Saybrook University Appoints Chip Conley as its first Scholar-Practitioner in Residence

Posted on: January 6, 2012

Mark Schulman, Ph.D., president of Saybrook University today announced the appointment of Chip Conley, award- winning San Francisco entrepreneur and noted author, as the institution’s inaugural scholar-practitioner in residence. The Saybrook University scholar-practitioner in residence program emphasizes the importance of life-long learning, creative curiosity in support of new knowledge, and the application of this knowledge in service to the larger community.

The program is grounded in Saybrook University’s core humanistic values honoring the infinite potential of human beings to grow and change in meaningful ways, regardless of the challenges they face. Saybrook University’s scholar-practitioner in residence program joins a growing number of such programs across the country to bring the lived experience of professional practice and expertise into the realm of higher education – combining “the library and the street”- to prepare graduates to adapt, invent, and reinvent themselves, their organizations, and their communities in response to change and the challenges of the 21st century.

Chip Conley is the founder of Joie de Vivre, California’s preeminent boutique hotel company now growing across the country. Influenced by Abraham Maslow’s theories of humanistic psychology, exemplified by the oft-cited pyramid representing the hierarchy of human needs, Conley revamped his business model to focus on the intangible, higher needs of his company’s three main constituencies – employees, customers and investors. He credits this shift for helping Joie de Vivre triple its annual revenues between 2001 and 2008. He was honored with the Most Innovative CEO in the Bay Area award by “The San Francisco Business Times” based upon this performance.

In announcing the appointment, Mark Schulman stated:

“Chip is the ideal individual to be our inaugural scholar-practitioner in residence. Throughout his career he has exemplified the ability to apply his scholarly endeavors to an array of fields in which he also acts, develops new practices, and opens up new possibilities in support of positive change: management and leadership, psychology, and workplace actualization, to name a few. With his various publications – “Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow” and his newest, “Emotional Equations”  – Chip is applying humanistic thought and scholarship in very practical ways to help businesses, individuals, and communities in the Bay Area and across the country achieve their own potential. In fact we awarded Chip an honorary doctorate of humane letters in 2009 in recognition of the important role he has played as a humanistic and socially conscious entrepreneur who is introducing a new generation to the work of Abraham Maslow, one of the thought leaders in the humanistic tradition and one of the humanistic psychologists whose work was instrumental in Saybrook’s founding.”

In accepting this appointment Chip Conley said:

“Given Saybrook’s mission and prestigious history, I am incredibly honored by the opportunity to build a deeper relationship with this institution and its impressive network. Over the course of being a CEO for two dozen years, I learned more about the human condition and psyche than I’d ever imagined. That my scholarly endeavors in writing books at the intersection of psychology and business have been so well-received by corporate leaders and academics has been very rewarding and meaningful to me. I look forward to sharing my experiences with Saybrook students and hope that this new position opens the door to a more dynamic relationship between the business and psychology communities.”

As scholar-practitioner in residence, Chip Conley will serve as a role model and expert resource for the Saybrook community on a variety of topics of mutual interest. These include helping Saybrook develop humanistic scholar-practitioner opportunities with the Bay Area business community and public and other events throughout the coming year. Saybrook University events in which Chip Conley will be participating include giving the keynote address at Saybrook University’s residential conference on January 14, 2012. This conference brings together faculty and students from Saybrook’s Graduate Colleges of Psychology and Humanistic Studies and Mind-Body Medicine for intensive classes and workshops in multiple disciplines. Chip Conley will also be the keynote speaker at Saybrook University’s LIOS Graduate College (Leadership Institute of Seattle) graduation on June 18, 2012 in Seattle, Washington.

The scholar-practitioner in residence program has been made possible by funds donated to the Saybrook University Alison Bonds Shapiro Fund and by Vicky and Paul Saunders.

Located in San Francisco, California and Seattle, Washington and with students and graduates across the United States and around the world, Saybrook University provides humanistic values-based graduate education to nurture and professionally train and develop humanistic action-oriented scholar-practitioners. The University is comprised of the Graduate College of Psychology and Humanistic studies; the Graduate College of Mind-Body Medicine; and LIOS Graduate College (Leadership Institute of Seattle).

For more than 40 years, Saybrook has empowered students to find their life’s work and achieve their full potential. Saybrook’s programs are deeply rooted in the humanistic tradition and a commitment to help students develop as whole people – mind, body, and spirit. Saybrook University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). It is also authorized by the Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board and meets the requirements and minimum educational standards established for degree-granting institutions under the Degree Authorization Act.

To learn more about Saybrook University visit

To learn more about Chip Conley visit or To learn more about “Emotional Equations” visit