Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Did the Medical School in Athens just Hit a Snag ???
Word out today that Medical College of Georgia president Dan Rahn has accepted the position of chancellor of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Dr. Rahn was one of the driving forces behind MCG expansion to Athens and beyond. How will his departure , along with the tough economic times the state is experiencing, affect the new medical school?

Dr. Rahn's move to Little Rock has yet to be scheduled. Some Augusta-area politicians want to him to go ahead and pack the U-haul:
When Dr. Rahn will become a chancellor is still an open question. He said Arkansas officials have assured him that they will be flexible and that it could be any time between July 1 and the end of the year. There are many projects at MCG, such as finalizing funding for the new building for the School of Dentistry and firming up plans for new student housing, that he wants to complete.

"There are a number of things that I really want to see through to finish well in my current position," Dr. Rahn said, "and then have a smooth transition as the search goes forward for the next president at MCG."

It is for those same reasons, however, that state Sen. Ed. Tarver, D-Augusta, would like a shorter process. Mr. Tarver said he didn't know whether "in this instance a long goodbye is in the best interests of MCG, with the number of extremely important decisions that are being made regarding the future of MCG both in Augusta and statewide. It raises the question of whether or not moving forward as quickly as possible to select new leadership would be a better strategy in this case."....

...."I would like to see the search started as quickly as possible," Mr. Tarver said. "And that a new leader be identified for the Medical College of Georgia at the earliest possible date. And if necessary that the institution move as quickly as possible to identify an interim while their search is ongoing."

The Augusta community is not happy about the potential for a medical school in Athens. Those who are familiar with both cities will agree with me that Athens provides a more "student friendly" environment than does Augusta.

The Board of Regents website about the expansion is here.

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