UND med school dean promises changes
BISMARCK - The state medical school's dean promised Monday to keep in touch with legislators about changes the school plans to make because of suggestions and criticism in a recent performance audit report that the dean referred to as a "spanking...
BISMARCK - The state medical school's dean promised Monday to keep in touch with legislators about changes the school plans to make because of suggestions and criticism in a recent performance audit report that the dean referred to as a "spanking."
The changes will include updating decades-old laws and finding a way to give legislators more information about how the school spends money.
The state auditor's report on the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences was released earlier this month. It praised the school's faculty and research but criticized Dean H. David Wilson's management style and said some of the laws applying to the school are outdated.
Wilson told the Legislative Audit and Fiscal Review Committee, "It's been an arduous process. We're glad it's over. We'll take our spanking."
Sen. Judy Lee, R-West Fargo, N.D., said she was disappointed that Wilson referred to the report as a "spanking" and Wilson said he meant it as a joke. "We have improvements to make, and we'll make those," he said. The med school agreed with 30 of the 35 recommendations in the report and two others it agreed with in concept, Wilson said.
A consultant from DJW Associates, which prepared part of the report, told the legislators that the state and its med school need more residency positions and fellowships. Frank Simon of DJW said the process would be more complex than just re-opening the family practice clinic in Fargo that the med school closed down several years ago, and it needs "careful consideration."
He said the med school should increase the number of residencies and fellowships offered by tapping into federal law. He said the school has considered doing so but never took the step.
Wilson noted that the money the med school gets from the Legislature has remained flat since 2001, and it has relied more and more on federal funds and other sources for its program. "There's a lot more we can do, but we can't do it on the budget from 10 years ago," he said.
Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Skarphol, R-Tioga, said that Wilson and his staff should update the committee at its future meetings as to what steps are being taken and how it would propose changing some of the outdated laws and not wait until the 2009 session starts.
"We will be back," Wilson promised. And he said "it behooves you to try to come up with a mechanism to get us more financial information" about how the medical school's funds are divided up and spent.
"We will do so. We will sharpen our pencils," Wilson said.