U Of I Board Of Trustees To Vote On Medical School Proposal
The University of Illinois Board of Trustees votes Thursday on a proposal to create a new medical school on the Urbana campus.
The project would found an engineering-focused medical program out of a partnership between the U of I and Urbana-based Carle Hospital.
Outgoing University president Bob Easter said the school would be a natural extension of the U of I's research focus.
"Many have described the combination of engineering and medicine as the next frontier of scientific advancement and one that has the potential of having a profound impact on the delivery of healthcare in our nation," said Easter.
Easter assured University trustees at a committee meeting on Wednesday that the proposed program would not put extra strain on any funds the university gets from the state, and Carle Hospital has pledged $100 million to the project over the next decade.
Carle CEO, Dr. James Leonard, said the hospital system is all in, and he expects the U of I is completely committed.
"Our pledge for the next ten years is already in the bank," said Leonard, "Our money's there and we're moving ahead and I don't anticipate any stepbacks."
If approved, the school would admit their first group of 25 students in 2017, then increase admissions every following year.
The few opponents to the plan say they worry that the existing medical school on the Chicago campus could be neglected.
UIC officials have offered a competing plan that would create an Urbana campus-affiliated bioengineering research institute working in tandem with the Chicago campus.