Happy New Year!
An excellent op/ed on the the political background of FSU's chiropractic proposal appears in the Tampa Tribune. FSUblius recommends it to anyone who wishes understand the history of this proposed program at FSU.
Also, this morning the Palm Beach Post has an article on the chiropractic program fiasco at FSU. The story reports that 500 faculty, including many doctors affiliated with the medical school, have signed a petition over the proposed chiropractic program. As the story states:
"I have seen vertebral artery clots with resulting brain stem strokes, spinal cord injuries and acute herniated discs caused by chiropractic back manipulation," said Dr. Steve Rothrock, an associate professor of medical sciences at FSU's Orlando campus. "I and all of my colleagues associated with the new College of Medicine with whom I have spoken will resign our appointments if this (school) comes to pass."
Meanwhile, the story reports, Florida State Senator Dennis Jones, an advocate of the program, accuses those who have called for discussion and evaluation of "bigotry" and has threatened retaliation to the BOG if it is not approved. He has even threatened to go to "war" with FSU's BOT and the BOG if it is not approved. But Carolyn Roberts, chairwoman of the BOG, has courageously indicated that her panel will conduct an independent review.
With all due respect, Senator Jones is missing the point. This is not only a self-interested standoff between doctors with an economic interest and chiropractors, some of whom are certainly legitimate. Serious questions of science and faculty governance at a research university are also implicated. FSUblius has not seen the faculty petition, but news reports indicate that many, many nonmedical faculty in science have called for discussion of the proposed program. With all due respect, Senator Jones, to strong arm a research university into an academic program that calls itself medicine or science that many medical doctors and scientists question -- without any serious discussion and input from the faculty -- is unacceptable. It is an embarrassment to universities in the state of Florida.
Certainly FSU would like the money the legislature has offered. FSUblius remains agnostic about whether some chiropractic teaching might be appropriate on FSU's campus, but the threat of legislative retaliation for failure to adopt your program should be put in perspective: FSU receives far more research dollars from outside research grants than it receives earmarks for programs from the Florida Legislature. The faculty who bring in these research dollars should have some input into the new program you are attempting to force on to them.