Charles R. Drew
University of Medicine and Science
MottoA Private University with a Public Mission
TypeHBCU, Private, Non-Profit University
Academic affiliationWASC
PresidentDavid M. Carlisle
LocationLos Angeles, California, U.S.
11 acres (4.5 ha)

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science is a private, non-profit, historically black graduate institution (HBGI) and a minority-serving institution located in Willowbrook, unincorporated Los Angeles County, California, United States. It was founded in 1966 in response to inadequate medical access within the Watts region of Los Angeles, California, USA.[1] The university is named in honor of Charles R. Drew.


Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School was incorporated in the State of California as a private, nonprofit educational institution in 1966[2] in response to the McCone Commission's recommendations to improve access to healthcare in South Los Angeles following the Watts Riots in 1965.[3][4] In 1973, Governor Ronald Reagan signed Senate Bill 1026 authored by State Senator Mervyn Dymally to allocate funding and support for the institution from the General Fund to the University of California.[5] In January 1970, the offices of the Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School and the Watts-Willowbrook Regional Medical program formally opened at 12012 Compton Avenue[6], and would serve as the central center for CDU’s operations until the W.M. Cobb Building’s construction in 1984.[citation needed]

Three schools and colleges are housed on CDU’s 11-acre campus: College of Science and Health, College of Medicine and the Mervyn M. Dymally School Nursing (MMDSON).

In May 1978, a proposed agreement between the Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School and the UCLA School of Medicine to jointly establish an undergraduate medical program at Drew was approved.[citation needed]

The Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing opened in 2010.[7] The school was the first comprehensive nursing program to open in Southern California in decades, and the first ever of its kind in South Los Angeles.[8]

In 2018, the school partnered with Ross University School of Medicine, a for-profit medical school in Barbados, to educate doctors for South Los Angeles [9]


CDU’s Department of Research and Health Affairs conducts ongoing research on conditions such as hypertension, cancer and HIV/AIDs. The department was initially established as the Office of Research in 1973 to organize the assignment of research activities at the institution and provide a focus for encouraging faculty participation in laboratory activities.[10][11]


The university has on-campus clinics, including the SPECTRUM and OASIS Clinics, which offer HIV medical care and testing services, as well as case management, substance abuse counseling, support groups and treatment advocate services to members of L.A. County.[12]


CDU is recognized as a minority-serving institution by the U.S. Office for Civil Rights,[13] as well as a historically black graduate institution under the U.S. Department of Education's Strengthening Historically Black Graduate Institutions Program, also known as Title III B.[14] CDU is also a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)[15] and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.[16]

At its meeting on June 17–19, 2009 the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities acted to place the university on Probation due to it having been found to have serious issues of noncompliance with the Commission Standards.[17]

In July 2011, the university was removed from WASC Probation.[18][19]

Association with Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital

Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital closed in 2007.[20] Both the university and associated public hospital fell into serious trouble at the outset of the 21st century.[21] By 2006, several residency programs had to be terminated because they lost accreditation for not meeting the necessary amount of oversight, and the hospital itself was forced into a radical restructuring plan in late 2006.[22] The restructuring caused hospital to sever its ties to the neighboring medical school and terminate support to 248 medical residents.[23] In October 2006, the national Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education informed school officials that it planned to revoke the university's accreditation because of the hospital's upcoming loss of Medicare money; as a result the university voluntarily withdrew its accreditation.[22] The school was eligible to seek reinstatement to relaunch its residency program in July 2008. As a response to the problems, the university reorganized, terminating its president, and dismissed nearly two-thirds of its board of trustees.[22]

On March 6, 2007, officials from the university announced that they would sue Los Angeles County for $125 million for breach of contract, claiming that the restructuring of the hospital gutted the adjacent university.[23] In September 2009, the lawsuit was settled with an agreement under which the county would rent space to the university on favorable terms and the county and university would work together toward the reopening of MLK Hospital.[24]

In June 2007, the school began an 18-month rebranding effort aimed at preventing people from associating the school with the continuing ordeals of King-Harbor; the school criticized the hospital for leaving an old sign bearing the King/Drew name.[22]

See also


  1. "University Bulletin: A Weekly Bulletin for the Staff of the University of California" (in en). Office of Official Publications, University of California. 1977. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  2. Fortney, Jr., Albert (15 January 2016). "The Fortney Encyclical Black History: The World's True Black History" (in en). Xlibris Corporation.
  3. Dawsey, Darrell (8 July 1990). "25 Years After the Watts Riots : McCone Commission's Recommendations Have Gone Unheeded". Los Angeles Times.
  4. "Violence in the City (McCone Commission Report on Watts Riot: 1965" (in English).
  5. "Bill Text - SR-43".
  6. "Medical School Dedicated". Los Angeles Herald-Examiner (24 January 1970). Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  7. Lin II, Rong-Gong (15 August 2010). "Drew University's new nursing school opens under financial cloud". Los Angeles Times.
  8. "Charles Drew University of Medicine & Science Plans $43 Million Bond Offering for New Life Sciences Research, Nursing Education Building in South Los Angeles". 13 November 2007.
  9. Bartholomew, Dana. "Charles Drew University Inks Agreement to Educate More Doctors for South L.A". Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  10. "The Drew Employee Newsletter (July 1981)". Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  11. "CDU News - Legacy of CDU". Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  12. "SPECTRUM Community Services".
  13. "OCR: Accredited Postsecondary Minority Institutions" (in en).
  14. "Eligibility - Title III Part B, Strengthening Historically Black Graduate Institutions Program" (in en). 21 June 2011.
  15. "Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities - Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science".
  16. "Member Schools".
  17. "WASC Senior". Archived from the original on 2011-07-03. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
  18. "Charles R. Drew University removed from academic probation". Los Angeles Times. 13 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  19. "Troubled Los Angeles Medical School Gets Some Good News: It’s Off Probation". Chronicle of Higher Education. 13 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  20. Charles Ornstein, Tracy Weber and Jack Leonard (August 11, 2007). "King-Harbor fails final check, will close soon". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  21. Tracy Weber et al., The Troubles at King/Drew (5 part series), The Los Angeles Times, December 2004, Accessed Sept. 26, 2006.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Tiffany Hsu, University official stresses campus isn't King-Harbor, Los Angeles Times, June 22, 2007.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Susannah Rosenblatt, Medical school to sue L.A. County, Los Angeles Times, March 7, 2007.
  24. Therolf, Garrett (September 11, 2009). "Medical school drops $125-million suit against L.A. County over King/Drew closure". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 22, 2013.

External links

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