Archive for Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Regents approve next step in developing a dental school at KU Medical Center

The University of Kansas Medical Center campus in Kansas City, Kan., shown from 39th Street facing east, is pictured June 11, 2017.

The University of Kansas Medical Center campus in Kansas City, Kan., shown from 39th Street facing east, is pictured June 11, 2017.

September 20, 2017


— The University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., may be one step closer to housing a school of dentistry in the near future.

The Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday approved spending $2.5 million to have architects draw up plans for converting the old Dykes Library on that campus into a dental school, a project that is roughly estimated to cost upwards of $32 million.

Not all Regents were on board with the project, however. Board chairman Dave Murfin, vice chairman Dennis Mullin and Regent Shane Bangerter all voted no in the 7-3 vote, saying there was no guarantee that the Kansas Legislature would ever fund the project, which would make the $2.5 million architectural study a waste.

Gov. Sam Brownback had included funding for the architectural study in the budget plan he submitted to the Legislature last year, but lawmakers removed the money, saying the Board of Regents could fund it from the state's educational building fund, which receives money from a statewide property tax.

Kansas is currently one of only seven states that does not have a dental school. Instead, the state has a long-standing reciprocal agreement in place with Missouri under which Missouri students can pay in-state tuition to study architecture at Kansas State University, while Kansas students can pay in-state tuition to study dentistry at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, or optometry at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Several recent studies, however, have shown there is a severe shortage of dentists in Kansas, particularly in rural areas, and many of those who do practice here are reaching retirement age.

There are 85 seats in the UMKC dental school reserved for Kansas students, which means only about 20 new students can be admitted to the four-year program each year

Regent Daniel Thomas was the main proponent of the project. He said the shortage of dentists in Kansas is serious, and the KU Medical Center was the most viable place to house new school.

He made the motion to authorize spending the money so architects could develop detailed plans that could be used to solicit formal bids.

Regent Ann Brandau-Murguia also supported the measure, saying that by spending the money, the board would be showing the Legislature, and the general public, that it is making dental education a priority for the state.

Mullin, however, argued that even if there was a guarantee that lawmakers would approve the project, $2.5 million was far too high of a price to pay for architectural plans on what is expected to be a $32 million construction project. He suggested there should have been a cap at about $400,000.

In addition to the $32 million in construction cost, officials estimate it would take another $11 million beyond that to get the school up and running, and then it would need about $6.5 million a year in state general fund support to keep it running.

The general plan being discussed calls for a 240-student school that would charge about $43,000 a year for in-state tuition, which officials say is comparable to what UMKC's dental school is charging.


Michael Kort 9 months ago

So, is Mr Mullen a Dental Architect ?

DDS means Doctor of Dental Surgery and that implies lots of expensive unusual CLASSROOM STUFF that is not easily just thrown up on a blackboard stuff .

2.5 might be allot if the state was building from scratch .......but they are not .

This is a reuse which i assume avoids a costly teardown and rebuild up of a new exterior and roof but at what cost to save ........... are the existing inside utilities, water, sewer, computer wiring, HVAC, electrical, walls, elevators, restrooms, etc.,......... in the right places ?........and how could the state specify and bid the cost of a tear out and redo of any of those inside utilities and the walls that must be redesigned to fit a new design uses purpose for the building that is pretty specific and radical change from book shelves, if someone doesn't figure that all out beforehand ?

There is an existing AEGD ( Advanced Education In General Dentistry ) school at Wichita State U, which attempts to suck into Kansas graduate dental students from other state's dental schools elsewhere that are looking for an AEGD education that normally starts after graduating 4 years of dental school on the assumption that some of these AEGD students will stick around and become Ks. dentists.......and open a cornfield practice .

i think that UMKC has 6 first year AEGD students and 2 second year AEGD students that ( i believe draw a salary working in a UMKC on site public clinic ) while learning advanced dental techniques .

The real fantasy of this whole thing is that if you just have a State Med. School or State Dental School that somehow people graduating with educational debt are just going to run out into a corn field in the middle of nowhere and open a practice with a limited population with health care to support it all........and the rural poor are generally the poorest of the poor in this country .

We need Drs. and Dentists.........we don't need ideological bad jokes about where they will in the middle of nowhere unaided to end up there by the state !

The other fantasy is that the State can get Drs. and Dentists to jump right into that, without any state costs or commitment.................NOT GOING TO HAPPEN..........and being republicans in Topeka with sharp pencils......they know it ! NO MYSTERY.....JUST LIP SERVICES .

That is a cruel joke on the rural republican voters, who must drive forever to get health services.......but then .......FOOL YOURSELF.......FOOL YOURSELF..........they should just keep voting into office their republicans ! ! !

Refusing to expand Medicaid has just driven large hospital providers out of Ks. and into states that do have it like Montana....... and who is forced into the breach but KU in Topeka's St. Francis's Hospital, which was not even in a corn field but "the hated by the legislature" KU ?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.