Dr. Devin Byrd, who served as the vice president for academic affairs at Saybrook University in Pasadena, was named the new president of Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington, making him the first African American to become the highest-ranking officer of the university.
With more than 20 years of leadership experience in higher education, Byrd will start his new role on July 26.
Byrd will be succeeding Harlan Patterson, who has been president since 2017.
Byrd was appointed after a months-long nationwide executive search for a candidate with strong experience in strategy, academia and diversity.
“We are confident that Dr. Byrd will propel our organization forward in new ways as we continue to excel and grow in our near?post-pandemic?world,” said Carol Taylor, chair of the Bastyr University Board of Trustees.
“It is a privilege and an honor to have been selected to lead an institution that is an innovator in the field of natural health,” Byrd said.?“Initially, I plan to focus on learning more about our university while understanding how I can effectively engage and support the members of our community.?My commitment to fulfilling the university’s mission is rooted in addressing the challenges and opportunities within the natural health landscape.”
Byrd joined Saybrook University in Pasadena in 2019. As vice president for academic affairs, his main responsibility was fiscal oversight including overseeing budgets for all academic programs and the academic affairs operations division such as registrar, library, writing center and the research department. This included overall university budgeting and reforecasting based upon student enrollment and expenses.
At Saybrook, he also promoted integrative health programs such as the Mind Body Medicine, Integrative Functional Nutrition and other programs including counseling, psychology, and clinical psychology degrees.
Byrd acquired his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 1994, and in 2000, graduated from Virginia Tech with a master of science and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology. During his graduate studies, he completed his pre-doctoral internship at Brown University where he served as the intern representative for the child track and completed rotations at the VA PTSD clinic, the Bradley School child/adolescent inpatient facility and the child/adolescent anxiety disorders clinic.
Byrd was professor and researcher at the University of South Carolina’s Department of Psychology, with research interests in the biopsychosocial examination of depression and anxiety and children, adolescents and young adults. He also served with South University in Savannah, Georgia, where he served as associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Byrd enjoys time with family, traveling, sporting events, theater and outdoor activities such as cycling and skiing. He has been married for more than 24 years and has three children.