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July 28, 2004

More Medical Center political strife

Daniel Arnold, a member of the Baylor College of Medicine board of trustees and the former chairman of that board, has sent the full board a July 14 letter calling for Baylor President Dr. Peter Traber to be fired for failed leadership. Mr. Arnold's letter states that Traber's management of Baylor is "deleterious" and "divisive," and that "his lack of realistic vision and fundamental errors in judgment" are not what Baylor needs in a leader. Here is the Houston Chronicle article on this latest Medical Center dustup. The letter is expected to be discussed today at a meeting of the 48-member board.

Corby Robertson, the current chairman of the Baylor board, told the Chronicle that he believes that Dr. Traber has the board's support

Mr. Arnold sent his letter amid the recent political fallout over the split of the long teaching relationship between Baylor and The Methodist Hospital (earlier posts here). The institutions have been in open conflict since deciding to sever their 50-year relationship in which Methodist served as the teaching hospital for Baylor students and residents. Last week, Baylor threatened legal action against Methodist if the hospital does not cease actions that Baylor alleges are interfering with Baylor's operations, including Methodist's "aggressive recruiting" of Baylor faculty members.

Mr. Arnold was the Baylor board chairman who butted heads with popular Baylor faculty member and president, Dr. Ralph Feigin. In that conflict, Mr. Arnold attempted to force Dr. Feigin to choose between the presidency and his other job as physician-in-chief at Texas Children's Hospital. Dr. Feigin subsequently announced he was stepping down, only to have the decision overturned a month later after key faculty and trustees objected. Dr. Traber replaced Dr. Feigin in March, 2003 when Dr. Feigin resigned at the age of 65.

Update: The Baylor board voted unanimously (with one abstention) to support Dr. Traber.

Posted by Tom at July 28, 2004 8:24 PM |

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