Update: Some Much Appreciated Clarification!  

At the Dean’s Roundtable meeting last night, Dean Lairmore, Associate Dean Ilkiw, VMTH Director Dr. David Wilson, and Dr. John Pascoe were able to provide some much needed clarification regarding the changes in student run symposia that will start next year (this academic years symposia are unaffected by these changes). It was made clear that there has been very significant miscommunication regarding this issue – Dean Lairmore and SCAVMA Officers have recognized that appropriate communication with the student body is something that needs to be improved upon, and it is our collective wish that this be the start of a mutually beneficial partnership.  

1)     The proposed changes originate from a Continuing Education and Extended Learning Committee Report drafted in April, 2012. A summary of the rough draft of this report is below, and the final draft of this report will be provided once complete:

  1. The Continuing Education and Extended Learning Committee came to a consensus that lack of an administrating veterinarian is likely to be leading the failure to capitalize fully on the potential income generating capabilities of the VMTH CE program

  2. Committee members and VMTH CE program staff were unanimous in support of the general concept of providing weekly or biweekly small group teaching CE courses on the vet school premises (benefits: expose local veterinarians to the campus, and encourage interaction between the school and local community). 

  3. Major obstacle to providing CVMA style meetings (described above) on veterinary school premises has always been financial (hourly room rates for Valley hall are prohibitively expensive for small group teaching)

  4. d.     The committee recognizes the incredible effort and professionalism displayed by the student organizers of Club Symposia, and feel that the skills students acquire through this activity are valuable in their career development

  5. The current preponderance of student run CE courses prevents the SVM from developing a definable "branding" for its CE offerings

  6. Committee felt that student run CE may most appropriately be focused on providing content which is beneficial to the student body, rather than external RDVM's

  7. Committee feels that those CE events previously offered by student organizations should in the future be organized and run by the VMTH CE program to allow for greater coordination of the course offerings to avoid repetition.

  8. The most visible people in terms of coordinating student run CE events are frequently the students themselves (missed opportunity for the VMTH and School of Veterinary Medicine to showcase the faculty and enhance the schools opportunities to brand such CE events).

  9. CE events provided could be more evenly distributed throughout the year rather than being clustered in the few months that they are right now (referring to Club symposia)

  10. Committee felt since such a discussion may evolve into a new mission statement for the VMTH CE program, then it would be appropriate to obtain input from all the potential stake holders (CVMA members, technicians, and UC Davis faculty) to identify their needs and desires for the UCD CE program.

2)     As a point of clarification, the Continuing Education and Extended Learning Committee is composed of VMTH faculty. Thus, this committee initiated this discussion, not the Dean’s office or any part of the administration. Dr. Ilkiw is not part of this committee, hence why she had limited information to address student concerns.  

3)     The SVM is currently seeking to hire a CE Director (search underway) who will be in charge of addressing concerns and working with the Student Clubs as the UCD CE Program develops.  

4)     The statement that 100% of proceeds from all CE would go directly to the VMTH, without any profit share to the clubs, is entirely FALSE! Dean Lairmore apologized for the miscommunication. The Development Office has asked that the annual budgets and symposia budgets for all of the clubs be provided so they can work towards ensuring that these same values or more are returned to the student clubs. These numbers are needed before discussion regarding how profit can be shared can proceed, since there needs to be a bar set so that the Development Office can aim above it. It should be noted that the Development Office truly is capable of raising significant amounts of money for these events, SCAVMA has pledged to facilitate collecting that data (Club annual budgets and Club Symposia Budgets) in order to provide it to the Development Office. In this way, clubs will be able to continue sustaining their student educational activities (wetlabs, lecture series, rounds, etc.) as well as their philanthropic endeavors (scholarships and grants). Additionally, if there are large events outside of symposia that the student clubs could use assistance in fundraising to put on, the Dean is interested in partnering to ensure the success of those events (example: Career Night 2013).  

5)     Moving forward, the Center for Continuing Professional Education will be working in close cooperation with our student clubs and their supporting faculty advisors to coordinate the CE events on campus. Student clubs will still participate in all aspects of running these events, but the Center for Continuing Professional Education and the Development Office will take on the brunt of the advertising and fundraising to put these events on, so that students can focus on the aspects of event planning that are valuable to their career development and education (such as networking with potential speakers, communication skills, people management, etc.). The benefits of these CE events will all be maintained: student leadership, student networking and communication with professionals, public relations for the SVM and alumni outreach, opportunities to showcase faculty, and the ability of clubs to remain self-sufficient with their profit share.  

Dean Lairmore has indicated that a more thorough report will be prepared and provided to the student body in order to clarify any previous miscommunications. These are just the beginnings of what will be a continued partnership and discussion with student club leaders. SCAVMA will continue to facilitate meetings between all relevant parties as we proceed.