Forum to discuss medical school rumors

Friday, January 16, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 2:01 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY — A forum to address rumors about MU’s medical school making a move to Kansas City has been scheduled for next week in Columbia.

The forum, which was requested by Rep. Chuck Graham last October, is scheduled for

1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the School of Medicine. The panel will consist of local legislators and MU, UM system and medical school officials.

Talk about moving the program began last fall after two endowed research institutions in Kansas City expressed interest in the UM system consolidating its Columbia medical program with the one at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, legislators said.

Officials, including UM President Elson Floyd, MU Chancellor Richard Wallace and School of Medicine Dean William Crist have denied such plans were ever in the works. UM Board of Curators member Marion Cairns has also cited the rumor as a “nonissue.”

Graham views the matter differently.

Although the curators have said they have no interest in moving the medical school, Graham said he is concerned that could change in the coming year.

Three vacancies on the board will open up in January 2005, to be filled by gubernatorial nomination. And with the race for the governor’s seat under way, it’s uncertain who will do the appointing, he said.

“Who knows what would happen if we had a governor who appointed three curators who said they would support (the move),” Graham said.

UM spokesman Joe Moore said questions about the school’s rumored move to Kansas City would be only one of the subjects addressed at the forum.

Moore reiterated Floyd’s past denial that discussions about the move are taking place.

“He said from the very beginning the MU medical school is staying here,” Moore said. “I have heard of nothing otherwise.”

University Hospital spokesman Maurice Manring also said there is no way the move “is a possibility whatsoever.”

University Hospital has the only Level I trauma center outside Kansas City or St. Louis.

The time of the forum could change. Columbia Rep. Jeff Harris said he would like to attend but isn’t able to make the

1:30 p.m. slot.

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