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UC Riverside taking final steps in planning medical school

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10:00 PM PDT on Monday, October 22, 2007

The Press-Enterprise

UC Riverside is entering the final and most challenging phase of planning for its proposed School of Medicine: preparing a business plan outlining how much it will cost and who will pay for it.

Acting Chancellor Robert Grey, who was appointed in June, said Monday, "We have to get it bullet proof so everybody, from the regents, to the community, to the faculty sees it can work financially."

Grey has chosen Phyllis A. Guze as executive director for medical-school planning, formed six work groups and engaged a consulting firm to guide preparation of the school's business plan.

UCR wants to build the state's first public medical school in almost 40 years and to become the sixth UC medical school. The UC Regents approved a preliminary proposal in November 2006 authorizing UCR to proceed with final plans.

Guze is chair emerita of the Department of Medicine at the Veterans Administration Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and a long-time professor of medicine at UCLA.. She was not available for comment Monday.

She helped develop the curriculum that UCR's Academic Senate is considering, Grey said. The Academic Senate will be asked to approve the curriculum and endorse the business plan early next year. Grey said he is hoping that the final proposal is ready for the regents to consider at their May meeting.

He expects to resume a search for the medical school dean early in the new year. Grey suspended the initial search because he believed the permanent chancellor should have a hand in selecting the dean. A 17-member chancellor search committee is scheduled to meet for the first time Oct. 29.

Meanwhile, Grey's work groups will analyze issues relating to the school's administrative structure, facilities and capital planning, graduate medical education programs, relationships with local medical facilities, and faculty requirements for teaching third- and fourth-year medical students. Members represent faculty, staff, medical community leaders, campus administration and alumni.

Grey said he plans to establish a chancellor's community advisory board to serve as a link between the community and the new school as it develops.

Deloitte Consulting will oversee the work of each group and provide the project management support. The $2.97 million contract plus expenses will be covered by a $5 million planning grant the university received in Summer 2006 from UnitedHealth Group, said Kathy Barton, UCR director of health affairs communication.

Reach Elaine Regus at 951-368-9478 or eregus@PE.com

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