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Friday, June 21, 2024
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Faculty Senate votes to support closing Department of Nuclear Medicine

The senate’s resolution cited financial concerns about the 52-year-old department’s finances

<p>The Faculty Senate voted last week to support the closure of the Nuclear Medicine Department, which is located in Parker Hall.</p>

The Faculty Senate voted last week to support the closure of the Nuclear Medicine Department, which is located in Parker Hall.

The Faculty Senate unanimously voted last week to support the closure of the Nuclear Medicine Department in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

The resolution, introduced by Faculty Senate Academic Planning and Assessment Committee Chair Diane Christian, cites a 2023 analysis conducted by the Jacobs School of Medicine that looked at the department’s research, teaching, education and “the financial stability of the clinical practice.” The analysis found that the department was racked with “substantial debt, aging equipment, the lack of available capital to replace the equipment, decreased volume and an unsustainable business mode.”

The Nuclear Medicine departmental faculty and their research activities are intended to be transferred to the Jacobs School of Medicine’s Radiology Department.

The decision to close the Nuclear Medicine Department was first proposed by Dean of Jacobs School of Medicine Allison Brashear in a Faculty Council executive meeting in March 2023. 

In charge of conducting an external review of the proposal and assessing its impact, the Faculty Council Ad Hoc Committee on the Restructuring of the Department of Nuclear Medicine determined that the department’s research activities have “decreased significantly to the point of one actively funded study currently” and that the program had “significant difficulty recruiting residents” with “one graduate in the past four years.”

The committee further concluded that “a nuclear medicine track within diagnostic radiology training is a reasonable alternative to a dedicated nuclear medicine residency program and would be preferred by graduating medical students.” 

“I do not see any potential upside in this move for anyone. I see potential downside for everyone. There is definite loss of freedom for department faculty,” former Interim Nuclear Medicine Department Chair Dr. Robert Miletich wrote in a July 2023 presentation to the Faculty Council Ad Hoc Committee in charge of the analysis. “There has been no assurance that Nuclear Medicine will not lose resources, either human or support resources.”

The vote for the closure comes months after Rutao Yao was named as the Nuclear Medicine Department’s interim chair in January, succeeding Dr. Miletich.

Alisha Allison is an assistant news editor and can be reached at alisha.allison@ubspectrum.com

Mylien Lai is the senior news editor and can be reached at mylien.lai@ubspectrum.com


MYLIEN LAI
mylien-lai.jpg

Mylien Lai is the senior news editor at The Spectrum. Outside of getting lost in Buffalo, she enjoys practicing the piano and being a bean plant mom. She can be found at @my_my_my_myliennnn on Instagram. 

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