Faculty Senate further discusses osteopathic program

Provost Jamie Hebert, Ph.D., discussed the next steps in the proposed Osteopathic DO program at Thursday’s Faculty Senate meeting. The formation of the Osteopathic DO program will not be a quick process. There are numerous steps that must be taken before the proposed program is implemented.

“If we’re going to move forward on this, we’re taking one step at a time, we have to, that’s the feel of the vast majority of the cabinet,” Hebert said.

The next step involves hiring a dean to submit a University Curriculum Committee proposal. There are some things that the proposal must entail because it is a doctoral program.

“Under the new coordinating board rules and regulations it requires that we demonstrate the existence of appropriate resources and an appropriate flow of students into that program, all of that has to be addressed in the University Curriculum Committee proposal,” Hebert said.

The provost discussed the financial aspect of the proposed DO program, which includes spending up to 400 thousand dollars.

“To get to the next decision point we are risking about 400 thousand dollars, and that’s going to be in hiring a dean and setting up a dean suite to assist with the development of a plan,” Hebert said.

As mentioned, the formation of this Osteopathic DO program will be completed in multiple steps, which creates decision points.
“By the third or fourth decision point we will have been risking about 3 million dollars,” Hebert said.

The provost addressed some of the concerns about the financial aspect of the DO program and tried to establish a sense of security within some senate members.

“If we say yes, we are going to take the next step,” Hebert said. “We’re not putting 61 million dollars on the line. Ultimately, this would be a 61 million dollar endeavor, but the decision points allow us to stop at intervals, and I want everyone to have that security in what we are doing.”

The provost is not opposed to the proposed DO program but Hebert does express some concern.

“I personally think we need be a little more strategic and a little less deliberate at this point in working toward that end goal,” Hebert said.

However, the provost believes that University President Dana G. Hoyt wants to pursue the DO program for the right reasons. The provost also explained that implementing these programs can be a difficult process, but explained Hoyt feels she can do this.

“In [Hoyt’s] defense it’s about enhancing the reputation of the university and she feels we can get this, right or wrong, she’s doing this with a good intention,” he said. “She really feels like she can win that battle to bring this to the university.”

The provost will take the next step in the process after approval from Hoyt.

“Dr. Hoyt’s the president and if she decides we’re going to take that next step forward, we’re going to take the next step forward,” Hebert said.

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