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Crunch Time for State Funding

UC Riverside School of Medicine Accreditation Delayed by State Budget Concerns

Ability of School to Open for Students in Summer 2012 is in Doubt Pending Resolution of State Funding Issues

(June 8, 2011)

In March the School of Medicine opened a building on campus with state-of-the-art laboratory space.  Photo by Carlos Puma.Enlarge

In March the School of Medicine opened a building on campus with state-of-the-art laboratory space. Photo by Carlos Puma.

RIVERSIDE, Calif., ( -- National medical school accreditors have verbally notified UC Riverside administrators that they will withhold preliminary accreditation of the school’s proposed 4-year medical program until concerns over the lack of recurring funds from the State of California are addressed.

UC Riverside had been planning to enroll medical students beginning in summer 2012, but needed the preliminary accreditation to proceed. Unless a successful appeal can be launched, the opening of the school will be delayed.
UCR Medical School officials learned of the issue in a telephone call yesterday from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).

The school will have 30 days from receipt of a pending official letter from the LCME to decide whether to appeal the committee’s decision. That decision will rest on whether or not UCR is able to secure a commitment for recurring state funds within the next 30 days. University officials said that they would now look to Sacramento to aid in discussions about how to address the concerns of the LCME.

School officials stressed that the concern raised in the accreditation process was not about the academic plans presented to the board.

In fact, UCR was told that the medical school’s educational program, faculty, facilities and leadership team met accreditation standards.

“Our resolve to move forward is only strengthened, in that this is an issue of state appropriations, not a question of the quality of our program,” said UCR Chancellor Timothy P. White. “UCR remains committed to better serving Inland Southern California by establishing the state’s first new public medical school in more than 40 years in a region experiencing a severe physician shortage.”
White is traveling to Sacramento tomorrow and will be meeting with a variety of legislators.

School of Medicine Dean G. Richard Olds added, “We understand the decision by the LCME considering the ongoing challenges of the state budget. However, we know that potentially delaying the training of new physicians is detrimental to the overall health of Inland Southern California’s rapidly growing and diverse population of 4 million residents.”

Funding for the support of the UCR School of Medicine has been included in the Governor's budget proposal for the past three years in a row. So far the final state budget has not included the permanent and recurring state support. "The decision about whether we can move forward clearly rests with Sacramento," White said.

The decision does not affect the existing fully-accredited UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences, which trains more than 50 first- and second-year medical students before they finish their M.D. degrees at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. This program has been in place and funded for more than 30 years.

“The School of Medicine is an important part of UCR’s future and that of the UC system as a whole," said Professor Mary Gauvain, chair of the UCR Division of the Academic Senate. “The systemwide Senate is committed to the idea that UC is one, unified university on 10 campuses and that each campus has a right to achieve excellence. For UCR, the medical school is a significant step on the path to preeminence.”

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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