Friday, October 18, 2013
The Miami New Times is reporting that Dr. Norman Block, a chairholder at the University of Miami’s Miller School of medicine, has brought a legal action against the school on the grounds that it has improperly disbursed funds from a $1 million endowment for prostate research. Says the story:
The $1 million at the heart of the dispute was given to UM in 1981 by L. Austin Weeks, a philanthropist who later died from prostate cancer. He left the money "to enhance the research being conducted at the University of Miami School of Medicine in the field of prostate cancer" and asked that it be used to support a chairholder and a research position, as well as help incorporate hormonal studies and increase an animal research colony.
Weeks recommended his own doctor — Block, a renowned urologist — as the first chairholder. Block has held that chair ever since and has used the gift to help UM become a leader in the field through innovative studies and hires ....
All of that fell apart in August, Block says. That's when — in addition to learning about the cuts to his own funding — he discovered the school had disbursed $441,723.24 from the endowment without his consent. (The suit doesn't specify where that money went.)
A spokesperson for the school reportedly offered no public statement about the litigation and explained that the school’s policy forbids commenting on “personnel matters.”