NUNM President Melanie Henriksen, ND, LAc, CNM and Bastyr University President Devin Byrd, PhD have signed a letter of intent (LOI), which outlines a plan to combine universities and clinic locations to form the nation’s largest natural health and medicine university.
Nearly every community in the world needs more leaders in natural health and medicine. Leaders who recognize the intrinsic inseparable body, mind, and spirit. Together, NUNM and Bastyr can do even more to transform the health and well-being of the community.
Informed by our Shared History, Inspired by our Shared Future
NUNM and Bastyr share a rich history. Our universities can be traced back to the physicians who revived natural medicine education in 1956 and founded NUNM. Three NUNM graduates (then NCNM) would go on to found Bastyr University in 1978.
Shared values are espoused in our respective mission statements and strategic plans, but also in the output of our incredible graduates, the caliber of our research, and the impact of our health outreach and advocacy. While Bastyr and NUNM have since blossomed in different ways, our shared commitment to the principles of natural medicine remains steadfast.
The merger of two institutions is a multi-phase process driven by regulatory and accreditation timelines. You can learn more at the drop-downs below and read the announcement press release here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an LOI
A Letter of Intent (LOI) is a nonbinding document that states a preliminary commitment by one party to do business with another party.
Why is NUNM pursuing this partnership?
We are always exploring opportunities for institutional collaboration with partners who might help us advance our mission and public health impact. In fact, one of the primary goals of our strategic plan identified the desire of our community to nourish and expand partnerships and collaborations to increase opportunities for professional roles in natural medicine and healthcare.
Specifically, this merger presents opportunities for added resources to support our faculty and staff, more career mobility across three West Coast campuses, and a host of prospective benefits to students, including expanded online and hybrid learning, and more electives and dual-program options, research collaboration, and clinical and preceptorship opportunities.
What does this process entail?
The merger of two institutions is a multi-phase process driven primarily by regulatory and accreditation timelines. Administrative leadership and the Board of Directors first come together to assess interest and viability. Once internal reviews and due diligence are complete, we work with regulatory authorities and accreditors to ensure student, faculty and staff needs are met as the two institutions come together. Ultimately, the NUNM and Bastyr University Boards of Directors and Trustees would join together to help govern a new, combined institution.
Would the university relocate?
No. We would work toward aligning programs and systems so that NUNM students, faculty, and staff would have increased flexibility in campus location: Portland, Oregon; Kenmore, Washington; San Diego, California.
Would NUNM have a new name?
If the partnership is formalized, both universities would eventually change their names to reflect a new, combined institution. This would be done with significant community input.
How can I learn more?
Read the full announcement press release here.
Would this merger impact my degree or transcript?
No. There will be no change to your degree title or transcript process. Students and alumni can continue to request transcripts through the NUNM Registrar’s office.
Would NUNM have a new name?
If the partnership is formalized, both universities would eventually change their names to reflect a new, merged institution. This would be done with significant community input.
Will alumni services be impacted?
Alumni may continue to access services as usual. The NUNM alumni webpage will continue to be the main resource page for alumni to seek services, including career support and job postings, public practice listings, continuing education and transcript requests.
Can I continue to donate to NUNM?
Yes! Donors would continue to have the authority and autonomy to restrict their donation to a single cause, project or NUNM program. Donations will remain tax-deductible as NUNM is a public benefit corporation.
Would the same academic programs remain at NUNM?
We do not anticipate any changes to programming, degrees offered or faculty at NUNM for the 2023-2024 school year. Over time, and subject to regulatory approvals, we would work to blend curriculums and offerings. Current NUNM students will continue in their current program with its existing layout, and will be able to complete the degree(s) in which they are currently enrolled.
If the merger is completed, would I be able to take courses or transfer between campuses?
Yes! One of the goals of this merger is to increase learning access and flexibility for our students.
Would this change the NUNM tuition or financial aid structure?
No. Current students will maintain their current tuition structure for the duration of their program with the only exception being annual tuition changes. We do not anticipate any change to financial aid packages based on the combining of institutions.
If I study on multiple campuses, will I be prepared for multistate licensure?
Our clinical programs already prepare students for licensure in any state that offers a license. Programs on all campuses would continue to teach to the highest scope of licensure.
If the merger is finalized after I apply to NUNM, would I need to reapply?
No. Students who are admitted will be, and remain, enrolled in that program. Students whose applications are in the admissions process will continue to be reviewed in the ordinary course, and there is no need to re-apply if your application is already pending with the NUNM Admissions Office.
How might this impact my partnership with NUNM?
There are no anticipated changes to the structure or make-up of NUNM corporate or community partnerships. These are expected to continue regardless of the merger. If or when a change is anticipated, partners will be notified well in advance.
Can I continue to donate to NUNM?
Yes! Donors would continue to have the authority and autonomy to restrict their donation to a single cause, project, or NUNM program.
Partners and donors are welcome to contact the NUNM Advancement Office at any time.
Would this impact the care that I receive at the NUNM Health Center?
No. There are no anticipated changes to NUNM Health Center’s current provider availability or health services. If or when a change is planned, patients will be notified well in advance.
Would the clinic remain a Tier 4 PCPCH?
Yes. NUNM Health Centers will continue to serve the community as a Tier 4 PCPCH with Naturopathic medicine, primary care, Chinese Medicine and clinical nutrition services.
Would this merger impact my health care coverage?
No. There are no changes anticipated to insurance coverage or services.
Patients are welcome to contact the NUNM Health Center at any time.