[Source: Anne Ryman, Arizona Republic] — When the University of Arizona opened a college of medicine in downtown Phoenix in 2006, the endeavor was hailed as a national model, given the heavy involvement of its long-standing rival, Arizona State University. Now, a scant three years later, that partnership is likely ending — the latest victim of state budget cuts. ASU officials confirmed that they plan to pull out of the project and that early next month, the Arizona Board of Regents will vote whether to give full operating responsibilities for the school to UA.
University and regents officials said Friday that ASU’s impending departure will not impact the students, the school’s accreditation or its planned $187 million expansion into a new medical building. “ASU has a lot of other responsibilities, and this wasn’t their top priority. It was UA’s,” said Dr. William Crist, UA’s vice president for health affairs. “At the end, they (ASU officials) felt squeezed financially.”
The announcement comes as UA is preparing to break ground on the five-story Health Sciences Education Building near Seventh and Van Buren streets. The new building will allow the medical school to gradually expand class size to 110 students annually, up from the current 48. The building is being financed with bonds that will be paid off with Arizona Lottery revenue, but the universities are expected to pay 20 percent of the total costs. Crist said UA hopes to cover those expenses through fund-raising; it already has a $15 million federal grant to put toward construction. [Note: To read the full article, visit ASU plans to end partnership role in downtown Phoenix med school.]