Saskatchewan

U of S medical school having trouble finding new dean

After the medical school at the University of Saskatchewan was threatened with the loss of its accreditation last month, the college is having trouble finding a new Dean.

After the medical school at the University of Saskatchewan was threatened with the loss of its accreditation last month, the college is having trouble finding a new Dean.

William Albritton, the current Dean of Medicine, will be retiring in a few months.

But before any hiring decisions were made for his replacement, two of the three shortlisted candidates accepted positions in Alberta.

The selection setback comes as the College of Medicine is being warned it could be placed on probation again.

Last month the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools said it found 10 shortcomings with the college, such as unclear communication among staff and students and no assurance students in Saskatoon and Regina are getting the same hands-on training.   

But Brett Fairbairn, the university's senior academic administrator, said he doesn't think those problems deterred the applicants for Dean.

"To the best of my knowledge from talking to the candidates, it did not play a role," he said.

"Other medical doctor universities across the country compete for the same people. We know we're in that kind of race.  We're happy to compete. We don't like it when we don't win."

Fairbairn said the search committee will interview the third candidate and will accept other applications. 

On Wednesday, the College of Medicine is inviting faculty, staff and students to a meeting where it will outline a new clinical-academic structure.

If a new model isn't in place by this summer, the new dean won't be able to lead and the college's accreditation will be pulled, said Fairbairn. 

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