[Source: Ken Alltucker, Arizona Republic] — The University of Arizona wants to rapidly expand its medical school in downtown Phoenix to ensure a steady supply of medical workers for the state and an economic punch for the center city. But university officials say the school’s growth is in jeopardy because of the state’s budget troubles and lawmakers’ reluctance to release $400 million in state Lottery funds to expand the campus. The money would pay for two new buildings — an education building and a research building — that would house students, faculty, and scientists and anchor the biomedical campus.
University officials say the campus is simply running out of space and cannot match the state’s need for more doctors and medical professionals. “We are making do, barely, with the space we have,” said William Crist, UA’s vice president for health affairs. “Without this medical center continuing to grow, we don’t have the capacity to train medical professionals in Arizona.”
University of Arizona and Phoenix city officials are pressing state lawmakers and Gov. Jan Brewer to provide the money they say is critical to the future health of the downtown medical school. They worry that prospective medical school students may search elsewhere if the Phoenix school cannot grow and offer the types of services that students expect. “They are bright people (students), they are going to look around,” said Stuart Flynn, dean of the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix in partnership with Arizona State University. “Once students begin figuring this out, that is when we will not be able to get the highest-caliber students.” [Note: To read the full article, click here.]