ND Higher Ed Committee Delays Formal Response to Med School Audit

BISMARCK N.D.

Members of the state Board of Higher Education have put off a formal response to a state audit of the University of North Dakota medical school until they can meet with officials of the school and UND.

That audit, released last week, criticized medical school Dean H. David Wilson’s management style and said family practice centers in Bismarck and Minot may not be good business investments.

Audit manager Gordy Smith discussed the audit Tuesday in a conference call with the higher education board’s Budget, Audit and Finance Committee. The audit includes 35 recommendations with responses from the medical school, its advisory council and UND officials.

“Until we have an opportunity to hear both from the auditors and from the University of North Dakota, I would be very reluctant for us to act in any way with regard to the audit, other than to send it on to the Legislature,” higher education board President John Q. Paulsen said.

The Legislature’s Audit and Fiscal Review Committee is to consider the audit Nov. 19.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Smith focused on five cases in which the medical school challenged the auditor’s recommendations, including one to better evaluate the dean’s job.

“We noted a number of areas in which the dean’s actions have resulted in a negative effect with the medical community, faculty, and other key stakeholders,” the audit said.

The audit said Wilson has alienated faculty members and state lawmakers by making decisions without consulting others or taking into account their public impact. Wilson disputed that.

The audit also suggested restarting a family medicine residency in Fargo.

Higher education subcommittee Chairman Richie Smith, of Wahpeton, invited medical school officials to respond to Smith during Tuesday’s telephone phone conference, but school officials declined because Wilson was not on the conference call.

University system Chancellor Bill Goetz said he plans to ask medical school officials to meet with state board members in Dickinson in December. He also said he wants the medical school’s advisory council to make periodic reports to the higher education board.

“I have sent a letter to President (Charles) Kupchella (at UND), indicating this is a necessity,” Goetz said.

Information from: Grand Forks Herald, http://www.grandforksherald.com



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