University of Illinois moving forward with the first engineering-based college of medicine

Partners in a first-of-its-kind medical college on the University of Illinois’s Urbana-Champaign campus are advancing to the next phase of development, having completed a key administrative step today.

CompGen.image.300The University of Illinois Board of Trustees voted unanimously to establish the nation’s first college of medicine focused, from the beginning, on the intersection of engineering and medicine. This will be the first new college created at Urbana in 60 years.

The college will be a partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Carle Health System that is specifically designed to train a new kind of doctor. This ground-breaking approach will integrate the University’s unparalleled assets in engineering, technology and supercomputing with Carle’s nationally recognized, comprehensive health care system. (More information about the college is available at

“Today, we have been given the opportunity to change the world,” Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise said after the board’s vote. “We are the first to chart this new path in medical education, and we are excited by the challenge. Being first and being best is a 150-year tradition at Illinois, and we fully intend to translate that experience into advances in health care delivery.”

Building upon recommendations in a 2014 economic development study, Illinois faculty and staff members from across campus have been working with Carle physicians and staff to develop business, governance and financing plans for the new engineering-based college of medicine. The College of Engineering at Illinois offers 15 undergraduate and graduate degree programs ranked in the top five, nationally and internationally.

Carle Health System, the clinical partner in the college, is a nationally recognized leader in high-quality, cost-effective and coordinated patient care. Carle is also the primary investor in the new initiative – with a pledge of $100 million in the first 10 years, including $34.5 million for start-up costs. The new college of medicine will be funded through a combination of revenue from new inventions, medical student tuition, corporate investments, and private philanthropy.

Ilesanmi Adesida, the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said the college of medicine will impact not only engineering and medicine, it also will lead to broad collaborations that will benefit all three U. of I. campuses, Illinois residents, and health care consumers as a whole.

“This idea is something that’s been percolating on this campus for the last 50 years,” he said. “Our goal and our heritage are to be the pre-eminent public research university with a land-grant mission and global impact. This is an example of our delivering on that challenge.”

Contact: Robin Kaler, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 217-333-5010; [email protected]

Jennifer Hendricks Kaufmann, Carle Health System, 217-326-8501; [email protected]

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