SOURCE: Central Michigan University

Central Michigan University

February 15, 2011 11:04 ET

CMU to Defer Opening of College of Medicine

Inaugural Class Anticipated in 2013

MOUNT PLEASANT, MI--(Marketwire - February 15, 2011) - Central Michigan University announced today that it will defer the opening of its College of Medicine for one year, even as meaningful progress continues toward the creation of an innovative and highly successful program.

"We'll only have one opportunity to open our College of Medicine, and we do not want to move forward faster than we are prepared to do," said CMU President George E. Ross. "While this is a difficult decision, we strongly believe it is the right decision and will allow us to take maximum advantage of the tremendous opportunity in front of us."

Ross said Dean Ernest L. Yoder recommended deferring the opening to provide sufficient time to fully prepare for the stringent accrediting process of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the nationally recognized accrediting authority for medical education programs leading to the M.D. degree in U.S. and Canadian medical schools. Accreditation standards require CMU to address five specific areas in the development phase -- governance and administration, curriculum, medical students, faculty, and resources.

"Our goal remains to create an outstanding program to help fill the imminent need for physicians and medical education opportunities for qualified students, with an emphasis on training primary care physicians dedicated to serving the needs of communities in mid- and northern Michigan," said Ross.

"We have a plan in place for moving forward toward the opening of the College of Medicine and will restructure our planning around submitting application data to LCME with the goal of being able to recruit the inaugural class to start in the summer of 2013."

Ross emphasized that significant progress on the College of Medicine continues. For example:

  • Work continues on schedule on the $24 million, 60,000-square-foot addition to the Health Professions Building.
  • The University created CMU Medical Education Partners, a unique relationship with Covenant HealthCare and St. Mary's of Michigan to provide for clinical education for CMU's College of Medicine while addressing improved delivery of health care in mid- and northern Michigan.
  • CMU's Academic Senate has approved a proposed curriculum for the Doctor of Medicine program, including admission requirements and a list of required courses.
  • The University has established affiliation agreements with 11 medical partners to serve as sites for the clinical education of CMU medical students.
  • A strong leadership team is in place that includes Yoder as dean and several associate deans with responsibility for various aspects of planning and development.
  • Discussions are under way with prospective donors who have indicated their willingness to make significant contributions to the College of Medicine's $25 million capital campaign.

Provost and Executive Vice President E. Gary Shapiro said, "We are particularly excited about CMU Medical Education Partners, which will build upon the outstanding work the former Synergy Medical Education Alliance has done to coordinate medical education activities in the Saginaw community for more than 40 years. We look forward to developing a facility in the Saginaw area to support medical education and clinical practice needs.

"While this partnership creates tremendous additional opportunities for innovation, it also adds complexities that we must consider. Deferring the opening of the College of Medicine will ensure that we are thorough in our planning process."

Ross said Shapiro will oversee ongoing efforts by Yoder and his team directed toward the opening of the College of Medicine, including continuing to build momentum in faculty recruiting and curriculum development in accordance with LCME requirements, as well as supporting efforts of the development team toward a successful capital campaign.

To learn more about CMU's College of Medicine visit