Philip Pumerantz, PhD, the founding and sole president of Western University of Health Sciences, will retire Sept. 8. Dr. Pumerantz made the announcement April 3 in a letter to WesternU Board of Trustees Chair Richard Bond, DO.
“The time has come for me to move to a new role, and in the process allow for an orderly transition and wise leadership succession for the University,” Pumerantz wrote in his letter.
Pumerantz is the second-longest currently serving university president in the United States, having officially taken office on September 6, 1977, the day after Labor Day. His tenure as a university president is currently exceeded only by Dr. Norman Francis of Xavier University (45 years), the university noted.
Pumerantz’s retirement date also is the day after Labor Day.
“Having known the president for 37 years of his 38-year term, it is hard for me to imagine the University going on without him, as I’m sure it is for all of you,” Bond told WesternU board members in a message. “But go on it must. We will have many opportunities to celebrate Dr. Pumerantz’s legacy. Our first order of business must be to establish a committee and a process for selecting our next president.”
Pumerantz requested that the Board of Trustees form a search committee to assemble candidates capable of serving as the next president of WesternU.
“It is my hope that this committee will be composed not only of Board members, but of senior administrators, faculty, staff, students and alumni,” he wrote. “I look forward to my role as President Emeritus, and to continuing to assist the next generation of leadership in taking Western University of Health Sciences to levels that I could never have imagined even a few short years ago.”
Western University is home to Southern California’s first and only College of Veterinary Medicine.