Guy. F. Riekeman, D.C.
Dr. Guy F. Riekeman is a second generation chiropractor who graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1972. He became a successful chiropractor and businessman creating companies and seminar programs to improve chiropractic practice and facilitate personal growth.
After years in the field, Dr. Riekeman decided to shift his energy and focus to education. He went on to become Chancellor of Palmer College of Chiropractic before becoming the fourth President of Life University in 2004. In 2017, he was appointed the University’s first Chancellor. As an educator and leader, he extols the message to “Make Your Life Extraordinary” and challenges everyone to strive for excellence, both in the classroom and in life.
As a leader in the chiropractic profession, Dr. Riekeman works non-stop to keep the public and his fellow leaders in healthcare informed of important issues in Chiropractic, Vitalism and wellness to create a greater appreciation of the shift from an authoritarian “sickness care” system to a vitalistic partnership approach to health and wellness.
For decades, he has organized efforts to advance personal integrity and has worked tirelessly through educational programs and thousands of personal presentations to promote a new attitude and approach to healthcare and personal responsibility.
Under his leadership as both President and Chancellor, Dr. Riekeman has guided Life University to become the largest single campus chiropractic college in the world. His leadership created the 20/20 Vision, a multi-year, multi-phase initiative transforming Life University into a modern college campus with all the old-world values of education.
Rob Scott, D.C. Ph.D.
Dr. Scott holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physiology from the University of Minnesota, a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Northwestern Health Sciences University and is also a Diplomate of Chiropractic Philosophical Standards. His master’s degrees include a Master’s of Science in Exercise Physiology and a Master’s of Education in Educational Administration. He attended the University of Guelph to earn his Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics.
Dr. Scott came to Life University in 2005 as the Dean of the College of Chiropractic before moving to Vice Provost and executive leadership roles in Academic Affairs. He has also worked as the Dean of Chiropractic at Northwestern Health Sciences University and as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Logan College of Chiropractic. “I have been honored to serve the LIFE community,” says Dr. Scott. “From our forward-thinking programs to the commitment of our students, faculty and staff, Life University is truly an institution dedicated to social innovation.”
In May 2017, Dr. Scott was named the fifth President of Life University, succeeding former President Dr. Guy Riekeman, who assumed the title of Chancellor of Life University at that same time. “Dr. Scott has been a long time friend as well as a trusted colleague, says Dr. Riekeman. “I attempted to recruit him years ago because he was an emerging talent. Today, after working together for more than a decade, I can say I was correct. He is now at the top of his field, and Life University is enriched because of his contributions to education and our vision.”
History of Life University
The idea for Life University was conceived among a group of prominent chiropractors led by Dr. Sid Williams during several retreats in Ormond Beach, Florida. The discussion centered on the need for a principled and vitalistic-based chiropractic college in the Southeast.
In 1975, Life Chiropractic College opened its doors using half of what was, at the time, the Georgia Unemployment Office. Twenty-two students attended the first classes in January 1975. Since that “Day-One class,” the school has grown both in enrollment and physical space, acquiring land and buildings and constructing new facilities. Currently, Life University occupies 110 acres of property on the northwest corner of the intersection of Cobb Parkway (US 41) and South Cobb Drive (US 253) in Marietta, Georgia.
By 1990, under the leadership of founder and President Dr. Sid Williams, Life College had grown to become the largest chiropractic college in the world. In 1996, Life College expanded its degree offerings to include an undergraduate school and became Life University.
In June 2002, Life University’s accreditation was questioned by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Accreditation by the CCE was temporarily suspended before being restored by a Federal Court injunction. Life University was put on temporary probation by SACS but returned to normal status soon after the accrediting restoration by CCE. During this time, Dr. Sid Williams resigned as President of Life University.
Michael Schmidt, D.C. was installed as interim President in July 2002. Dr. Schmidt diverted resources from many of the programs and initiatives secondary to academics, such as the athletic program, in order to keep the University solvent. Other cost-cutting measures included workforce reductions and the sale of off-campus administrative and industrial buildings owned by the University. During the relative uncertainty of this period in LIFE’s history, enrollment dropped significantly.
In January 2003, Benjamin DeSpain, Ph.D. was named President. Prior to his arrival, Dr. DeSpain had developed a reputation in his previous positions in higher education for turning the most challenging situations into opportunities for growth. It was during his tenure that the University’s programmatic accreditation was restored retroactively by the Federal Court.
In March 2004, Guy F. Riekeman, D.C., was installed as President of Life University, a role in which he served for more than 13 years through May 2017 when he was appointed University Chancellor. Dr. Riekeman, former Chancellor of Palmer Chiropractic University, played a key role in restoring Life University’s credibility as an institution of higher learning while serving as president. Within months of his appointment, he raised millions of dollars for capital expenditures and operating costs. Dr. Riekeman also led the University through reaffirmation of accreditation by SACS and CCE. Enrollment began growing again in 2004 and has been increasing consistently ever since. By 2008, Life University once again housed the largest single campus chiropractic college in the world, a distinction it holds to this day.
While under the direction of Dr. Riekeman, LIFE underwent transformational innovation that set a standard of world-class excellence for its physical campus, curriculum design, academic programs and national policy. Dr. Riekeman established “Life U” as a premier university with an international reputation for service and as a thought leader in the healthcare industry.
Changes included new construction built to Gold-level LEED standards, the “greening” of the campus and modernization of existing buildings. Life University also established chiropractic clinics in places such as China and Costa Rica, while also establishing chiropractic education across the globe through international governing bodies and universities. It has developed the first master’s degree program in positive psychology with an emphasis on secular ethics and more, as well as affected National Testing Protocols.
Additionally, LIFE is known throughout North America for its sports programs, especially its top-ranked rugby program. LIFE continues to influence policy makers via its forums and summits organized through the Octagon, a global think tank serving to advance dialogue on health care and in the community at large related to the University’s Eight Core Proficiencies.
In May 2017, Rob Scott, D.C., Ph.D., was named the fifth President of Life University. Dr. Scott came to Life University in 2005 as the Dean of the College of Chiropractic before moving to Vice Provost and executive leadership roles in Academic Affairs. He has also worked as the Dean of Chiropractic at Northwestern Health Sciences University and as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Logan College of Chiropractic. Most recently before his appointment to President, Dr. Scott served as University Provost from October 2015 to May 2017. Dr. Scott brings more than two decades of experience in academia, Chiropractic and health care to his role as President. His ability to lead and manage LIFE’s educational programs and steer its vision forward will continue to make this not-so-little University one that continues to change the world and create thought leaders in a variety of healthcare disciplines.