Med School

Rice/Baylor Merger Update

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. 🙂


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  1. i am all for a merger.

    point of concern: for a school that touted its top 10 (or near top 10) rankings in both clinical and research rankings in US News, they are quick to denounce the ranking system now. i think the BCM administration has some issues to resolve within itself and that BCM itself needs to build its resources back up before merging with rice.

    i saw leebron speak recently about this merger, and i think if done properly, both rice and baylor (hopefully then Baylor College of Medicine AT Rice University) will benefit!

      1. Brilliant video lecture Dr. Vardi! Definitely worth watching in it’s entirety to get the entire real picture of the situation between Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University.

        The above link is not working (I think bc the URL includes a period) so those who want to see go here:
        and then go to “Public Lecture – A Personal Perspective on the Rice-BCM Merger, Oct. 26, 2009” where you can see the slides and video.


  2. Well M.D. Anderson is officially under the UT-Houston medical school (hence the name – The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center) not with Baylor College of Medicine, so any research coming out of M.D. Anderson would benefit UT Houston’s rank.

    1. M.D. Anderson is actually a separate unit of the University of Texas System. It is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine and UT-Houston. Although, it is more integrated with UT-Houston.

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