"Reallocation” at the University of Kansas School of Medicine: A Pathological Case History

Fred Whitehead


On October 6, 1999 I was summoned to Dr. Powell's office and 
given a letter stating that my contract would not be renewed 
after June 30, 2000.  In a brief discussion, she stated: (1) "Your Department is in a budget deficit, and I have to make 
cuts," and (2) "Your research does not fit the mission of the 
Medical School."  The latter statement was especially amazing, 
since I had just recently earned promotion, via rigorous peer 
review, to Associate Professor, a senior faculty rank, effective 
July 1, 1999.  Subsequently, I learned that Powell told the new 
Interim Co-Chairs of Family Medicine: "I cannot justify having an English major in a Family Medicine Department."  Powell's 
statement about my research dismissed in one sentence my record 
of 80 scholarly publications, plus 100 lectures and seminars I 
had given all around the United States and in Europe, on topics 
of medical, intellectual and cultural history.

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ISSN 1715-0094  Workplace