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KGI growing by leaps and bounds

Keck Graduate Institute (KGI), which will play a large role in the future development of Village South, has announced plans to develop a school of medicine. The school is being established to “meet the increasing demand for primary care physicians in southern California,” KGI said in a press release circulated on Monday.

This will be the first medical school in Claremont. The KGI board of trustees approved the proposal to develop the school in May.

The plan has been in the works for a couple of years, according to KGI President Sheldon Schuster. Informal discussion started in 2016, and with the hire of a strategic consultant, Tripp Umbach, a feasibility study was completed between fall 2017 and spring 2018.

A large part of the medical school’s creation came as a result of an unspecified donation from an anonymous source, which will fund the first phase of the school, including recruitment and the hiring of a founding dean. KGI is also in the process of applying for accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).

Mr. Schuster said he hopes to hire a founding dean by June 2019. In the release, he said KGI would be seeking a dean “who is not afraid to make medical education unique by challenging the status quo.”

“Depending on fundraising and accreditation milestones, it is our hope that the school would open a few years after the founding dean is hired,” he told the COURIER.

Based on the timeline of already-established medical schools, the first class typically enrolls three to four years after the founding dean is hired.

It’s currently too early to know how many students will be enrolled in the med school, Mr. Schuster said, but based on early plans, class sizes could range between 60 and 75 students.

Future students in the medical school will undoubtedly be living in the student housing building, which is currently being built along the corner of Bucknell Avenue and Santa Fe Street. Mr. Schuster anticipates the building to be completed in the coming months.

“Construction is on an accelerated schedule, and we fully expect the housing complex to open this fall,” he said.

—Matthew Bramlett

news@claremont-courier.com