Words by Dustin Graziano
Illustration by Katie Herchenroeder
Maurizio Trevisan had been the Dean of the CUNY School of Medicine since the Fall 2011 semester at City College. On February 1, 2018, Trevisan resigned from his position after a long battle with the CUNY administration over a budget deal for the School of Medicine.
“As some of you may know, I have a profound disagreement with the CUNY administration with regard to the financial matters of the school and the bureaucratic and administrative challenges that are seriously jeopardizing our ability to grow and to pursue our ultimate goal: full accreditation,” wrote Trevisan in an email to the School of Medicine community. He goes on to mention that challenges include the inadequate hiring of staff, trouble with finalizing contracts, and a “lack of clarity on the school’s ability to control its budget.”
The CUNY School of Medicine is in its final stages of receiving full accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the official accrediting body for medical education programs in the U.S. and Canada leading to the MD degree. Trevisan believes that the current challenges within the School of Medicine are a threat to the program’s “ability to sustain our academic mission and accreditation.”
Trevisan was supported by several faculty members of the School of Medicine, and by the Parents Council as well. Yet, the CUNY administration would not satisfy in improving the School of Medicine’s budget and overcoming challenges, which Trevisan and his supporters believe to pose a threat to the program. The quarrel had lasted too long for Trevisan.
“I was upset when I found out he was resigning, it was definitely a big shock for all of us,” said second year Micaela Prisco, a class representative of the Sophie Davis Biomedical Education Program at the CUNY School of Medicine. Students were not informed of the ongoing struggle between their dean and the CUNY administration. “He told us that he didn’t want us to be bothered with the stress of what he was dealing with… He said we need to worry about becoming doctors, and that he didn’t want to have us get involved with something that was his responsibility,” said Prisco.
Separate from the email sent to the School of Medicine community, Trevisan declined to comment any further on his resignation as dean. “He was just trying to have enough in the budget to have the school be a fully functioning medical school like several others across the country… That’s important in the final stages of becoming an accredited medical school,” said Prisco.
“I sincerely hope that the new dean will have greater success in convincing CUNY to adopt and implement administrative and bureaucratic processes that will allow the school to grow and establish itself as a leader in medical education,” wrote Trevisan towards the end of his email.
An interim dean, Erica Friedman, who currently serves as the Chair of the Department of Medical Education, has assumed the position while the school searches for a new candidate to fill Trevisan’s shoes.