UC Davis Veterinary Medicine News Special Edition, Fall 1998

Accreditation Review Calls for Improved School Facilities and Finances

The AVMA Council on Education periodically conducts accreditation site visits to veterinary institutions to assure that accredited schools meet established standards for a quality veterinary education.

After reviewing UC Davis in February 1998, the council found that the School of Veterinary Medicine meets or exceeds nine of eleven essential requirements for accreditation—faculty, research, curriculum, clinical resources, library resources, students, admissions, continuing education, and organization—and shows outstanding performance in curriculum, research, and continuing education. The school was judged deficient in two areas—finances and physical facilities. The council recommended that, while concerns are addressed, UC Davis be given limited accreditation with a review in two years.

Despite financial cutbacks and aging facilities, UC Davis is still a nationally accredited veterinary school—all programs remain fully functional.

Finances for instruction were severely compromised during the state budget crisis. In the early 1990s, the school lost 20­25 percent of its publicly funded budget. The council's financial concerns relate to 15 faculty positions that were lost and remain unfilled due to continued budgetary constraints.

Facilities concerns largely relate to the aging and inadequate space of 50-year-old Haring Hall and the scattering of veterinary programs to more than 40 locations across the UC Davis campus.

Proposed remedies for these problems have been under discussion for more than two decades, but providing bricks and mortar for veterinary medicine receded into the background during the past several years while the university focused on other needs.

An appeal to the threat of limited accreditation has been filed on the grounds that despite deficiencies, the school successfully meets program objectives, educational quality is not compromised and research continues to advance. The final outcome of the appeal process will be decided at the council's November meeting.

DVM students initially work with plastic bone models as they develop expertise in orthopedic surgery. Their laboratory is taught in Haring Hall, the original school structure built in 1948, intended for a class size of 50 students. Classrooms and laboratories must now accommodate 122 students per class. Improvements have been made over the years, but the building has reached its limit for remodeling to serve modern teaching and research needs.

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