Plan presented for phasing out UIUC regional medical site

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A university-appointed task force made recommendations for phasing out the College of Medicine regional site on the Urbana-Champaign campus as a new engineering-based medical school is established at UIUC.

The task force, led by emeritus President B. Joseph White and UIC College of Medicine dean Dimitri Azar, submitted its report to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees at the May 7 trustees meeting at UIS.

University President Bob Easter formed the task force in March, after the board approved a partnership between the Urbana campus and Carle Health System to create the Carle-Illinois College of Medicine.

According to preliminary plans, the Carle-Illinois medical school would enroll the first 25 students in 2017 and increase admissions gradually to 50 a year by 2023-24.

The UIC College of Medicine currently has campuses in Chicago, Rockford, Peoria and Urbana-Champaign. Students admitted to the UIUC campus take their first year there; most go to either Rockford or Peoria for their final three years.

The UIUC medical site also offers an M.D./Ph.D. Medical Scholars Program, which has about 50 students. The task force recommended Medical Scholars students continue their studies until the final class graduates in 2022. No new Medical Scholars will be admitted until 2018, when the program begins at the Carle-Illinois College of Medicine.

The report said faculty tenure rights and existing employment arrangements will be honored. A transition team will be appointed to oversee the process, with an ombudsman as “focal point for individuals affected by the transition.”

Trustee Timothy Kortiz, the chairman of the board’s University Healthcare System Committee, said at the May 7 board meeting that he was confident the recommendations will lead to a smooth transition and set the foundation for future cooperation between the medical schools on the Chicago and Urbana campuses.


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