In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.
Friday, January 1, 2010
Three More Whats!
Everybody knows that the good folks who live within the higher education community inhale rarified air which gives them a slight air of arrogance. Not that there is anything wrong with being smart, but sometimes the intelligentsia can lose touch with reality. Exhibit A: The move by three universities to construct more med schools. The state already has four at the U of M, Wayne State and two at MSU. Enter Oakland, Western and Central universities quietly piecing together a package to build three more. That's the question the state's former Community Health Director Jim Haveman is asking as he sits on the outside looking in. Former Gov. John Engler's health guy reasons thusly: Accessibility( to health care) remains a problem but the proposed solution to open three new medical schools is the wrong answer." In other words, put Haveman down as a no vote. He sights national data suggesting that this state already has more doctors per capita than the national average and since the existing four med schools are taking on more students, where is the need to create even more slots on the three other campuses? The dirty little secret about living in an ivory tower is that everyone wants to add more ivory and state taxpayers get clobbered with the cost. University prestige, which is an amorphous thing to begin with, lies within the eyes of the bolder and having a winning football team is one thing, but having a fancy smanchy med school is quite another. After playing second fiddle for too long to the high and the mighthy in A2, Detroit and East Lansing, the "other schools" want some of the glory and the money that inevitably follows when med schools are built. But Haveman calls for a time out and a little logic, which supposedly does exist somewhere on a college campus. The state is losing population and it faces a $1.8 billion deficit this year. Is this the time to pour more money into new med schools? You don't need a PhD to figure out the answer do ya?