University of Miami Medical School Layoffs Prompted by Failed Strategies, Critics Say

Critics say roughly 900 layoffs at University of Miami's medical school this past spring were prompted by overly-aggressive expansion and a failed strategic plan — not unforeseen financial circumstances, according to a Miami Herald report.

The school announced layoffs in May, but trustees had received anonymous letters alerting them of "a host of wrongdoings" at the medical school earlier in October, according to the report. Trustees warned UM officials the medical school was spending too much in too short of time, pushing its world-class medical center development. The school proceeded to hire more than 100 scientists from top schools around the country, purchased Cedars Medical Center across the street (now University of Miami Hospital) and continued development plans for a clinical research lab and biomedical building.

UM President Donna Shalala attributed the layoffs of about 800 full-time employees and 190 part-time employees to an unpredictable flow of funds. Now many in the community are questioning whether Ms. Shalala ignored warning signs and proceeded in development, even though 900 layoffs were never part of the plan.

UM Dean Pascal Goldschmidt has defended the planning. He wrote in a statement to the Miami Herald: "We make decisions on the best information available and our assessment of where the field is moving. Not every decision is perfect, nor does the world around us function perfectly. ... What is important is that ... these programs are delivering life-changing discoveries, expanding our impact on the community, and building the reputation of UM as a great research institution."

More Articles on University of Miami Medical School:

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