The University of Toledo will break ground on its new $36 million Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center Monday, June 18, as it announces a dramatic scaling up of prior plans that now will embed simulation technologies beyond medical and health education and ultimately include interdisciplinary educational collaboration spanning the arts, the humanities, the natural sciences and engineering.Carroll Ashley, chair of the UT Board of Trustees, will be joined by UT President Lloyd Jacobs, Chancellor Jeffrey Gold and Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center Executive Director Pamela Boyers at the groundbreaking ceremony, which will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Center for Creative Education Building on Health Science Campus.
“American higher education is at the beginning of a revolution in the way we convey knowledge to students seeking a higher degree,” Jacobs said.
“Using the most advanced simulation technology to explore works of art and artistic techniques, to dive into and explore a running automobile engine or to practice patient treatment in teams across various health disciplines will all serve to make the value of the education offered at The University of Toledo a truly unique educational investment for students,” Jacobs said.
Gold, chancellor and executive vice president for biosciences and health affairs, said the new facility on Health Science Campus and the expansion of virtual reality education and simulation technology into fields of study located on Main Campus aligns closely with expectations from the Ohio Board of Regents that universities increasingly look at ways to collaborate with each other and with industry.
“We’re already seeing UT students who have had access to simulation technology as part of their education emerge well ahead of their peers once they enter the work force post-graduation,” said Gold, who also serves as dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences.
“As we expand by orders of magnitude this technology throughout the University, students will find that the opportunities to work alongside private industry, the U.S. military and other organizations will provide myriad professional options to them simply unavailable at institutions of higher education without these offerings.”
Much of the coordination between the Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center and UT’s academic programs will come by way of the new School for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education and Improvement of Human Performance.
“It is the intersection between fields of study that will be the focus of UT curriculum moving forward,” Jacobs said. “In the years ahead and even today, success will not come from studying a specific major in a vacuum removed from the many disciplines that major touches.”
The president pointed to intersections between art and business, law and environmental protection, and medicine and philosophy as examples.
Boyers, who also is senior adviser to the chancellor, will lead the new school and coordinate the internal University partnerships and the external public/private partnerships that will reach across traditional disciplinary silos to find learning and teaching methods to keep pace with the knowledge being created at UT every day.
“So much of this new school will be pulling different areas of expertise inside and outside the University together to create learning, research and economic development opportunities that otherwise just wouldn’t be feasible,” Boyers said. “We’re limited only by our own imaginations.”
Slated to open in February 2014, the Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center will be the first in the nation to incorporate three integrated simulation centers: a progressive anatomy and surgical skills center, an advanced simulation center and the virtual immersive reality center.