Ever since November 2015, the Chronicle has been extensively covering a rumored new medical college at MSU; a deal which President Waded Cruzado officially stated fell through in an ambiguous email she sent out to the entire faculty and student body on Dec. 15. Even though Cruzado’s administrators were deep into talks, the deal fell through because of, according to Cruzado’s email, “concerns expressed by some physicians in the state.” And that is about all there is to the email, which is extremely unfortunate because it adds to the notion that the President’s office does not really care to communicate with the general population of the school when they do not have to.
The email’s content raises more questions than answers – the most obvious being why the concerns raised by experts caused the project to fall apart. It seems that they do not want to go into detail about this for a good reason, as there are not enough positions at hospitals and clinics in Montana to accommodate an influx of new medical students. Especially considering the fact that most graduates will not want to work at the hospitals that need the most help, specifically poorer and more rural that cannot afford to pay them what they would need to pay off the proposed $46,000 per year tuition debt.
Cruzado did not seem to have this student centered approach in mind when she wrote a guest article for the Chronicle, and the Office of the President’s lack of transparency in this plan makes them seem less righteous and more nefarious. That may be harsh: after all, MSU is an institution whose overall goal is to make money, even if it should not be that way. An institution of education should have education as its first and foremost goal, especially when said institution is an entity of the government. Unfortunately, that is not the message the current administration is sending about their goals.
Cruzado and her administration may have entirely different goals in mind, ones that do have students forefront of their concerns. But if administration wants students to think that, then they, and Cruzado specifically, have to be more transparent about what is going on with the institution. Otherwise people are put in the position they are in now where they are left wondering if MSU was in talks with Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine purely for monetary reasons.
If Cruzado and the rest of the administration want to show the students and faculty at MSU that they care about them, they should be worrying about improving areas of neglect on campus, and not just try to squeeze more money out of the students. The Diversity Awareness Office, for instance, is in a tiny closet of a workspace on the third floor of the SUB, but at this point it seems like it’s asking for too much to give them a proper office space when instead the administration could just vote to build yet another engineering building with grant money.
The Exponent reached out to the Office of the President for comment and was referred to the Communication Department, who at the time of publication have yet to return with comment.