Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM) admitted its first class of students August 4, 2008. Its success or failure will be measured not by any “profits” or “excess capital” but, instead, by the quality of the education its students receive, the benefits its graduates bring to their patients, and the achievements and contributions it makes to society, regardless of tax status.
The college welcomes evaluation by its students, regulators, and the public on how it acts and what it produces, but not the personal opinions of concerned individuals or what they may “wonder” are its intentions.
RVUCOM policy and budget are established by its board of trustees, president, and deans, not by its owner or shareholders. The board are successful, involved professionals without financial interest in the college or university. The administration, faculty, and staff have no financial interest in the institution; they are evaluated and judged solely by the outcomes of their professional and educational efforts.
The university and college will be held to the same, if not subliminally higher, standards as those of all similar institutions, regardless of tax status, to achieve and maintain accreditation and to grant degrees. The university will seek both regional and programmatic accreditation status to hold itself to the same high standards of its peers.
RVUCOM established its tuition at 50% of that of all private osteopathic colleges of medicine and froze the tuition for the 2008 class for four years, versus the historical increases ranging from 6% to 13% annually at other institutions. Not a typical position of a school choosing to take advantage of others or to be predatory.
RVUCOM’s students feel neither exploited nor desperate. The majority were admitted at other colleges and chose to attend here for the opportunity and quality they perceived. In contrast to Dr. Mychaskiw’s implication, there was no “scheme” to capitalize on or take advantage of any student’s desperation.
In a time of economic challenges, increasing demands for health care, and less than desirable health outcomes for our citizens, to continue to do the same thing and expect different results is insanity, if I may quote Einstein. Change and innovation should be encouraged, not dismissed because they challenge the status quo.
As Charles Darwin stated, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but those most responsive to change.” I propose that RVUCOM is the right school, in the right place, at the right time.
Ronnie B. Martin, DO, FACOFP-dist
Vice president, academic affairs, Rocky Vista University, and dean, College of Osteopathic Medicine, 8401 S. Chambers Road, Parker, Colorado; (firstname.lastname@example.org).