The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System on Wednesday, June 20, approved a proposed land lease agreement between the University of Louisiana Monroe and the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM).
The move brings VCOM one step closer to creating a location at ULM. In May the UL System Board of Regents approved a cooperative endeavor between ULM and VCOM to establish a branch campus at ULM.
Wednesday’s decision gives the go-ahead for VCOM to lease Heritage Park and the Grove. Once the lease is finalized, VCOM can begin construction of its facilities. No state funds will be used in the project.
“I am very excited about our continued progress,” said ULM President Nick J. Bruno. “This has been a long journey, however, we continue to move closer and closer to the final step.”
The next procedure is an application to the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation for accreditation approval to establish the VCOM branch campus.
Dr. Dixie Tooke-Rawlins, DO, President and Provost of VCOM, said, “I am excited for the college and the people of Louisiana. VCOM established their main campus in a similar collaborative agreement with Virginia Tech and established a branch in a similar collaborative agreement with Auburn University that opened in 2015.”
“If all goes as planned, the first class for the medical school will begin in 2020,” Bruno said.
Once the project is completed, ULM will be the only campus in Louisiana with a medical school on site.
VCOM is a nonprofit, private (5013)c four-year osteopathic medical school offering the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree. The Virginia campus is in Blacksburg, Va., the Carolinas campus is in Spartanburg, S.C. and the Alabama campus is at Auburn, Ala.