University of California Begins Audit of UCSF School of Medicine, Kessler
The University of California has begun an audit of UCSF School of Medicine and Dean David Kessler after an anonymous complaint was filed regarding Kessler's financial practices at the university, the Los Angeles Times reports. The audit will examine salaries Kessler awarded to senior staff members, funding he pledged to researchers and compensation he earned from outside speeches and consulting engagements.
The anonymous letter alleges that Kessler awarded "lavish" salary increases to senior staff members, the Times reports. The letter also alleges that Kessler's outside work giving speeches and working on consulting engagements reduces the amount of time available to dedicate to UCSF's medical school.
In a financial disclosure document filed in November 2004, Kessler reported earning between $51,006 and $510,000 from outside lectures and between $30,003 and $300,000 by serving on three boards, including the board of the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Times reports. Kessler receives an annual salary of $540,000 as dean of UCSF's medical school.
Doug Levy, Kessler's special assistant, said the letter "makes false claims based on a wrong premise and wrong information."
Kessler, who became dean in September 2003, said, "There's no credibility to the assertions in the letter."
UC spokesperson Brad Hayward said that the audit should be completed in several weeks. He added, "We've reached no conclusions at this point. We're withholding judgment until our review is complete, and we certainly encourage others to do the same" (Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 2/23).