LETTER: Administration continues disregard for other's concerns of College of Medicine

If there were ever any doubt about campus frustration over the disregard for shared governance by this Central Michigan University administration, the overwhelming Academic Senate vote on Nov. 1 to suspend further academic action involving the proposed CMU Medical School ought to put that doubt to rest.

However, there is also no doubt that the Administration wants a medical school at any cost, despite the concerns expressed by students, faculty, department chairs, academic senators, and even Central Michigan Life.

Sadly, many students and faculty, including myself, also want a medical school-but not at any cost. We are frustrated by the process by which the medical school proposal was adopted and further frustrated by the fact that after almost three years we still are not being told how this will be funded and what the real cost will be to the CMU learning environment for our students and faculty. In a university environment where a free exchange of ideas and information ought to flourish, we face a rush to judgment on a medical school decision-making process shrouded in mystery.

On Nov. 13-16, a medical school accrediting team (LCME) will visit CMU to explore accrediting the proposed medical school. Examining the tentative schedule for the team, I see virtually no opportunity for students and non CMED faculty to express their views on the proposed new college. Like every other aspect of this top down decision-making process, the vast majority of the faculty and students will again be kept at arm’s length.

The proposed new medical school will forever change CMU and we all will be in some way paying for this new medical school whether we support it or not. Therefore, I suggest in the interest of fairness and transparency that representatives of the CMU community as a whole (not just those with a vested interest in the proposed medical school) be given a meaningful role in this decision-making process.

If the administration does not want to hear from those concerned about the ramifications of the proposed medical school, then those students and faculty should take the opportunity to express their views to the LCME accrediting team. Accordingly, if you have strong views of support or concern regarding the proposed medical school and feel your views need to be heard, you can express them to the LCME accrediting team before they arrive next week for their campus visit. Their email address is: lcme@aamc.org.

Both those deeply concerned about and those strongly supporting the proposed medical school want what is best for CMU. However, the CMU community cannot intelligently make such a determination without a free flow of information and dialogue.

I would hope the administration would adjust the LCME visitation schedule to create a meaningful opportunity to dialogue with all parts of the CMU community and not just those with a vested interest in seeing the proposed medical school become a reality.

If not, a flurry of emails to the LCME will have to do.

James P. Hill Department of Political Science