Aging Facilities Put Vet School On Limited Accreditation

Due to deficiencies in its aging physical facilities, the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine has been assigned limited accreditation status for two years by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education, the accrediting body for all veterinary educational institutions in the United States.

While progress is made in remedying the facilities problems, students will continue to graduate from a nationally accredited school and qualify for national certification and state licensing examinations.

“We are addressing the issues raised by the council, with the intention of fully complying with its expectations,” said Bennie I. Osburn, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. “The quality of our faculty, students, and educational program remains the highest in the nation, earning U.S. News & World Report's top ranking this past year. With the help of the university, the state, and the animal-owning public, we hope to be well on our way to bringing our aging facilities in line with our outstanding program when our progress is reviewed two years from now.”

Limited accreditation is a probationary period during which a school is expected to bring one or more areas into compliance with accreditation standards. At the end of the two years the school may regain full accreditation if the necessary criteria are met.

The accreditation council has stipulated that the School of Veterinary Medicine make progress toward providing adequate classroom space for veterinary students and modernize classrooms and laboratories.

The AVMA education council's advisory committee, which reviewed the vet school's operations, last spring recommended the school be placed on limited accreditation because of deficiencies in two out of 11 required categories: physical facilities and finances. In all other categories—faculty, research, curriculum, clinical resources, library resources, students, admissions, continuing education, and organization—the school met or exceeded the accreditation standards.

The veterinary school's administrators appealed the advisory committee's recommendation for limited accreditation on the grounds that the school continues to meet its program objectives, provide an uncompromised education for veterinary students, and produce research advances.

Upon review of the appeal, the council ruled in the school's favor that its finances do meet established standards.

The veterinary school's facilities problem is a holdover from California's recession of the early 1990s. The University of California now is working to replace and restore buildings throughout its nine-campus system.

To help solve the facilities problem, the veterinary school this summer launched its 50th Anniversary Campaign, aimed at raising $50 million in private support for the school by the year 2002, with $10 million earmarked for initial construction and renovation projects.

During the next five years, UC Davis plans to make $47 million worth of alterations, replacements, and additions to the School of Veterinary Medicine, funded by a combination of state bonds, campus monies, and private support. The construction efforts will provide classrooms and group-study rooms for veterinary medicine students, research labs, and academic offices. Alterations and additions also will be made to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.


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