Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Health Care Renewal's take on the good life of some academics

The blog Health Care Renewal discusses the good times had by officials of Southwestern Medical School with funds donated to the school presumably for expressed reasons other than providing the good life for the bosses of the school. He points out the large, gaping disconnect between the mission statement of the school and such activities.

Thomas Sowell has provided his readers many insights as to how things work. He has said that when one wants to understand what is going on with a entity ( governmental agency,academic institution,business) do not expect to be informed by their mission or vision statement but rather by considering the incentives and constraints under which it operates and the feedback it receives.

If the leaders of the medical school received grants that consider to be unrestricted one might expect little in the way of constraints. In this instance the major mechanism of control of conduct may well be the feedback. If you get caught with your hand in the cash register and the local TV station lets folks know about it may be the behavior gets toned down a bit. Hats off to channel 11 in Dallas and to Dr. Poses of HCR for what we can only hope to be some behavior changing light shinning.

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