For Francis J. Haddy, the offer of a job at the new military medical school in Bethesda was "an opportunity that shouldn't be passed up." So he gave up his job as chairman of the department of physiology at Michigan State University and his wife gave up her position as associate prefessor of pedeatrics. Then he talked 10 other people from Michigan State in to making the move.
"I convinced these people (six other faculty members and four research associates) that this was a really good moves," Haddy said.
"I'm really in a spot, aren't I?"
He is. Omnly a few months after it opened, the Uniformed Services University of the health Sciences, as it is formally known, had fallen victim to a budget-cutting decision to close the school, almost before it gets under way threatens the jobs held by Haddy, his colleagues from Michigan and more than 100 other civilian faculty and staff.
The school currently has 32 students attending classes in temporary quarters at Walter Reed Army Hospital while construction proceeds on two new buildings near Bethesda naval Hospital. The building, one in which is 75 per cent complete, are variously estimated to cost between $66.6 million and $100 muillion.
The future of the school is by no means claarly decided. Congress could conceivanly reverse that decision and insist in funding the school created by Congressional fiat. However, completion of budget hearings is probably several months off.
The school has friends, including Rep Melvin Price (D-I11.) of the House Armed Services Connitee, who called the Carter budget action amistake, although he said he did not expect the House to reverse the action. But it also has foes - the General Accounting Office and Defense Manpower Commission, have argued that the school is too costly.
While the decision is hanging fire, the 115 civilians recruited for the school are in unhappy limbo. In the beginning they were all in much the same position - planning, hoping, looking forward to advancing their work and careers and shaping what they believed would be a first-rate, useful new institution to train a highly qualified and specialized military corps.
Now, by their owns accounts, they are confused, disappointed and resentful. Most of them learned of the carter decision to abort the school through the newspapers. The Department of Defense, where the decision was made, decided without consulting anyone at the school, they said.
For his part, Haddy had a sense of great excitement about the proposed school. "L felt Bethesda was the ideal environment for a medical school with the military hospitals, the National Institutes of Health and the National Medical Library."
He brought his wife ans his collegues. "We came here assuming that school meant exactly what it said - that it fact we were going to have a school, " he said. They gave up tenured positions in Lansing for promised tenure (job security) here. But if the school ceases to exist, that has no meaning, does it?" asked Haddy.
"All of us left houses, sold our houses, and came to this high cost of living area," Haddy said. "All of us lost funds in the move when we had to buy more expensive houses."
haddy's wife, who specializes in pediatric haematology, had to take a lower level job she had held in Michigan because no other openings were avaible.
Haddy and some of the associates who came with him from Michigan were at work on research on enzymatic defects in blood vessels of persons who develop high blood pressure. They have been working as a team, and how it appears the team will break up. Haddy and one other associate have been working together for 15 years.
"We are just now at the point of fruition . . . Breaking up this research unit team is a irretrievable loss. I can't visualize us being able to move elsewhere as a team. You don't fins 10 positions open at once," he said.
Haddy's distress is shared by Carol Grace Smith, an assistant professor of pharmacology and obstetrics and gynecology at the University of texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. To her, the move to Bathesda looked like a good one and all the preparations were going smoothly.
The Air Force agreed to transfer her husband, a neuropathologist, to Washington. They signed an agreement to sell their house in San Antonio. Like the others she had made plans to transfer research and equipment, including a cilony of rhesus monkeys.
"We were planning to come in June," said Smith , who is still in San Antonio. She and her husband have to come - he has been transfered by the Air Force in anticipation of her job beginning at the military medical school on July 1. She could keep her job in San Antonio Air Force medical center where her husband works were filled after his transfer.
" My only alternative would be to continue to work and stay in San Antonio and let Tim go to Washington, but that's not acceptable to me," she said.
Her major concerns about the move revolve around her work.
For one thing, there are the 25 monkeys. Smith has spent spent two years researching the effects of marijuana on the reproductive system under a grant from the National Institutes of Health.
"I have a primate colony here that is on the study. If the work doesn't continue I'll either have to sell them or sacrifice them," she said,
Grants are made to institutions, not individuals, so if she is left without an institution, the grant will lapse.
What bothers her most is the blow to her career from the time lost.
It ruins me as a scientist," she said. To be without a faculty position for a year would hurt her professionally, and dropping a research project after two years of funding, even for reasons beyond her control, will hurt worse, she said.
Both she and her husband thought the school was a wonderful idea. Her husband Michael Timothy Smith, trained in a civilian school to become a military medical doctor. He felt the school would give military medical professionals a greater sense of self-respect, quality and roots to offset the lower salaries medical graduates earn in the military, she said.
"The concept should have been thoroughly investigated before it was finded" and before a distinguished faculty was recruited, she said.
Lewis Aranow saw the job at the military medical school as the culmination of a distinguished career.
He sold his house in California ans uprooted his family. He lfet the acting chairmanship of the pharmacology department, a tenured professorship and a 20-year old profesasional relationship with Stanford University. He moved a 15-year old cancer research project and more than $100,000 worth of laboratory equipment East along with the rest oiof life.
Aranow, who Smith called one of the top ten Pharmacologists in the country, also has researched that is threatened.
His research is in the area of how cancer cells react to steroid hormones, hormones that are often released in stressful situations. Some types of cancer cells, siuch as the cells of childhood leukemia, initially die when they are time, the cells develop a resistance. A practical application of the research he is doing, said Aranow, may be the discovery of a means to prevent the resistance from developing.
Aranow has been working undcer grant on the research project for 15 years. He moved more than $100,000 worth of laboratory equipement to the federal government, and , among the complications involved if Aranow must move, is who gets the equipment.
Aranow has hired other faculty and staff, including Smith and Ming Wong, a research associate who drove a UHaul truck 3,00 miles moving his family and belongings. On the door of one of several laboratories set up for the pharmacology department where Aranow's associates work a sign reads, "Dabger - Sinking University."
"The family didn't want to move, said Aranow. "It was with some reluctance," he said. Nor did Aranow make the decision lightly. "I'm not an academic gypsy. I'm not used to mivong and I don't enjoy it," he said.
"I was 20 years at Stanford, happy as a clam. I was not prepared to move," ha said. Aranow said he would get a handful of job offers each year, but until he was asked to start the department at the military medical school, none had ever attracted him away.
There were some financial costs involved in relocating to the Washington area, which he did last year, he said. "The financial matter is not trivial, but a more significant factor is the disruption of my scholarly and professional work."
"L lost six months productive research time making the move. I was willing to make that sacrifice in the expectation of development of fine program," he said. The future now "is in a complete state of disarray. The grants are lost because I don't know who the sponsoring agency will be."
"It's just an unmitigated disaster as far asmy research and scholarly work," he said.