Dr. Phelps

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – After an extensive search that included many national leaders in healthcare education, the A.T. Still University of Health Sciences (ATSU) Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Craig Phelps as the next President of ATSU. Clyde Evans, Ph.D., board chair, announced that Craig Phelps, D.O., FAOASM, will become ATSU president effective July 1; he will replace President Jack Magruder, who several months ago had announced his intention to retire.

Dr. Phelps, a 1984 graduate of ATSU’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM), became provost of the University’s Arizona campus in 1998, where he led the team that developed that campus and its three academic units: the Arizona School of Health Sciences, the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, and the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (joining KCOM and the School of Health Management on the Kirksville, Mo., campus). In 2010 Dr. Phelps became the University’s first executive vice president for strategic initiatives; he has been working with Dr. Magruder and key ATSU leaders to develop the Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health, as well as other programs.

“Dr. Phelps brings to the position of president a rich history of major contributions to the University, a vast knowledge of ATSU and its people, and a commitment to carry out the mission and vision of the University,” said Board Chair Evans. “We are confident that Dr. Phelps is the right choice for the highest leadership position at ATSU, and we look forward to working with him to continue the tradition of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still and to bring our university to even greater prominence.”

President Magruder said, “The Board has made an excellent choice. Dr. Phelps and I have worked perfectly together in the last four years, and we have accomplished much together. I look forward to the remaining months of my presidency to cooperate with Dr. Phelps in every way. It is my sincere hope and belief that we will welcome his presidency enthusiastically and we will continue the journey to becoming the preeminent healthcare university.”

In accepting the board’s offer, Dr. Phelps said, “I am honored and humbled to be selected by the board as ATSU’s next president. I will continue to work closely with President Magruder to ensure a smooth transition. With everyone’s help, we will bring ATSU to the next level and achieve the board’s vision of preeminence.”

On behalf of the board, Dr. Evans thanked President Magruder for his excellent service to ATSU: “Jack took over on very short notice at a very difficult time. He has brought the University together as one unit, achieved Higher Learning Commission accreditation, greatly improved our relationship with the Kirksville community, and led the effort to establish a wonderful strategic plan. We are all grateful for Dr. Magruder’s sterling leadership over the past few years, and he has set the standard high for President Phelps.”

In addition to his ATSU responsibilities, Dr. Phelps has a wide range of community and national service experience. He serves on the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine, the Society of NBA (National Basketball Association) Team Physicians, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, and the Greater Phoenix Leadership Council. In addition, he is the primary care team physician of the NBA Phoenix Suns and the WNBA Phoenix Mercury, as well as the company physician of Ballet Arizona and the team physician of several Phoenix-area colleges. He also serves on the board of directors of the Valley of the Sun YMCA and the Board of Managers of the Ross Farnsworth-East Valley YMCA. Dr. Phelps also practices medicine in Glendale, Ariz.

Dr. Phelps is a three-time member of Phoenix Magazine’s “Top Doc” list, most recently in 2011. He also recently was named the NBA’s Team Physician of the Year for 2011. He has won numerous other honors and awards in medicine and medical education.

After a brief vacation, Dr. Phelps will visit both ATSU campuses in the next several weeks and meet with students, faculty, and staff as he begins the transition. He also plans to meet with alumni groups, community members, and friends of the University.

“I am ready to hit the ground running,” said Dr. Phelps, “and look forward to working together with everyone at ATSU to realize the potential that we have to make a significant difference in the country and the world.”