The president of Illinois Central College in the Peoria area wants to expand his school's relationship with the University of Illinois, but it's not clear if that means a U of I campus in the river city. John Erwin says he doesn't want to add to existing financial pressures in the state, which means building a brand new U of I campus, he says, may not be a viable option:
"Part of the answer for economic vibrancy is education. So, we're wanting to do the things that make sense to keep costs down, but also enhance opportunity."
Erwin says the U of I could become a transfer school for students at Illinois Central, who are thinking about going into different fields, like agriculture, criminal justice, and engineering. He met with U of I President Robert Easter to discuss ways the two schools can combine services. The U of I currently has a College of Medicine office in Peoria, and Easter says he'd like to see the university's role there expand:
"I think it's been a very positive relationship. We not only want to sustain that; we look for opportunities to grow our engagement in the conversation with the community leaders."
Erwin says he hopes to see some developments between the U of I and Illinois Central College within the next year.
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