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Use of non-restricted funds to cover deficit balances in the Department of Psychiatry

Those of us who have been around the University of Minnesota Medical School understand that it is not always safe or wise to identify yourself. For example, today I received the following anonymous message in the campus mail.

April 6, 2009

Dear Dr. Gleason:

I am an employee in the department of psychiatry in the medical school. I would like to thank you for your 3/25/09 blog entry and previous ones regarding the questionable financial relationship between Dr. Charles Schulz, head of psychiatry, and the pharmaceutical industry.

I would like to share with you an email message that the administration of the department of psychiatry sent out last week to all department faculty:

"Thank you for your efforts towarrd the reduction of the deficit for the Department of Psychiatry. As part of the deficit reduction plan, non-restricted fund balances are being reviewed and considered as a potential source for covering deficit balances."

It would be great if Dr. Schulz leads by example and parts with a couple hundred thousand dollars out of the "non-restricted" money he obtained from big pharma. This would certainly make a dent in the department's financial deficit. It would also make it less painful for people to pay for the irresponsible financial conduct by the department administration instead of using the non-restricted funds they have worked so hard to support their research during these hard times of external funding, wouldn't it?

An employee in the Department of Psychiatry

I apologize for not disclosing my name.

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