ASU leaves UA medical school partnership in Phoenix

2010-04-02T08:35:00Z ASU leaves UA medical school partnership in PhoenixBecky Pallack Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 02, 2010 8:35 am  • 

Arizona State University is pulling out of a partnership with the UA at the downtown Phoenix medical college.

The University of Arizona will assume full responsibility for the 3-year-old medical school, Arizona Board of Regents president Ernest Calderón announced Friday. The decision won’t change day-to-day operations.

“These are extraordinarily challenging times for our universities,” Calderón said in a press statement. “This move will allow us to streamline management of the college, and let ASU focus scarce resources on other educational priorities.”

ASU and the UA have each taken about $100 million in state funding cuts in the past two years. Both schools have cut and consolidated programs and cut jobs.

ASU leaders reached the decision to leave the medical school partnership in the last few days, said Virgil Renzulli, ASU vice president of public affairs.

“The ball game has changed” for the medical school, he said. “We were expecting the state to invest more.”

Last week the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Capital Review gave the green light for construction of a new $115 million education building at the Phoenix campus. Construction is expected to begin this month on the 265,000-square-foot building near North Seventh and East Van Buren streets.

The new building will allow the medical school to grow, eventually supporting 120 UA medical students, 80 UA advanced pharmacy students and more than 2,000 ASU nursing students. The space will also help Northern Arizona University’s health professions program.

The board must formally approve the medical school partnership dissolution at a special meeting in Phoenix on May 1, according to a UA press release. Also potentially on the agenda for the special meeting are reports from the university presidents on the regents' directive to cut state payroll spending by 2.75 percent and contingency plans for how the universities will cut their budgets if Prop 100 fails.

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