Governors not discouraged by KCUMB vote

The Board of Governors is disappointed — but not discouraged- by Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience’s decision not to partner with Missouri Southern for a medical school.

“In the long run, maybe this will be a blessing and we’ll come out with an even better program,” Dr. Charles McGinty, Board member, told The Chart.

However, KCUMB’s decision is still a bit of a setback.

“We haven’t been able to continue to move forward,” McGinty said. “We’re not discouraged and we’re sure that our nation needs more highly skilled, qualified health care workers and physicians…this is something that would be tremendously beneficial for our part of the country and especially for Joplin and southwest Missouri.”

McGinty said the Board didn’t initially expect to find a partner as fast as it did with KCUMB.

“That kind of fell right into our lap, so we worked on and pursued that,” McGinty said. “The original plan was that we would spend some time working with more than one school to see which would be the best fit.”

In the past few months, Southern has been looking at other schools for possible partnership, and McGinty said he would not be surprised if Southern had already looked at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. Larry McIntire, chairman of the medical school steering committee, told The Chart he has already made preliminary contact with the Kirksville school.

McGinty did not say whether or not Southern would necessarily partner with an in-state college, but did talk about the advantages of working with a private, rather than public, school. He said to partner with a publicly-funded university would force Southern to jump through several legal hoops in the process, such as going through the Coordinating Board of Higher Education and involving legislature and the governor.

“That’s a lot of political capital you have to use to accomplish all those things,” he said.

Board members Sherry Buchanan, Rod Anderson, David Jones and Nancy Perry could not be reached for comment as of press time. Richard Walter was contacted, but he had been out of town and not yet informed of KCUMB’s decision.