Monday, February 6, 2017

“The ranking slide happened relatively quickly, but the climb back to the top is a much slower process.”

Well, that's true. The slide did happen quickly, and we all know why, even if nobody at the medical school or in the legislature will talk about it.  It happened when a whistleblower alerted the feds of a massive research scandal. As the Department of Justice put it, the University of Minnesota “illegally profited by selling an unlicensed drug (ALG), failed to report to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) income from selling the drug, improperly tested the drug on patients without their informed consent, and inflated billings on 29 federal grants.”

The result?  NIH probation, a hugely damaging criminal prosecution, and a pay-out of $32 million to federal authorities. Eighty-six faculty members left the medical school in the wake of the scandal.

Twenty years later, after a series of even more spectacular scandals, the U is back at the legislature asking for money to repair its tarnished reputation. The solution?  A new building. It will cost $69 million, but hey, that's a small price to pay to bring the medical school back to its former glory.  After all, medical students currently sit in “very dark, stadium-style classrooms, many of which don’t have windows."

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