Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Mismanagement: Like Medical School, Like University

Since the blog began in December, 2004, we have posted several stories about woes at the University of Colorado, suggesting poor management in inattention to the core mission of the medical school and academic health center:
  • the crumbling physical plant of the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center, posted here in December
  • confusion about plans to build a new VA Medical Center, here in January
  • the University of Colorado Health Science Center policy, instituted in 2002, to turn away less sick patients from the Emergency Department, now being copied by the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, here in February
But these have hardly been the only woes afflicting the University.
  • The football program was rocked by a scandal involving sex and alcohol used for recruitment (see summary with extensive time-line here).
  • The chairman of its ethnic studies program, a tenured professor named Ward Churchill, became notorious after the uncovering of his essay that seemed to approve of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and which derided the workers in the Trade Center as "little Eichmann's," i.e., Nazis. Reporters and bloggers discovered that Churchill achieved tenure and a department chair without having obtained a doctoral degree, but partially based on his claim that he is an Indian, which may be false, while he has been accused several times of committing academic fraud.
  • While faculty called for Churchill's academic freedom to be protected, they stood by silently when the University shut down a satiric "affirmative action bake sale."
Yesterday, amidst all this, the President of the University announced her resignation.
One can't help but suspect that there is a linkage between the widely publicized fiascos and scandals on the main campus and the woes of the medical school and academic health center. Why would one expect that an administration that is sloppy about its oversight of and inattentive to its mission on the main campus manage the medical school and the health center any better?

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