Saskatchewan

U of S docs pan restructuring plan

A proposal to split the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan into separate teaching and research arms is encountering stiff opposition from a group of faculty members.

A proposal to split the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan into separate teaching and research arms is encountering stiff opposition from a group of faculty members.

Under the proposed restructuring, full-time faculty would spend most of their time on research, while doctors from outside the university would do most of the teaching.

A group of 23 faculty members in family medicine says the idea is unworkable and is being pushed through too hastily.

They also say teaching will be sacrificed to boost research.

However, university provost Brett Fairbairn disagrees. He links the plan to work the university is doing to maintain its accreditation.

"We know, for example, that the accrediting bodies are coming back in less than a year's time," he said. "By the time they visit, we will need to have shown sufficient progress on this plan to give them confidence in its success."

The idea was first unveiled to faculty and students at a special meeting of the College of Medicine on April 11.

It is on the agenda for approval by the University Council at its May 17 meeting. The family medicine professors say they are drafting an alternative.