Chancellor's Friday Letters

Chancellor White’s Special “Friday” letter of October 3, 2012

Chancellor White’s Special “Friday” letter of October 3, 2012

October 3, 2012

Dear Friends,

I want to take a moment away from the joy and celebration that is rippling through the campus this week to share with you the wonderful news about the accreditation of the new UCR medical school.

Just yesterday afternoon we received notification from the Liaison Committee for Medical Education that the School of Medicine has been granted preliminary accreditation. This means we can begin recruiting students for the charter class of 50 medical students, enrolling in August 2013.

When faced with challenge after challenge, the Inland Southern California community stepped forward with advocacy, moral support and financial backing. Sheer determination and a refusal to “take a knee” have transformed the vision of this medical school into a reality.

Finally we can begin to prepare a cadre of future doctors, schooled in the very primary care and short-supply specialties desperately and urgently needed in the Inland area to remedy the severe physician shortage.

That need has been our greatest incentive as we have tackled issue after issue on the road to preliminary accreditation. And our greatest encouragement has been the tremendous support we have received from the individual residents, elected officials, and civic leaders of Riverside and San Bernardino counties, as well as the region’s healthcare professionals and UCR’s own cadre of volunteers and supporters, along with faculty and staff.

Each of those people, and the medical institutions and political entities that have advocated for us and supported us financially, deserves my most profound and humble thanks.

Without their wholehearted support, we would never have received this good news.

As you may be aware, the medical school was rejected for accreditation a year ago because of a lack of ongoing state funding. That’s when the people in this area stepped in.

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors committed funding over a 10-year period, as did the UC Office of the President. A coalition of Inland hospitals, healthcare providers and other funders also stepped up to the plate. The result was a financial model to sustain a small class of medical students for the next 10 years without new state support. However, we will still need the state to invest to realize the full potential of the medical school to achieve its public mission to improve the health of our community.

I would like to publicly thank G. Richard Olds, the dean of our new medical school. During this drawn-out accreditation process, he has shown his mettle. An international expert in infectious disease, he left an enviable position as chair of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin to help make this school a reality. With each new challenge, he rolled up his sleeves and ploughed ahead with determination and confidence.

I could not have asked for a more able or a more skilled partner in this endeavor. Here is a video of him adding his thanks to mine:

The additional good news for the community is that both the medical school and the cadre of new physicians it produces will serve as a tremendous engine of economic activity in this area. This means that residents will not only be able to count on better health care in the future, but the expectation of more jobs and greater economic activity.

Lastly, let me invite each and every one of you to join me in celebrating this news on Monday. We will gather on campus at Rivera Plaza, adjacent to Hinderaker Hall, at 5:30 p.m., when we will take joy in perhaps the best news this community has received in a very long time.

To all of you, for all you have done, thank you on behalf of both our campus and our community.


Timothy P. White

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