Legislature okays WSU med school

Nearly 100 years ago, in 1917, the Washington legislature divvied up academic responsibilities between the University of Washington and Washington State University. The UW got law, medicine, forestry, library sciences, and fisheries; WSU got agriculture, agricultural economics, and veterinary medicine. Avoiding duplication made sense to those long-ago legislators.

The UW School of Medicine, established in 1946, now supplies doctors to five states: Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. It’s a powerhouse of medical research and training. But WSU, citing a shortage of doctors in eastern Washington, is lobbying for its own stand-apart medical school. Today’s legislators are buying it.

Identical bills, SB 5487 and HB 1559, amending the 1917 statute have passed both houses of the legislature. When one house approves the other’s bill, it will go to the governor for signature. The bills authorize WSU to pursue accreditation for its proposed medical school, but appropriate no money for this purpose. The accreditation process is expected to cost $1 million to $3 million a year for several years. That, of course, doesn’t count any of the costs of building a medical school and hiring faculty.

Source:  Seattle Times

6711827Photo: Artist’s conception of proposed WSU medical school building. Oops, a button on my keyboard is sticking. Lemme see if I can fix this …



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