Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Governors Say FSU Ad For Dean Premature

Governors Say FSU Ad For Dean Premature

Jan 13, 2005

TAMPA - The ad in The Chronicle of Higher Education is enticing.
Come to Florida State University, ``situated in Tallahassee, Florida's beautiful, wooded capital city,'' to be the founding dean at FSU's chiropractic college.

The ad appears in the Jan. 7 issue of The Chronicle, a national weekly for university professors and administrators. It promises the opportunity to make a mark on the school ``in all aspects of teaching, research/scholarly activity, advocacy, service and fund raising.''

What the ad fails to mention is the chiropractic school may not exist if the Board of Governors doesn't approve it.

The board, which oversees Florida's 11 public universities, is scheduled to vote on the matter Jan. 27. FSU trustees will discuss the school Friday.

The ad is raising eyebrows.

``I think they've got the cart before the horse,'' said Raymond Bellamy, a Tallahassee orthopedist and adjunct medical school professor.

Carolyn Roberts, the Board of Governors' chairwoman, called the timing ``presumptuous.''

``I'm surprised FSU would advertise for a position when our board unanimously voted that they should not take any action until after we voted on it,'' Roberts said.

The ad first ran in The Chronicle's Nov. 19 issue and has run four times since, FSU provost Larry Abele said Wednesday.

FSU officials placed the ad in October, before a Nov. 18 Board of Governors meeting at which the board voted unanimously to require FSU to obtain the board's approval before proceeding with plans for the school. If approved, it would be the nation's first public chiropractic school.

Abele said FSU was not trying to usurp the board's authority by seeking candidates for the dean's job before the program is approved.

``If the Board of Governors says they don't like it, we'll withdraw the ad,'' Abele said. ``If they like it, we'll look at the pool of candidates.''

The proposal is controversial because state lawmakers appropriated $9 million a year in perpetuity for the school without FSU obtaining the Board of Governors' approval.

A lawsuit filed last month by a group of former state higher education officials, lawyers and educators seeks to define the Board of Governors' powers. The suit says plans for the school should not proceed without board approval.

Abele said he has fielded calls from about six potential candidates.

John Dasburg, the Board of Governors' vice chairman, said that by placing the ad, FSU officials may be showing confidence the program will pass.

Steven Uhlfelder, a Board of Governors member, said Wednesday he has not decided how he'll vote on the proposal.

Uhlfelder, a Tallahassee resident, said he has been ``bombarded'' in recent weeks by people opposed to a chiropractic school at FSU.

``Anything that causes this much dissension should be seriously questioned,'' Uhlfelder said.

``I wouldn't give up your day job to apply for this job,'' he said. ``We're a long way from finalizing a chiropractic school at FSU.''