Dan Way writes for the Martin Center about “bailouts” for East Carolina University’s medical school.

The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University has been bailed out by the state to stay afloat, but it’s hard to say how, exactly, North Carolina has benefited by doing so.

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.

A state Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee document from February 2018 shows total state funding for the Brody School in fiscal year 2017 was $67 million, up from $64 million in 2016. Prior state outlays were $59 million in 2015, $60 million in 2014, and $58 million in 2013.

The financial reports for ECU Physicians, the medical practice of the Brody School of Medicine, also show a pattern of outside funds to support it. The reports provided by ECU spokesman Tom Eppes show $3.7 million in operating losses in 2017-2018. But the group ended up $616,000 in the black after a $4.3 million transfer from an undisclosed source.

These outside funds don’t disappear during good times, though.