Columbia-based University of Missouri School of Medicine has been threatened with losing its accreditation status next year because it is too white, according to a new report by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).
The LCME is the U.S. and Canada’s only official accrediting body for educational programs at schools of medicine, and a failure to gain its accreditation makes any institution’s qualifications worthless.
According to a report in the Beckers Hospital Review, the Missouri School of Medicine will lose the LCME’s accreditation “if the school cannot increase diversity among students and faculty.”
This is the third time the LCME has cited the school’s “lack of diversity” since 2000.
In its 2016 ruling, the committee noted the medical school faces significant challenges “that inhibit the enrollment of students and the hiring of faculty in the full range of diversity … to maintain a quality learning environment,” according to the report.
The LCME previously issued similar citations to the medical school in 2001 and 2008.
The report found approximately five students in the current 104-student first-year class are black.
In 2015, there were two black students and in 2014, there was only one.
Accreditors also noted that nonwhite faculty members represented less than 6 percent of the teaching staff.
Medical school deans reportedly agreed with the committee’s conclusion that diversity among both populations was “unsatisfactory,” according to the report.
Officials have reportedly instituted a number of programs to promote diversity and inclusion at the school—from individual outreach, to building ties with historically black schools, to offering more “minority scholarships,” to launching a “minority lecture series to help students of color identify with successful medical professionals who look like them.”
However, more than a half dozen current and former black students said the school’s academic culture makes it more difficult for them to succeed compared to white students—all of course blaming “racism” for their inability to succeed.