UCSF Fires Former FDA Commissioner Kessler as Dean of Medical School
On Friday, David Kessler said he was fired as dean of UC-San Francisco Medical School after challenging the university on the financial position of the medical school, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Kessler maintains that the school's income and financial resources are less than what he was told when he was recruited to take the helm at the medical school in 2003.
Kessler provided internal documents to the Times showing that UCSF's main medical school would run out of funds in fiscal year 2008-2009 and that the school would have negative net assets by 2011 (Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 12/15).
Kessler also provided internal documents to the Washington Post. Those materials included a letter from the university counsel naming Kessler as a whistleblower and financial analyses that Kessler produced for UCSF. Kessler said that he submitted one of those analyses raising questions about financial inconsistencies on June 13 and that he was asked to resign on June 29 (Kinzie, Washington Post, 12/15).
Kessler said he declined UCSF officials' request in summer 2007 to resign quietly and not vocalize his concerns about the UCSF medical school's financial position.
UCSF Chancellor J. Michael Bishop confirmed that Kessler had been fired. He added that a review by university officials, as well as one by an independent accounting firm, "found no evidence of financial irregularities" at UCSF medical school and that the school was in "very strong financial condition" (Los Angeles Times, 12/15).
In an e-mail to UCSF colleagues announcing the staffing change, Bishop thanked Kessler "for his energetic service to the university and his substantial achievements on behalf of UCSF." Bishop also announced that Professor Sam Hawgood had been appointed interim dean effective immediately and that an international search for Kessler's replacement would begin soon (Washington Post, 12/15).
Kessler did not say whether he would dispute his dismissal. He will remain on staff at UCSF as a tenured professor with an annual salary of $325,000 (Los Angeles Times, 12/15).
Bishop recruited Kessler to UCSF in 2003. Previously, Kessler was dean of Yale Medical School and commissioner of FDA under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Clinton (Schevitz, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/15).