The clock is ticking for Fairview Health Services and the University of Minnesota to finalize a deal transferring ownership of its teaching hospital to the U.

But on Thursday, medical school dean Dr. Jakub Tolar shared precious few details with the U's Board of Regents about progress on reaching a definitive agreement by autumn.

"We are committed to getting this done, and we are more interested in the quality than in the timing," Tolar told the Star Tribune after the committee meeting.

A letter of intent signed earlier this year by Fairview and the U calls for terms of the deal — which would close in two phases over several years — to be finalized by the end of September.

"That seems very close," U Regent Dr. Penny Wheeler told Tolar during the meeting.

Tolar replied that throughout the summer, Fairview and the U "will develop models that can then be actionable in the fall."

On Thursday, a Fairview spokesman said there'd been no change in the timeline for the deal. The Minneapolis-based nonprofit acquired University of Minnesota Medical Center (UMMC) in a financial bailout in 1997.

Located in Minneapolis, UMMC is the primary teaching venue for the state's largest and only public medical school. About 70% of physicians practicing in Minnesota trained at the U's medical school and/or graduate medical education program.

The letter of intent between the U and Fairview specifies a majority stake in UMMC would transfer by the end of this year. The university will pay Fairview 51% of the negotiated price at that time, and the deal is set to be completed by the end of 2027.

"I think we're still in the due diligence phase and I haven't seen much more than that — and we need to, is what I'll say," Wheeler told the Star Tribune after Thursday's meeting. "I asked: 'Are the deadlines in peril?' I'm not really hearing that they are yet, but I just haven't seen the specifics."

Fairview is the state's fourth-largest nonprofit group. With about 34,000 employees, the health system has posted operating losses for several years while jointly marketing health care services with the U under the brand M Health Fairview.