PHOENIX ― Arizona doctors are calling for an investigation into the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix following the departure of a long-serving dean and several top officials.
After eight years as the college’s dean, Stuart Flynn resigned in April to lead a new Fort Worth, Texas, medical school created by Texas Christian University and the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Several senior leaders of the Phoenix school recently announced their plans to join him there.
The Arizona Medical Association has asked the state Board of Regents, which oversees public universities, to “examine the events and issues that led to the departures of the senior leadership team” and investigate any organizational impediments that contributed to the exodus of senior officials at the college.
The association’s voting body passed the resolution, which not only requests an investigation but states that the group has no confidence in UA’s leadership and oversight of the Phoenix medical school. The group sent the resolution to Regents President Eileen Klein and asked that the board take corrective action to make sure the school’s operations and education thrive.
Regents Chair Jay Heiler said in a statement that the board wants to hear more from the medical association about its concerns.
Offering jobs to former colleagues is “normal in academic medicine and a compliment to the talents of the people who work here,” Dr. Joe “Skip” Garcia, UA senior vice president of health sciences, said in a statement.
Garcia, who oversees the UA’s medical campuses in Phoenix and Tucson, said he was surprised about the call for an investigation and will look into the concerns of medical school stakeholders.
Interim Dean Dr. Kenneth Ramos said he has already promoted people to fill the positions of two senior leaders who accepted jobs in Fort Worth and said leadership changes will come before classes start in July.
“We can use the summer months to regroup,” Ramos said. “One of the things we are doing pretty well is messaging, making sure all stakeholders are aware of the changes.”