Kupchella responds to UND med school audit
UND President Charles Kupchella added his voice today to the discussion of a recent performance audit of the UND medical school. That audit, which criticizes Dean H. David Wilson's management style and states the school has done a poor job of man...
UND President Charles Kupchella added his voice today to the discussion of a recent performance audit of the UND medical school.
That audit, which criticizes Dean H. David Wilson's management style and states the school has done a poor job of managing its own operations, was the subject of a meeting of the Legislative Audit and Fiscal Review committee Monday in Bismarck.
In a generally conciliatory letter to committee members, Kupchella acknowledged many of the audit's criticisms and pledged to improve in places where the school had fallen short.
He took issue with other criticisms, most notably a suggestion that the medical school should not be spending state money on research
In the letter's final paragraph, Kupchella acknowledged the criticism of Wilson's management style, but offered a vote of support.
"Even given the conclusion that the Dean needs to make improvements in his management style, and in the way he manages the people-aspects and politics of tough decisions," Kupchella wrote, "much - certainly not all - of the credit for the enhanced status of our Medical School goes to Dean H. David Wilson."
Kupchella's strongest criticism in the letter was for an auditor's office statement that the school's use of state money to fund research might be inconsistent with laws governing the medical school's operations.
"Research is critically important for every modern-day School of Medicine," Kupchella wrote. "We would not be able to maintain accreditation were the Medical School not doing first-class research, and we could not supply the first doctor to the first community in the state without having an accredited School of Medicine."
In other portions of the letter, Kupchella was more conciliatory, often thanking the auditor's office for bringing important lapses to the school's attention, such as inconsistent procedures for evaluating employees and an unclear organization structure.
"This is clearly a violation, not only (of) State Board policy but also of University of North Dakota policy, and must be addressed immediately by the Dean and all of the personnel in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences," Kupchella wrote at one point, referring to instances in which annual evaluations were either not done or not done according to policy.
Kupchella also noted that many of the auditor's recommendations could be more easily carried out with increased financial support from the state.
"It would have been helpful for the report reader to know that the Medical School has had no 'real' increase in its budget appropriation over a long period of time," Kupchella wrote. "In spite of this, it has accomplished much - due in large part to its increased ability to leverage external funding."
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