Last Thursday, interim president Dr. William T. Butler had a town hall format conference where he addressed several concerns put forth by Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) students, namely the following:
- What’s the status of the Rice University and BCM merger?
- What can be said about the drop in BCM’s ranking?
- What will be done about the incomplete Baylor Hospital?
As a native Houstonian who has wished for this merger to occur for years, I was excited to hear about the latest news; however, come to find out, the ambiguity rooted in the rumors over the last few months has remained unchanged. Rice and BCM senior executives/board members are still trying to find a way to iron out how the transition will take place.
As for BCM’s rankings, Dr. Butler spoke my mind. People can base their assessment of a school on US News’ reports, or they can actually consider statistics which are never used in the evaluation. For example, BCM students have (on average) the 4th lowest debt for medical students in this country. That’s pretty amazing. According to Dr. Butler, BCM’s drop can be attributed to not including the research conducted at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in the records (roughly $100 million worth). Why? Well, he briefly mentioned that our friends/rivals in Dallas have something to do with it. 😉
Finally, Baylor Hospital’s construction will be completed before summer of 2010. Unfortunately due to a gross underestimation of the costs (primarily due to the unexpected stock market collapse), the hospital will not be built out from the inside. This issue will most likely be a pivotal point of concern for Rice University upon merging with us.
The coming months should be rather exciting. 🙂