Bastyr University "mac powell" Reviews | Glassdoor

Bastyr University Employee Reviews about "mac powell"

Show All Reviews >

Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Dr. Mac Powell Resigned, But Left Much to Build On"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Bastyr University full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Bastyr has a real community feeling. It’s people oriented and collegial. Most employees really do care about each other. If something happens to an employee, other employees chip in and help out. There’s a good work-life balance here. The level of stress is not high, at least for most people, as it is in other environments such as the corporate world, which I’ve experienced. We have non-salary-based benefits such as a wellness program (e.g., free visits to the clinic). The Bastyr campus is gorgeous, and the cafeteria has great food.

    As a manager, I find there’s a lot of independence in working. There’s trust and expectation of trust. We’re not micro-managed. There’s a lot of collaboration. People like to form committees, teams, which is good but also can have the downside of taking a long time to get things done.

    There is a sense of pride and purpose in being a world-leading university specializing in natural health care. I felt this sense of pride and purpose when Dr. Mac Powell was hired as president in July 2015 and provided vigorous leadership to develop and fulfill a plan with measurable goals to make Bastyr better positioned for the future. In just a couple of years, real progress was made in fundraising, improving the financial situation, in external partnerships, investment in technology and systems; and developing a new alumni career program.

    During his time at Bastyr, I worked directly with Dr. Powell on numerous projects, and got a better understanding of his management style. I think it’s great that he had an open-door policy and routinely made check-ins on projects. During one-on-ones, I could update him how projects were going and where the bottlenecks were. He’d work with me to find solutions and he’s good at giving direction on where to go next. Yes, Dr. Powell will tell you his thoughts, ideas and opinions in a straightforward way. He is direct and maintains a high level of accountability, which some people may not like, but I don’t take things he says as personal criticism. I speak only for my working relationship with Dr. Powell and understand that it maybe not be the same for everyone.

    Cons

    I feel there is a contingent of frightened staff and faculty who have been here for many years and are hesitant to change. They seem to lack awareness or are insecure about their own abilities to do their work on the projects they’ve been assigned to. Unfortunately, the insecurity and low morale has created a breeding ground for rumors and misinformation. I’d like to provide some of my observations here to the benefit of Bastyr and leadership of past and present.

    Many of the issues these employees complain about in the reviews on this site pre-date the hiring of Dr. Mac Powell as president. In fact, some folks still complain about presidents two-terms past or more! The reality is some people don’t realize the frailty of the university budget and how within two years Dr. Powell and his development team raised funds for the school to levels it had never seen before. The finance team also exercised strong fiduciary discipline in making sure the budget remained balanced and robust despite the nation-wide downward pressures in enrollment. It’s important to commend the efforts of the admissions and marketing team in reaching their goals despite a challenging political landscape in higher education.

    I noticed that turnover is a hot topic in some of the reviews. Over the past two years I’ve seen a lot of folks retiring or moving on to opportunities for professional growth. In some cases, I’ve also seen people transferred to new positions within Bastyr, perhaps more suitable to their skills and background – which says a lot about management here wanting to help people succeed. The attrition I see at Bastyr appears to be normal based on my past experience at other places, and especially with the generational shift and competitive economy we are now experiencing.

    Advice to Management

    While the nature of Dr. Mac Powell resignation was unfortunate – because I think he was a strong leader – I’m encouraged that our interim president, Harlan Patterson, and his executive team, are doing a great job in keeping Bastyr moving forward on the right path, until a permanent new president is hired. I think the community is receptive of his townhouses and weekly updates to the community. He’s working hard to push the university forward and reminding people not to be bogged down in the past. Despite the setback on a couple of initiatives over the past couple of years, I am optimistic of the transition team going forward and some of the new projects happening.

    Bastyr should invest more in training. There’s a lack of skill here, which is probably responsible for some people being so worried and threatened about change. We especially need training in technology skills. Many staff have been here for over 10 years and a lot of technology has changed since they started.

    The other advice is to prepare for succession planning; and support and encourage a transition for a newer generation of workforce. If you look at IT, marketing, finance, HR, and the research department, you can see a full turnaround and modernization of processes taking place. Bastyr will benefit from attracting a newer and younger workforce with ideas closer and more relatable to the age of our incoming students.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Dr. Mac Powell Resigned, But Left Much to Build On"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Bastyr University full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Bastyr has a real community feeling. It’s people oriented and collegial. Most employees really do care about each other. If something happens to an employee, other employees chip in and help out. There’s a good work-life balance here. The level of stress is not high, at least for most people, as it is in other environments such as the corporate world, which I’ve experienced. We have non-salary-based benefits such as a wellness program (e.g., free visits to the clinic). The Bastyr campus is gorgeous, and the cafeteria has great food.

    As a manager, I find there’s a lot of independence in working. There’s trust and expectation of trust. We’re not micro-managed. There’s a lot of collaboration. People like to form committees, teams, which is good but also can have the downside of taking a long time to get things done.

    There is a sense of pride and purpose in being a world-leading university specializing in natural health care. I felt this sense of pride and purpose when Dr. Mac Powell was hired as president in July 2015 and provided vigorous leadership to develop and fulfill a plan with measurable goals to make Bastyr better positioned for the future. In just a couple of years, real progress was made in fundraising, improving the financial situation, in external partnerships, investment in technology and systems; and developing a new alumni career program.

    During his time at Bastyr, I worked directly with Dr. Powell on numerous projects, and got a better understanding of his management style. I think it’s great that he had an open-door policy and routinely made check-ins on projects. During one-on-ones, I could update him how projects were going and where the bottlenecks were. He’d work with me to find solutions and he’s good at giving direction on where to go next. Yes, Dr. Powell will tell you his thoughts, ideas and opinions in a straightforward way. He is direct and maintains a high level of accountability, which some people may not like, but I don’t take things he says as personal criticism. I speak only for my working relationship with Dr. Powell and understand that it maybe not be the same for everyone.

    Cons

    I feel there is a contingent of frightened staff and faculty who have been here for many years and are hesitant to change. They seem to lack awareness or are insecure about their own abilities to do their work on the projects they’ve been assigned to. Unfortunately, the insecurity and low morale has created a breeding ground for rumors and misinformation. I’d like to provide some of my observations here to the benefit of Bastyr and leadership of past and present.

    Many of the issues these employees complain about in the reviews on this site pre-date the hiring of Dr. Mac Powell as president. In fact, some folks still complain about presidents two-terms past or more! The reality is some people don’t realize the frailty of the university budget and how within two years Dr. Powell and his development team raised funds for the school to levels it had never seen before. The finance team also exercised strong fiduciary discipline in making sure the budget remained balanced and robust despite the nation-wide downward pressures in enrollment. It’s important to commend the efforts of the admissions and marketing team in reaching their goals despite a challenging political landscape in higher education.

    I noticed that turnover is a hot topic in some of the reviews. Over the past two years I’ve seen a lot of folks retiring or moving on to opportunities for professional growth. In some cases, I’ve also seen people transferred to new positions within Bastyr, perhaps more suitable to their skills and background – which says a lot about management here wanting to help people succeed. The attrition I see at Bastyr appears to be normal based on my past experience at other places, and especially with the generational shift and competitive economy we are now experiencing.

    Advice to Management

    While the nature of Dr. Mac Powell resignation was unfortunate – because I think he was a strong leader – I’m encouraged that our interim president, Harlan Patterson, and his executive team, are doing a great job in keeping Bastyr moving forward on the right path, until a permanent new president is hired. I think the community is receptive of his townhouses and weekly updates to the community. He’s working hard to push the university forward and reminding people not to be bogged down in the past. Despite the setback on a couple of initiatives over the past couple of years, I am optimistic of the transition team going forward and some of the new projects happening.

    Bastyr should invest more in training. There’s a lack of skill here, which is probably responsible for some people being so worried and threatened about change. We especially need training in technology skills. Many staff have been here for over 10 years and a lot of technology has changed since they started.

    The other advice is to prepare for succession planning; and support and encourage a transition for a newer generation of workforce. If you look at IT, marketing, finance, HR, and the research department, you can see a full turnaround and modernization of processes taking place. Bastyr will benefit from attracting a newer and younger workforce with ideas closer and more relatable to the age of our incoming students.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Carrying Forward Dr. Mac Powell's Passion and Vision"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Bastyr University full-time

    Pros

    Bastyr University has a distinguished reputation in natural health education and is ripe with opportunities. Like many universities, Bastyr has been in a state of transition for the past few years as it works to keep pace with changes in the education arena, in terms of types and format of programs offered.

    As part of this transition, Bastyr had a change in leadership with the appointment of Dr. Mac Powell as president in July 2015. Dr. Powell looked to staff to not only identify problems, but also to bring options to solve them in a timely manner, with a schedule for action and reasonable efforts to meet them. He was not reluctant to address issues himself when needed and was willing to change direction if a better option was presented. He challenged individuals to stretch themselves and not to be complacent because “that was how things always were done.”

    Dr. Mac Powell strived to make him accessible to faculty and students, keeping an open door policy, walking around campus regularly, and attending student functions as much as possible. He rolled up his sleeves and baked pies in the dining commons and he worked with staff to make a funny video about his indoctrination to Bastyr culture.

    Dr. Mac Powell was passionate about Bastyr, pouring his heart into building partnerships and raising funds to position Bastyr well for the future because he believed in the institution and what it had to offer. Unfortunately he had to step down due to health issues, but I hope that his passion is carried forward.

    Cons

    The Kenmore Campus building is old with cement walls that aren’t soundproofed and don't lend themselves to easy modification.

    Advice to Management

    While it is important to consider input from all key constituencies, the leadership ultimately needs to decide what is in the best overall interest and future of the University.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "A Comment On Leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Bastyr University full-time

    Pros

    I worked at Bastyr for four years and found it to be an amazing and supportive place. I worked for two presidents, Dan Church and Mac Powell. Both were tremendously kind and gracious to me (both sent me handwritten cards when I had a family issue and both were always interested in me and my life). The comments that I read online don't align with my experiences as an employee, and I worry that people's frustrations with their own circumstances are being given louder voice than the importance of the mission and the students that the University serves.

    Cons

    There can be too much focus on what's going wrong, and not enough time focusing on what's going right.

    Advice to Management

    Keep focusing on the positive changes that will make the institution better.


  5. Helpful (9)

    "A Wonderful Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Bastyr University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Bastyr University is a warm and inviting community full of individuals who are deeply committed to the mission. Bastyr has undergone some truly positive change in the last two years beginning with new president Dr. Mac Powell. Under President Powell's leadership, communication university wide has been vastly improved and employees are empowered to think about how they play a part in achieving the mission and strategic plan of the University. The President has created an environment that allows employees the freedom to be autonomous and creative and sets individuals up for success. Overall, the University is filled with individuals deeply committed to its mission and vision, and to providing the highest caliber of education for the students, and the best quality health care for patients

    Cons

    At times, communication between individual departments is lacking. Additionally, The University continues to undergo positive changes which can be challenging.

    Advice to Management

    Trust in the president and stay on track with the the strategic plan , as it provides a strong vision of the future that is best for Bastyr, it's current students, and alumni.


  6. Helpful (10)

    "Full Time Employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Bastyr University full-time

    Pros

    Excellent health benefits. Competitive 403b/retirement and generous vacation/sick policy. Under leadership of President Mac Powell the University has experienced growth with the addition of a campus in Austin, Texas when many institutions of higher learning and specifically those in with roots in Naturopathic Medicine have not seen expansion.

    Cons

    There is a disconnect between needs and wants across campuses and departments in the university and how they should be expressed. There is difficulty in accepting and implementing change in a meaningful manner.

    Advice to Management

    The loudest voices are not always the most valid. Change and growth have a transition period and the strategic goals set forth are no small task. In order for Bastyr to see another 40 years the future faculty, administration and staff must work together and understand what a budget is a how it works in a university setting. Continued commitment to technology development. IT improvements will lead to better productivity across the board.


  7. Helpful (9)

    "Bastyr University - President Mac Powell"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Bastyr University full-time

    Pros

    Mission focused and values driven university -- Bastyr transforms the health and well-being of the human community. President Mac Powell has sharpened the university's business practices, promoted academic excellence, and has elevated Bastyr's standing in the communities we serve.

    Cons

    While faculty and staff are dedicated to the university's mission, some are resistant and reluctant to embrace performance based measurement systems, and continual improvement.

    Advice to Management

    Appreciate and respect that we all work for the Harvard of natural medicine, and we have an immense responsibility to the students we train, the patients we treat, and the communities we serve. Bastyr is fortunate to have the leadership of President Mac Powell. Make every possible effort to keep him in the role for at least 10 years. He is leading the needed transformation of healthcare.

  8. Helpful (18)

    "Bastyr Vision Going Dark"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kenmore, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kenmore, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Bastyr University full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The student and faculty dedication to the Bastyr mission & to natural healing are impressive. They are the heart and soul of Bastyr.

    Cons

    Bastyr continues to hemorrhage caring, dedicated, intelligent, hard-working employees - all sacrificed to the ego of the current president. For absolutely no good reason, "Mac" Powell is systematically dismantling vital departments at Bastyr - destroying livelihoods & lives in the process. Good people who have already given five, ten, fifteen, even twenty years of their lives to the Bastyr mission are being driven out & clueless cronies from Powell's past are being brought in, with predictably terrible results for the institution. If only the Board of Trustees were not blindly aiding and abetting him in this devastation.

    The only thing that could possibly save Bastyr from these narcissists, psychopaths, corporate drones, cowards, bean counters & sycophants would be a complete rebellion by faculty & students.

    However, it may already be too late. Does the Bastyr community have the courage to fight back to save the institution? Is the mission worth fighting for? Or is everyone left who ever cared about Bastyr students and the Bastyr mission going to quietly tip-toe away like timid mice and allow the Bastyr vision to go dark?

    Advice to Management

    The Board of Trustees should be deeply ashamed of their decisions: first, hiring Powell, and then doubling-down when faculty, staff & students began to tell them what an incompetent & mean-spirited person he is, especially when they're not directly watching. Now is the time to admit that they made a terrible mistake & to rectify it by bringing in a new president who actually cares about Bastyr, understands the Bastyr mission, wants Bastyr to succeed and knows how to bring people together rather than driving them away in droves. This is the most critical moment in Bastyr's history. It's now or never to do the right thing and save the institution.

    Bastyr University Response

    Feb 7, 2017 – VP - HR

    Bastyr University is undergoing a transformational change. Dr. Powell and the university administration are attempting to do away with the status quo and implement change that ultimately will... More


  9. Helpful (16)

    "Was a great University"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Was a great university to work for and a great place for students to learn.

    Cons

    The board should be ashamed of themselves for hiring Mac Powell and letting him run this university into the ground. He is mean spirited, has a history of failures and disrespects all he encounters. Time is running out so I left before the end.

    Advice to Management

    Admit your mistake and hire a new leader who embraces collaboration and someone who puts the students first.


  10. Helpful (27)

    "Yes, Dr. "Mac" Powell Really is That Bad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kenmore, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kenmore, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Bastyr University full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You might be reading some of these reviews and thinking "it can't really have become that bad at Bastyr, right?" Unfortunately, they are sadly accurate. Since the change in leadership in the summer of 2015, Bastyr University has quickly sunk into a quagmire that worsens by the week.

    It isn't just a frustrating situation, it's also really sad and unfair, especially for those who have dedicated years of their careers to Bastyr, often for below average pay. Bastyr was formerly a place where you could work with a sense of purpose, in service of wonderful ideals, and on behalf of highly intelligent and dedicated students and faculty.

    Cons

    Now, under the sexist, inept leadership of Dr. Charles "Mac" Powell, a new staff or faculty member leaves every week, entire departments have dissolved, and people are stressed to the brink.

    Many staff and faculty recognize that Dr. Powell has publicly expressed a reasonable vision for the university, and may even agree with the goals he has set out to achieve. He knows when to employ charm, and when to say the right words and phrases at the right moments. He especially invokes the word “compassion” quite often, but I have yet to see any demonstration during his interactions with staff.

    The reality is that Dr. Powell regularly exhibits a disturbing amount of petulant behaviors quite the opposite of compassion, and frequently fails to display even the basic levels of patience or respect that one would fully expect of someone in his position. His physical countenance, which involves a tremendous amount of eye rolling and irritability, as well as his choice to constantly use words like "hate" and "stupid," do not befit a president of a university, period.

    His is also an administration rife with nepotism and favorites. Dr. Powell bullies those he knows he can; and manipulates those most susceptible. Anyone that rightfully stands their ground will be fired, or made so uncomfortable as to resign. Anyone who disagrees with what the university is becoming is labeled "fearful of change"-- which happens to be one of the most predictable ways of quieting legitimate dissent. Yes, of course those that care about the legacy and mission of Bastyr University are fearful of the institution changing into a toxic place.

    Advice to Management

    Highly respected and beloved faculty are hemorrhaging from Bastyr, the rate of staff attrition is reaching 60% or more in some areas, and even students are beginning to pick up on the toxicity. But what happened when these huge red flags were brought to the attention of the board of trustees?

    Instead of looking into the numerous accounts of Dr. Powell's blatant disrespect and mismanagement, the board awarded him a 5 year contract. Talk about removing the "trust" from "trustees." (In addition, Bastyr's HR department/staff council sent an email to all staff, basically instructing us to write letters of support for Dr. Powell and reminding us that running a university is "hard" and none of us have any experience managing an organization of this size, so maybe we should all just stop being so fearful of change.)

    Dr. Mac Powell may exhibit some disturbing psychological tendencies, but the real shame here lies with the Bastyr board of trustees. Instead of listening to students, staff and faculty about what's really happening at this university, or admitting any indication that they might have made a mistake in their selection of president, they decided to dig in their heels-- and preserve their good old boy's club. The board's susceptibility to Powell's brand of razzle dazzle is depressing. It's amazing how wonderful your budget looks when you don't have to pay all of the competent employees who have quit, been fired, or fled to other universities!

    In times of confusion, fear or doubt, we might look to Bastyr's core mission to guide us: “Respecting the healing power of nature and recognizing that body, mind and spirit are intrinsically inseparable, we model an integrated approach to education, research and clinical service.”

    We must ask if our current leadership is capable—or even interested—in modeling an integrated approach to education or governance. Dr. Powell has often failed to demonstrate even the most basic respect for individual people—so why should we expect any level of nuanced understanding of the intrinsic inseparability of mind, body, and spirit?

    In the meantime, on a more practical level: if you're considering going after one of what will soon be a large number of job openings, you might want to think twice until there's a change in leadership at Bastyr...