Colley retired in June 2005 after 26 years of dedication to excellence in chiropractic education.

Only days after Dr. Colley joined the faculty, he was followed by Ravid Raphael, D.C. Dr. Raphael worked in the 102nd Street outpatient clinic as a clinic director, overseeing patient care and mentoring student interns. Dr. Raphael was an excellent clinician, best known for his acute diagnostic skill. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t clinically deduce from a good history and a thorough patient examination. However, Dr. Raphael was a teacher and his passion was mentoring interns, honing their skills as diagnosticians and molding them into eminently qualified physicians. Dr. Raphael retired in 2009 after 30 years of teaching.

Dr. Lee McCaffrey joined the clinic faculty as a clinic director during this same period, sharing patient care and student mentoring responsibilities with Dr. Raphael. Dr. McCaffrey eventually transferred from the clinic to the campus to teach a variety of courses in the chiropractic sciences division. His passion was teaching chiropractic history and philosophy, but his adjusting skills were remarkable. Despite a full-time commitment to the college, he maintained a part-time private practice close to the college. His loyal patients insisted he continue the relief his skillful hands provided them.

March 1979 Commencement Exercise Program
June 1979 Commencement Exercise Program
December 1979 Commencement Exercise Program

From the moment the CCE decided to deny WSCC reaffirmation of accreditation, the two parties disagreed on the interpretation of how the appeal process was to be conducted, the scheduling of the appeal and how eligible candidates would be selected for the appeal panel. However, there was another area of disagreement that overshadowed the appeal process altogether. The college and the CCE differed profoundly on whether or not the college’s recognized candidate status should have been extended at the January meeting when the college was denied reaffirmation of accreditation. The CCE’s position was that the college had not achieved full accreditation in the four years allowed. The clock had expired; therefore, the college had no accreditation status. The college had come to the exact opposite conclusion based on its inspection of the CCE Standards. The college contended that the standards were silent on the issue of time allowed to achieve accreditation. The standards said: once a college is given recognized candidate status, it has four years to apply for full accreditation.

The CCE interpreted that statement to mean a college has four years to achieve full accreditation. The college interpreted the statement to mean exactly what it said: a college has four years to submit an application for full accreditation. In fact, the standards were silent on the issue of how much time a recognized candidate had to achieve accreditation after an application was submitted. A decision on this issue was crucial to the college retaining its recognized candidate status.

The 1970s were an incredible period of change for WSCC, during which much had been resolved and much was left unresolved. As the decade drew to a close, the college’s future remained in doubt. At the close of 1979, a date for the appeal had not yet been determined, nor had members of an appeal panel been selected. While the college developed a strategy for the appeal, it simultaneously developed contingency plans to close the college in the event it was unsuccessful. Making certain every possible contingency was considered, the college prepared an application for initial accreditation and a new self-study, in case the appeal failed.

The U.S. Department of Education was closely watching the proceedings of the CCE as it moved through the appeal process. Denying reaffirmation of accreditation is the most serious adverse action an accrediting agency can make and the USDOE did not want any impropriety or missteps. It was clear to the college that the appeal process would produce only one of two possible outcomes. The college would either be granted accreditation or it would be denied accreditation. The latter would signal the demise of the second oldest chiropractic college. Unless Dr. Vear could prevail in his argument that WSCC should retain its recognized candidate status, the outcome would be decided through the appeal process, a dangerous all-or-nothing proposition.