Sonoran University President Dr. Paul Mittman Announces Retirement

Board of Trustees Preparing to Launch Presidential Search

March 27, 2024

Tempe, Ariz. Sonoran University of Health Sciences announced today that Dr. Paul Mittman will be retiring in June 2025 after 25 years as president and CEO of the institution.

“As George Harrison wrote, ‘All things must pass.’ After a quarter century at its helm, I will leave Sonoran University of Health Sciences with its reputation for innovation and bold initiatives, financially healthy, poised to launch new programs, growing enrollment, and with a steadfast commitment to the core values: ‘We shape the future, we are resilient, we achieve excellence, we do the right thing, and we love,” said Dr. Mittman. “It’s been a blessing to have a job with meaning, one that aligns with my own values and convictions, and that makes a difference in people’s lives. While I’m proud of Sonoran University today, I know its best days lie ahead to be written in the next chapters of this amazing institution.”


Dr. Mittman has served as Sonoran University of Health Sciences’ president since 1999 and achieved a variety of great successes for the institution, including:

  • Transforming Sonoran University from a single-purpose college to a university with multiple programs and international reach.
  • Building strong relationships that resulted in multiple transformational philanthropic contributions to advance research, grow scholarships, enhance education, expand community health clinics and support patient care.
  • Creating a unified on-ground campus in Tempe by purchasing the Medical Center Building in 2009, building the Lim Commons in 2015 to provide vital educational and patient care spaces for students and transforming the campus Academic Building with the addition of a Biosafety Level 2 Research Laboratory.
  • Ensuring the institution offers options for free medical and nutrition care through Sonoran’s Community Health program and Virtual Center for Personalized Nutrition.
  • Inspiring a culture at the university for those who work, study, or receive healthcare that embodies the institutional core values of “We Love, We Shape the Future, We Do the Right Thing, We Achieve Excellence, and We Are Resilient.”

In addition to practicing naturopathic medicine for 25 years, Dr. Mittman’s research in the late 1980s was among the first peer-reviewed published randomized controlled trials on medicinal plants. He currently chairs the Arizona Board for Private Postsecondary Education, serves on the Arizona State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, the Advisory Board of Arizona State University’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education Alumni Advisory Board, and the board of the Association for Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges. Inspired by the University of Pennsylvania’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships, Dr. Mittman helped create and sustain community healthcare partnerships providing free care in Maricopa County’s under-resourced communities. Paul has been married to his wife Laura for 37 years, is a loving father to Arie (and wife Jill) and Cascade (and husband Kyle), a new grandfather to Holiday, and is a competitive bicyclist.

Sonoran University’s Board of Trustees is currently preparing for the presidential search by creating a committee chaired by Trustee Duane Roen. Dr. Roen has served on the Sonoran Board of Trustees since 2017, is a former Vice Provost and Dean at Arizona State University and has chaired many search committees in the course of his distinguished career. The search is set to begin in the summer or fall.

For more information on Sonoran University, please visit


About Sonoran University of Health Sciences

Sonoran University of Health Sciences is a private non-profit and internationally recognized higher education institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The University’s College of Naturopathic Medicine, College of Nutrition, and School of Mental Health’s evidence-based program offerings shape a healthier future by supporting students as they train to excel as healthcare professionals.

Serving the University’s mission, the Sage Foundation for Health supports several Community Clinics focused on providing free naturopathic medical care to local under-resourced communities. The College of Nutrition’s Virtual Center for Personalized Nutrition provides personalized and evidence-based care delivered at no cost. The Ric Scalzo Institute for Botanical Research is a state-of-the-art laboratory seeking to improve therapies for global health concerns. The University’s Clinical Care branch operates open-to-the-public clinics and Medicinary, Arizona’s largest natural pharmacy. The Medical Center provides naturopathic healthcare to patients seeking evidence-based complementary services. The Neil Riordan Center for Regenerative Medicine focuses on non-opioid solutions to pain and pain management.