Drew University Announces It Will Reduce Board of Trustees by 15 Members
Dr. Carole Jordan-Harris, chair of the board of trustees at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, said Thursday that the university has decided to eliminate 15 positions from its 23-member board "to help reform the troubled institution," the Los Angeles Times reports. Jordan-Harris said that the board had agreed to the change last week and that once membership is reduced, an unspecified number of trustees will be added. The cuts are scheduled to be made by June 26 (Landsberg, Los Angeles Times, 4/30). Assembly member Mervyn Dymally (D-Compton) previously sent a letter to Jordan-Harris saying that there was "a consensus among black elected officials ... that the entire membership of the Drew board of trustees should resign," except for three members who are needed to stay to establish a legal quorum. Dymally said that his letter was endorsed by two members of Congress and a majority of the California Legislative Black Caucus, including Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-Calif.) and Assembly member Mark Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles) (California Healthline, 4/29).
Jordan-Harris said that she agreed with officials who said the board needed "to diversify and attract members with expertise in nonmedical fields," adding that reducing membership to eight would "serve much the same purpose as a reduction to three," the Times reports. However, she said she does not agree with suggestions that the board is being restructured because of political pressure, saying, "We started doing this back in October. Now all of a sudden you have a whole list of politicians who claim they did it. That is not what happened." According to the Times, Jordan-Harris said that the California Endowment, a private health foundation, would help Drew decide what board seats should be eliminated "in a fair and equitable way" (Los Angeles Times, 4/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.