Additional funds for CMED approved, bringing total costs to more than $2 million

The Board of Trustees voted to approve additional funds for facilities for the College of Medicine Thursday, bringing total funding for the project to more than $2.2 million.

One of the most pressing items on the agenda included additional funding for the renovations of CMED East, including the two existing facilities: Covenant and St. Mary's, both located in Saginaw.

The board approved additional funds, totaling $529,000 for renovations, to come from CMED reserve funds.

"For medical students to be sustainable, there is a requirement for diverse streams of revenue," CMED Dean Ernest Yoder said.

The Saginaw campus will be used for educational and clinical space for CMED students and staff members already at each site.

A main concern staring CMED in the face is the insufficient administrative space. The current Health Professions building is not adequate in terms of accommodating space for clinical and research functions, which are necessary for accreditation.

The board authorized a five-year lease agreement for office space, not to exceed $240,000 annually, for CMED to use for administrative purposes.

After Thursday's meeting, University President George Ross said the leased space is likely to be in the office space located west of Bennigan's and the Comfort Inn and Suites, located off West Campus Drive.

"We have been in communications with the owner of the Spirit Forge office facilities," Ross said. "If you think in (local) terms, it's west of Bennigan's Restaurant and the Comfort Inn and conference center."

Funding for the lease agreement comes from the CMED operating budget. According to conversations that took place during the meeting, the landlord will be responsible for renovations at no cost to the college.

At this point, the College of Medicine has raised just over $18 million, more than 72 percent of its fundraising goal.

Yoder said he hopes to reach CMED's $25 million fundraising goal by the first week of August, before students arrive on campus.

So far, more than 2,600 applications have been submitted to the school, and 190 interviews have taken place, Yoder said at Wednesday's committee meeting.

Acceptance letters are being sent to students who meet the requirements and qualifications, but a specific number has not been determined.

"According to the Liaison Committee on Medical Education standards, students are allowed to accept offers for more than one medical school, but they must make a commitment by the May 15 deadline," Yoder said.

A firm number of students is expected to be known in June, he said.

Of the students accepted, 80 percent are Michigan residents, and 20 percent are from out-of-state. Additionally, the gender split continues to sit around the 50/50 mark.

Staff reporter Kyle Kaminski contributed to this article.


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