KCUMB says no

Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences President Danny Weaver told The Chart today that he decided personally not to pursue a partnership with Missouri Southern in February.

The KCUMB Board of Trustees voted 14-0  on Tuesday against proceeding with the project to bring a medical school branch to Southern’s campus.

“I would say it was probably back in February, seeing everything that we had coming down with the university, with the lawsuit against the president and the regulatory agencies, etcetera, that we don’t need to be adding something else to our plate at this time,” Weaver said, when contacted by The Chart.

Weaver, who also serves as board president, voted on the proposal.

“As we move forward with this process, we don’t know what’s in front of us and to commit to such a big initiative like this without knowing what’s in front of us here, we don’t think that’s the proper thing for us to be doing at this time,” he added.

University President Bruce Speck could not be reached for comment Tuesday. University spokesperson Rod Surber said Speck would not be available for comment, and said he didn’t know why. He later said Speck had not been formally informed of KCUMB’s vote.

“The steering committee will meet and discuss what the next step is,” Surber said.

When asked if Southern was surprised at the unanimous vote, Surber said an e-mail sent from Weaver to Speck on Feb. 25 and obtained by The Chart last week was “probably an indication.”

In that e-mail, Weaver told Speck that if a vote were held then, the project would probably fail.

Board member Dwight Douglas, who chairs the steering committee, could not be reached for comment.