Justice blasts plan to privatize Lewisburg osteopathic school

Source: Jake Jarvis, Charleston Gazette-Mail, February 14, 2017

Gov. Jim Justice on Tuesday denounced a plan to privatize the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, the state’s third medical school located in Justice’s own Greenbrier County. The governor’s statement came after Sen. Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, introduced a bill last week that would transfer ownership of the Lewisburg school to a not-for-profit corporation in July of 2018. … Blair previously told the Gazette-Mail that he thought allowing the school to become a private institution would allow the institution to grow faster than it currently is, but it’s status as a public institution has no bearing on how many students the school accepts each year. That number is dictated by the college’s accreditors. Allowing the school to go private would trim about $7.4 million from the state’s budget. … When asked if Justice would veto Blair’s bill should it be ultimately approved by both houses of the Legislature, his Press Secretary Grant Herring said that allowing the college to privatize was the “last thing” the governor wanted to do.