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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

In reaction to the UF College of Medicine controversy over who has the final authority to admit medical school applicants, the college's Faculty Council has formed a subcommittee to better define the admissions process.

Dr. Rebecca Pauly, Faculty Council president, said the subcommittee would examine the roles of the dean, selections committee and other officials in the admissions process.

Pauly said she hopes to have a report ready in about two weeks.

She said the subcommittee would not focus on the details surrounding the admission of Benjamin Mendelsohn over the selections committee's objections.

About a month ago, Dr. Bruce Kone, dean of UF's College of Medicine, admitted Mendelsohn, who reportedly has not taken the MCAT.

Kone and UF have maintained that the student was qualified and that the dean had the authority to overrule the selections committee.

"It's in the context of confidentiality and privacy of the applicant, so we're not going to be involved in any of the details of any particular incident," Pauly said.

Neurosurgery professor Frank Bova, a subcommittee member who is also the incoming chairman of UF's Faculty Senate, said he thinks it's appropriate for the College of Medicine subcommittee to focus on the admissions process because it needs to understand the rules before investigating Mendelsohn's situation.

If Kone followed the process, then re-examining his decision to admit Mendelsohn is moot, Bova said.

In an e-mail to "colleagues, students, parents, and friends" on Sunday, Kone reiterated his assertions that Mendelsohn was qualified and apologized for "the distractions and consternations" his comments may have caused.

"If and when privacy rules allow me to speak fully on the topic and after all elements are reviewed, I will be extremely pleased to speak constructively on the topic," Kone wrote.

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