APPEAL from the Second Division of the Appellate Court for the
First District; heard in that court on appeal
MR. JUSTICE HERSHEY DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
This is an appeal from a decision of the Appellate Court, First District, reversing the superior court of Cook County, which in a proceeding under the Administrative Review Act had affirmed an administrative decision of Noble J. Puffer, Director of the Department of Registration and Education.
On May 31, 1949, the Chicago College of Osteopathy (herein called plaintiff) filed an application with the Department pursuant to the Medical Practice Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1949, chap. 91, pars. 1 et seq.) for inspection and approval as a college "reputable and in good standing" for the teaching of students in the treatment of human ailments, so that graduates thereof would be permitted to take the examination for a license to practice medicine in all of its branches in Illinois.
An inspection of the plaintiff college was made by the Medical Examining Committee. After a hearing, the committee filed a report with the Department in which it recommended that the application be denied for failure to meet the statutory requirements and the rules and regulations adopted by the Department for approved medical colleges. The specific reasons assigned for refusing recognition were as follows:
"(1) Rule 5 on page 3, entitled `Premedical Education, College Preparatory,' among other things, provides for a minimum of 16 hours of Chemistry and 8 hours of English, while a review of the catalogue of the Chicago College of Osteopathy shows failure to meet this requirement, in that their minimum requirement is 12 hours of Chemistry and 6 hours of English.
"(2) In Rule 7 on page 4, the Department rules require a minimum of 5119 didactic and laboratory hours for graduation. The said Chicago College of Osteopathy fails to meet that requirement in that the minimum number of hours they require in didactic and laboratory instruction is 4872 hours.
"(3) Under Section 5(a), `Faculty Requirements,' the Department rules require a school to provide at least 6 expert, thoroughly trained professors in the laboratory branches who shall devote their entire time to the college in instruction and research. The catalogue of the Chicago College of Osteopathy shows that they have only 3 men of professorial rank as full time instructors in basic sciences.
"(4) The Chicago College of Osteopathy also fails to comply with Section 5(b) of the Department rules which is quoted below, since its catalogue shows the names of only 2 licensed physicians and surgeons as members of the faculty: `The faculty should be composed of graduates of institutions recognized as reputable medical colleges, who have had training in all departments of medicine. Non-medical men should be selected as teachers in medical colleges only under exceptional circumstances, and only when medical men of equal special capacity are not available. The faculty should be organized, each department having as its head professor a physician and surgeon who shall be licensed to practice medicine in all of its branches in the state in which the medical college is located, and who shall have practiced his profession at least ten years, and has devoted the five years next preceding such engagement to the exclusive practice of the specialty in which he is proficient, its associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, etc., each having his particular subjects for the teaching of which he is responsible to the head of the department.'
"(5) The number of anatomy tables provided by the Chicago College of Osteopathy is inadequate for the number of students in the freshmen class, since they have only 12 tables for 68 students. The usual practice followed by approved medical colleges is 4 students to one table.
"(6) Under Section 7 `Clinical Resources,' the Department rules provide that the work of the student at all times shall be under the guidance of a competent instructor who shall hold a license to practice medicine and surgery in all its branches, and since there are only two physicians and surgeons on the faculty of the Chicago College of Osteopathy who are licensed in Illinois, it is impossible for them to supervise all students in the college."
The Department, in denying the application, approved and adopted the report and recommendations of the committee.
The plaintiff then petitioned for a rehearing, and upon rehearing held August 10, 1950, offered certain evidence. The committee again recommended the denial of the application, and the Department adopted that recommendation. This final administrative determination of the Department was based upon both the findings of the committee, quoted above, and the evidence adduced upon rehearing in opposition to the findings.
The superior court of Cook County affirmed the decision of the Department, and the Appellate Court reversed and remanded the cause with directions to refer the matter to the Department for the entry of an order approving plaintiff's application. (Chicago College of Osteopathy v. Puffer, 3 Ill. App.2d 69.) We allowed the Department's petition for leave to appeal.
The Appellate Court, as a basis for remanding the case to the Department for the entry of an order approving the plaintiff's application, was of the opinion that the plaintiff had substantially complied with the requirements in accordance with the standards which the Department has in practice applied. The Department contends that the Appellate Court wrongfully substituted its own judgment for that of the Department, thereby usurping the function of said administrative agency.
The position of the Department may be summarized as follows: The legislature has delegated to the Department, acting upon a report of the examining committee, the function of approving and accrediting colleges whose graduates may be allowed to take an examination for a license to practice medicine in all its branches in Illinois. The Department properly exercised said statutory power in this case and its action in denying the application of the plaintiff college was in accord with the law and the evidence. Since the plaintiff admittedly failed to satisfy the rules of the Department in the particulars ...