National Review reports on ECU medical school bailouts, with comments from Carolina Journal’s Dan Way:
You might think that a state medical school could operate without the need for periodic bailouts from the government. Maybe most do, but not the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.
Dan Way of the John Locke Foundation looks into the murky accounting that surrounds ECU in this Martin Center article.
Way writes: “The difficulty in evaluating the school comes from a lack of transparency, oversight, and clear results. Funding that began as a temporary solution has become a permanent revenue stream. The state has invested hundreds of millions of tax dollars in the Brody School since its opening in 1977, often bailing it out with additional emergency funds due to operating losses.”
It’s not just Way who is baffled by the university — so are the state treasurer, the state controller’s office, and the legislature’s fiscal-research office. State treasurer Dale Folwell has said that the answers he gets when he’s tried to find out facts about the Brody School are “as clear as mud.”
One thing Folwell has discovered is a plan to divert $10 million in patient fees the school collects into the ECU athletic department.
The state’s watchdog agencies over ECU’s Brody School offer merely “the veneer of oversight,” Way argues.
I sent the article to an emeritus professor I know at ECU, who responded that “ECU’s elusive accounting system reminds me of Enron in its last days.”
Are state resources being put to their best medical uses? It certainly seems that they aren’t.
Read more here.