To the Deans of the UIC College of Medicine:
We, the undersigned students of the UIC College of Medicine are dismayed to hear that we might be losing support staff on April 5, 2010. Our educational experience is often hampered by an administration that is at its breaking point already, and losing staff in the Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME),Anatomy, and several other departments would be a huge impediment to our learning abilities. If UIC’s College of Medicine is to reach its potential as a world-class medical school, we must invest in resources for students, not divest.
The budgetary crisis is real. We do not fault you in your aggressive stance in dealing with it. However, we disagree with your priorities. While there is a shortfall of state funding this year, there has also been record-breaking fundraising by the University of Illinois system—to the tune of $1.87 billion in the past year alone1. What better use for this money is there than keeping the UIC College of Medicine functioning?
Maintaining current staffing levels in basic student-contact departments is essential. It is the opinion of those undersigned that we are at a breaking point in terms of student services. For example, the most basic requirements for keeping our patients safe—vaccination records, required respirator fittings, and immunizations—are woefully close to failure. We are not timely notified of what hospitals need from us. We are not guided through the arduous process of basic compliance in hospitals.
UIC College of Medicine sorely lacks dedicated and effective student service staff members like Joe Iobaker. Joe represents an integral part of the student experience well beyond his job description, from regularly advocating for student needs to sharing his UIC history knowledge at a Chicago Medical Student Council (CMSC) event. The loss of support staff like Joe, especially in the absence of student input, reinforces UIC College of Medicine’s history of disillusioned students and alumni.
We’ll put in the time and money it requires to become physicians. However, we cannotachieve excellence in a broken support system. Barring the ideal of increasing support capacity to higher levels, we ask that student services are at least kept at the current level. We pay thousands of dollars in tuition, and respectfully request that you, the administration, keep up your end of the bargain.
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