Arizona Board of Regents President Ernest Calderón today announced that an agreement has been reached that will allow Arizona State University to change its status at the College of Medicine in Phoenix. The University of Arizona will now assume full responsibility for operations of the college.
"These are extraordinarily challenging times for our universities," said Calderón. "This move will allow us to streamline management of the college, and let ASU focus scarce resources on other educational priorities. I applaud both President Crow and President Shelton for the very professional way that they have approached this. In the end, I think both medical students and undergraduates in our system will benefit from the move."
Following board approval of the agreement, the official name for the college will be The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. The college is in its third year of operation, and currently has a class of 48 medical students. Recent legislative approval to begin construction on a new Health Sciences Education Building will allow enrollment to grow to a total of 480 medical students and 80 pharmacy students, in addition to Allied Health Program students from Northern Arizona University. Arizona currently faces a substantial shortage of physicians and other health care workers, and the College of Medicine – Phoenix was designed to help the state meet this critical need.
Accreditation for the College of Medicine – Phoenix is unaffected by the change in partnership status; it was originally awarded to UA. Day-to-day operations of the College of Medicine will continue without interruption.
Calderón continued: "I want to stress that ABOR is deeply committed to having a successful medical school in Phoenix. The region and the state absolutely need it. I have spoken to the Governor, and she has been apprised of this move, and remains supportive of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, of which the College of Medicine is a critical component. In addition to the UA College of Medicine, the Phoenix Biomedical Campus will continue to have a strong presence from Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University, each of them contributing through their unique specialties to the advancement of health care and education in our state."
ASU President Michael Crow and UA President Robert N. Shelton have agreed to terms of the dissolution of the partnership, which must receive formal approval by the Arizona Board of Regents. The item will be put before the board at a special meeting in Phoenix on May 1st.