University regents to pursue review of UA medical school

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PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Board of Regents announced Friday that it would pursue an independent review of leadership style, workplace climate and other issues at University of Arizona's medical school, which saw the departure of several officials in the past few months.

Board Chair Greg Patterson said he would call for the board's attorneys to look for an outside expert to do interviews and evaluate concerns raised about the UA's colleges of medicine in Tucson and Phoenix.

Regents and UA President Ann Weaver Hart met for more than an hour in a closed-door meeting in Phoenix.

Hart earlier this week called for an outside investigation into the use of public funds at the university's Phoenix and Tucson campuses. That came after Regents President Eileen Klein said she received information questioning spending and the accuracy of public records at the schools.

The outside party would likely be an expert in either law or human resources issues, Patterson said, and would be asked to survey everything from management style to the reason for recent faculty departures.

Patterson said there would not be as much of a focus on how public money was spent because there was "no reason to believe it was spent inappropriately."

Patterson said the board hoped to receive a full report before year's end.

The meeting came after months of controversy surrounding the university's two colleges of medicine.

In April, the school appointed an interim dean for its University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix after the current dean left. Stuart Flynn resigned to lead a new Fort Worth, Texas, medical school created by Texas Christian University and the University of North Texas Health Science Center.

Several senior leaders of the Phoenix school plan to join him there.

The Arizona Medical Association previously asked the board that oversees public universities to look into what led to the departures and what contributed to the exodus of senior officials.

The Phoenix medical school opened in 2007 as a branch campus of the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Tucson.

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