Urbana-Champaign Senate approves college of medicine proposal

University President Bob Easter

President Bob Easter is reviewing College of Medicine proposals from UIC and Urbana-Champaign.

The Urbana-Champaign Senate overwhelmingly approved a proposal Feb. 9 to establish a new engineering-focused college of medicine on that campus.

The University of Illinois Board of Trustees is expected to consider the Urbana-Champaign proposal and a proposal from UIC at its March 12 meeting on the Urbana campus.

The UIC proposal would integrate engineering and technology into medical training programs, develop a new bioengineering institute and build upon research to attract more federal funding to the college’s four regional campuses at Chicago, Peoria, Rockford and Urbana-Champaign.

The Urbana-Champaign proposal includes an affiliation with Carle Health Health System, a private, 325-bed regional medical center in Urbana. Carle has pledged $100 million in the first 10 years, including $34.5 million for startup costs and an additional $1.5 million annual contribution extending beyond that.

The Urbana-Champaign proposal calls for fundraising $135 million in the first eight years, a figure Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Phyllis Wise has said is “highly achievable.” The proposed college would enroll 25 students in its first year, leading up to a class size of 50 within a few years.

Both proposals are being reviewed by University President Bob Easter, who was asked by trustees last year to make a recommendation.

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