Graduate Students

Audit Firm Sides With Ex-Dean of U. of California-San Francisco Medical School

February 05, 2008

The medical-school dean recently fired by the University of California at San Francisco says an outside accounting firm’s review supports his contention that the school was plagued by financial irregularities that started before he was hired, the Los Angeles Times reported today.

David A. Kessler, a former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, was fired as dean of the medical school in December after repeatedly complaining about the alleged problems. He says he was dismissed as a result of those complaints.

The university insists that the medical school is on solid financial footing and that no such irregularities existed.

Now an accounting firm has weighed in, suggesting that the medical school’s financial-reporting methods need improvement. The auditors, from KPMG, said that they couldn’t reproduce the methodologies the university had used and that its financial schedules couldn’t be reconciled with the university’s general ledger.

“The KPMG review substantiates that there were financial irregularities for closed fiscal years and a lack of financial controls,” Dr. Kessler contends. University officials counter that the review revealed no improprieties or financial shortfalls.

Eric Vermillion, the university’s associate vice chancellor for finance, says the review showed that the medical school is “in the strongest financial position it’s been in ever.” KPMG officials say client-confidentiality rules prevented them from commenting further. —Katherine Mangan