Dr. Joseph Laurin, director of admissions, acted as master of ceremonies with an invocation given by Dr. Alan Adams, vice president for chiropractic education. Dr. W.M. Marcussen, chair of the board of regents, gave the oath of office to Dr. Phillips and read a proclamation from Governor Pete Wilson saluting LACC's "history of accomplishment and achievement," and praising the college's vital role of leadership to the chiropractic profession.
In his speech, Dr. Phillips said it was his dream to see doctors judged not by the "degrees behind their names, but by the quality of their education and their ability to preserve health and relieve pain and suffering."
Dr. Phillips noted the broadening of academic disciplines at LACC and the stronger fundamental education of entering students. Dr. Phillips pointed to LACC's competency-based, problem-oriented approach to learning via small group study (the ADVANTAGE program) that he said provides "the most complete and comprehensive clinical chiropractic experience available in the profession." The emphasis at LACC, Dr. Phillips asserted, is on quality patient care.
In his address, Dr. Phillips critiqued the "20/20" program on chiropractic that aired on national television the night before his inaugural. While he noted the coverage was more positive than past media efforts, he expressed his concern of the program labeling chiropractors as only back pain practitioners. To address this "pigeonholing" of chiropractic, Dr. Phillips committed himself as a chiropractor and as president of LACC to achieving the following goals:
- DCs as primary care providers in the 21st century, fulfilling a major role in a multidisciplinary health care setting.
- Chiropractic education comparable in quality to any other education in the health professions.
- Chiropractic colleges as centers of active learning providing the clinical skills to extend chiropractic knowledge and practice.
- Quality of life "elevated through effective, accessible and affordable chiropractic care."
- For chiropractic to "obtain an internal consensus and external legitimization" to achieve its role as a health care authority.
In conclusion, Dr. Phillips' vision for LACC is of an institution that provides education that creates "caring, competent, and confident" DCs; an environment for active learning and research; providing leadership for the profession; and improving the quality of life by improving the quality and effectiveness of health care.