UC Davis 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 can 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 veterinary 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, provides an uncompromised education for veterinary students, and produces 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 past 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.

New Veterinary Medical Center For UC San Diego

Officials from the University of California's Davis and San Diego campuses have signed a memorandum of understanding that lays the groundwork for establishing a new UC Veterinary Medical Center in San Diego. During the next few months, leaders from both campuses will be refining plans for programs, participating facilities, faculty collaborations, student rotations, resident training, and administrative infrastructure. Full implementation of the center, which will be composed of coordinated programs in a number of sites, is set for the fall of 1999.

The center, to be administered by the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, will be headquartered at UC San Diego and will offer educational and research opportunities to university students and faculty from both campuses. The center also is expected to foster collaborations with nearby private veterinarians and other professionals devoted to wild, zoo, and marine animals.

Funding to help create a San Diego center was provided by the California legislature in recent budget augmentations for the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine to expand its animal health programs to meet public needs across the state better.

"We are delighted to be establishing a center that will more completely serve the needs of Southern California," said Bennie Osburn, DVM, PhD, dean of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. "UC San Diego, with its pre-eminent biomedical research programs, and the many other prominent San Diego institutions dedicated to the care and understanding of animals, are unique resources. The educational and professional opportunities for veterinary and graduate students, residents, and faculty members will benefit animal and human health."

"By integrating the perspective of animal-health specialists into programs dedicated to improved understanding, prevention, and treatment of human disease, each of our programs will be greatly enriched," said John Alksne, MD, vice chancellor for health sciences and dean of the UC San Diego School of Medicine. "This will be especially helpful in advancing important studies of the genetic basis of disease, which will be enhanced by the contributions of professionals who are especially knowledgeable about animals."

Initial programs offered through the new center will focus on diagnositc medicine and comparative medicine, the area of research that deals with diseases common to both humans and animals. Later programs will emphasize laboratory animal medicine, zoological medicine, and clinical services offered in conjunction with local veterinary medical specialty practices in areas such as behavior, nutrition, and hemodialysis.

"The UC Veterinary Medical Center in San Diego will maximize ongoing partnerships in Southern California," said Osburn. "Together, we will create an opportunity for the university to address California's animal, human, and environmental health needs."

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