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Trustees finalize agreement for new medical school in Urbana
Deal with Carle outlines financial commitments, organizational structure

July 23, 2015 

CHICAGO, Ill. — The University of Illinois Board of Trustees on Thursday finalized an affiliation agreement with the Carle Foundation to create a new, technology-focused College of Medicine on the Urbana-Champaign campus.

The agreement follows board approval of the medical school at its March meeting, and covers financial commitments and organizational structure for the new college, a partnership between the University and the Urbana-based health care system.

Officials say the agreement is a critical next step toward accreditation of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, an engineering-centered medical school that would promote breakthroughs in treatment and equipment by integrating technology into medical training and research.

Under the financial terms of the agreement, Carle will provide $50 million over the next five years in equal, annual installments to fund start-up costs, and another $50 million in similar payments once the new school earns provisional accreditation from the national Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

The University pledges to raise $135 million in donations over eight years to support the new college, which would open in the fall of 2018 and operate without state funding.

Organizationally, the medical school will be a campus unit, with oversight by the campus provost and Carle’s chief medical officer. College operations will be directed by a dean who also will hold the title of chief academic officer for Carle.

A Joint Liaison Committee, comprised of five members from the campus and five from Carle, will advise the provost, Carle’s chief medical officer and the new dean on operations, budgets and strategic planning.

Committees are being formed to develop job requirements for the new dean and curriculum for the medical school, the Urbana-Champaign’s first new college in nearly 60 years. A new dean could be hired during the next academic year and would then ramp up work on the accreditation process, which officials say could take 18 months. The new dean also would approve curriculum and lead recruiting efforts for faculty and students.

Along with accreditation, the new college also must be approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education, a process that officials say will likely begin this fall.


Trustees also named deans to four colleges on the Urbana-Champaign campus.

Vikram Amar was named dean of the College of Law, one of the nation’s oldest law schools and consistently ranked among the top tier in the U.S.

Amar is currently senior associate dean for academic affairs and a professor of law at the University of California at Davis School of Law. He was a member of the Davis faculty from 1993-98 and returned in 2007 after teaching for a decade at the University of California at Hastings. Earlier, he worked in private practice in northern California.

He received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California at Berkeley and a law degree from Yale University. After earning his law degree, he clerked for Judge William A. Norris of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and for Associate Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Amar succeeds Bruce Smith, who returned to the faculty in June 2014 after more than five years as dean. Law professor John Colombo served as interim dean during a national search for a permanent successor and is returning to the faculty.

Jeffrey R. Brown was named dean of the College of Business, a nationally recognized business school with undergraduate and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration and finance.

Brown, a leading researcher in public and private insurance markets, has been a professor in the college’s Department of Finance since 2002. Before joining the Urbana faculty, he was an assistant professor of public policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In 2001-2002, he served as senior economist for the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and also served on the staff of the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security in 2001.

He earned a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a masters of public policy from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Miami University.

Brown replaces Larry DeBrock, who is returning to the faculty after serving as dean since 2009.

Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, a faculty member and administrator in Urbana-Champaign since 2000, was named dean of the Graduate College, which provides leadership for graduate programs in more than 100 disciplinary areas.

Chodzko-Zajko, a leading researcher in aging and health, is currently a professor and head of the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health. He earlier served as a faculty member and coordinator of the exercise science program at Kent State University and as a faculty member at the University of Alabama.

He earned his doctorate from Purdue University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of London.

He replaces Deba Dutta, who left in 2014 to become provost at Purdue University. Sarah T. Lubienski, associate dean of the college and a professor of curriculum and instruction, served as interim dean.

Jan Slater was reappointed to a three-year term as dean of the College of Media, with graduate and undergraduate programs in advertising, agricultural communications, communications research, journalism, media and cinema studies and public media.

Slater, who was appointed to a two-year term as dean in 2013 after serving as interim dean since 2010, came to the Urbana campus in 2007 as a faculty member and head of the college’s Department of Advertising. Earlier, she served as a professor and associate director of the School of Journalism at Ohio University and in private industry, where she headed a successful advertising agency, J. Slater & Associates. 

She earned her master’s degree in advertising from the Urbana campus after graduating from Hastings College in Nebraska, and received her doctorate in mass communications from Syracuse University.

The board also appointed David P. Racine as acting dean of the College of Public Affairs and Administration at the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS), which provides programs that train students for careers in government and public service.

Racine, who joined UIS in 2007, will continue to serve as executive director of the Center for State Policy and Leadership and as director of the Institute for Legal, Legislative and Policy Studies.

He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University’s Urbana-Champaign campus, and a doctorate from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Student trustees

The board also seated three students who will serve as trustees through June 30, 2016.

Jauwan Hall of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Dominique Wilson of the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) and Jaylin McClinton of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) were elected last spring in votes by students on their campuses. They replace outgoing student trustees Danielle Leibowitz of UIC, Hannah Cave of UIS and Lucas Frye of UIUC.

Student trustees have served on the board since 1973 to give students a voice in University governance. Since 1998, state law has given one student trustee voting power, and Gov. Bruce Rauner has designated Wilson as the voting member for 2015-16.

Hall, of Chicago, is a senior at UIC majoring in political science and a member of the Honors College. A military veteran, he has served as a member of the Student Veterans Association and the Pre-Law Society, and as secretary of the Black Student Union.

Wilson, of Chicago, is a junior at UIS majoring in communication. He also has served as president of the Black Student Union and as a resident assistant of the Student Transitioning for Academic Retention and Success, a unique program that supports incoming students.

McClinton, of Chicago, is a junior at UIUC, studying African-American studies and political science with a pre-law concentration. He has served as president of the Illini Union Board and as a member of the Freshman Advisory Council and Student Organization Resource Fee Board, which allocates revenues from student fees to registered student organization on campus.


The University of Illinois is a world leader in research and discovery, the largest educational institution in the state with more than 78,000 students, 25,000 faculty and staff, and campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The U of I awards more than 20,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees annually.