The LuLac Edition #2062, May 22nd, 2012
DATING GAME OVERThe courtship of the Commonwealth Medical College and the University of Scranton has now ended. Yesterday afternoon a joint announcement by both parties was made and the gist of the missive was that “there will be no deal”.
"After careful thought and thorough analysis assisted by national experts, we have decided to end affiliation discussions and commit ourselves to strengthening and expanding the various forms of collaboration that have marked our relationship since TCMC was founded," the two paragraph release stated. "While disappointed in this outcome, we move forward with mutual respect, having reinforced our connection through this process." The release was signed by Kevin P. Quinn, president of The University of Scranton and Dr. Lois Margaret Nora,the dean and interim president of The Commonwealth Medical College. (Times Leader)
With this news, there are many questions that will need to be answered.
If not Scranton University, then who?
Will the school still be accepting new students?
What of their credentials as a Medical College?
Will there be any more money forthcoming from the Blue Cross of NEPA surplus?
If the latter is yes, what will the reaction be of the BCNEPA rate payers?
And most importantly, can any long standing funding give the school to at least be on the way to survival mode?
The Medical College was a good idea. It put Northeastern Pennsylvania on the map and gave students an opportunity to learn their craft from truly great professionals. However, like so many things in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the concept started out seriously flawed and under a cloud. It is a very bad idea to lure people from outside of the area with cash bonuses while you are trying to raise money as a start up. It is almost criminal to hand out bonuses of over $50,000 a year to Human Resource flunkies who push papers around all day and contribute nothing to the financial growth of the institution. Now with the specter of former Senator Robert Mellow’s upcoming sentencing, the main legislative power will not be around to help at the State level. With Penn State and other statewide institutions getting cut, how can the Corbett administration justify aiding the school? If this school dies, it will not be because of the work being done by staffers on board now, the commitment of its students and faculty and the largess of area companies (see BCNEPA) that contributed money in good faith. It will die because of the greed of those people who demanded the bonuses and the stupidity of the board for giving them the money. Years ago when I worked for the United Way, I was told that in every bus station bathroom out of state there was a sign that said “Come to Northeastern Pennsylvania: they’re easy marks. Apparently, that sign extended to professional levels too. Take the rubes over the coals, they’ll be impressed by the out of town credentials. Hell, they’ll even pay bonuses! And in the end, we not only pay but look foolish doing it time and time again. We never, ever learn.