Part 3: What's Next?

Shaping the Future of Sonoran University

– President’s Blog –

June 15, 2022

Shaping the Future of Sonoran University 

 On Monday, June 27, the Board of Trustees held its last meeting as Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences. Consistent with the moment’s magnitude, the Board covered some weighty issues – adopting a new mission statement, ratifying the 2022-2027 Strategic Plan, previewing the institution’s new logo, and discussing the comprehensive campaign that will help shape the future of Sonoran University of Health Sciences.  

During my report, I asked the Board to ponder these two questions about the University: What will Sonoran University of Health Sciences look like? What is Sonoran University renowned for? Each will shape the University’s reputation – one forged by our future accomplishments. 


What will Sonoran University of Health Sciences look like?

The University will physically remain at its Tempe location, an eight-and-a-half-acre campus – two of which are covered with solar-canopies. The LEED-Platinum certified Lim Commons features the Neil Riordan Center for Regenerative Medicine, state-of-the-art classrooms and library, Medicinary, and fitness spaces. An Academic Building that houses the Ric Scalzo Institute for Botanical Research, classrooms and teaching laboratories, and faculty offices. The Medical Center building, in addition to its clinical facility, provides space for classrooms and administrative offices. The University’s five Community Clinics, which provide free care to marginalized and minoritized individuals – extend the campus to underserved communities across the Phoenix metropolitan area. 

In two years, another 100% online discipline will complement the programs offered by the College of Naturopathic Medicine & College of Nutrition. With that in mind, the majority of Sonoran University students will attend classes from anywhere in the world. In fact, a June graduate completed her Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from Saudi Arabia.

When the community asks, “What will Sonoran University of Health Sciences look like?”, the answer is “Global”.


What is Sonoran University renowned for?

By itself, changing our name to become a university does not guarantee anything. While it reflects how far Sonoran has come over its first 30 years, those accomplishments will pale by comparison to what is ahead. Imagine: 

  • New degree programs to meet current and emerging healthcare needs.
  • Investments in clinical research to complement the basic science research at the Ric Scalzo Institute for Botanical Research.
  • Improving community health by partnering with other non-profits and universities to holistically address more social determinants of health. 
  • Deploying learning technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality to enhance the learning experiences of our students.
  • Expanded continuing education programs to engage our graduates throughout their careers.
  • Investing in data analytics to better understand how our students learn and how our patients heal.
  • Building upon the newly created Office of Inclusive Excellence & Belonging to foster a community in which everyone feels welcome, respected, and supported

Picture Sonoran University’s reputation as a set of concentric circles – with the outermost representing international recognition. Moving inward is the University’s national reputation – the recognition it garners through research, healthcare innovations, and its graduates’ contributions to healthcare. The next inner circle is its reputation within higher education and among the healthcare professions – based on patient outcomes, student success, academic excellence and innovation, and degree programs that shape the futures of graduates and society. The next circle – the reputation within Arizona and Maricopa County built with the people we serve through Community Health. Close in are the core values embraced and lived by our students, faculty, and staff.  


Sonoran University of Health Sciences marks a new chapter in this school’s impressive history. Welcome to the future. 


Dr. Paul Mittman's Signature