UC Davis Veterinary Medicine News Special Edition, Fall 1998|
The school has already begun several initiatives to achieve long-term financial health that will not depend entirely on public funding. Efforts are underway to continue building partnerships between the school and public agencies, agribusiness, legislators, veterinarians, animal lovers and consumers in order to meet California's needs.
Capital Campaign Aims for Private Support
In August the dean publicly launched a 50th Anniversary Campaign for new sources of private funding that are critical to provide adequate physical facilities and meet California's growing need for veterinarians.
"We are seeking $50 million in private support that is necessary to augment public funding to educate future veterinarians," says Dean Osburn. "Financial objectives include funding for endowments to provide perpetual support for veterinary student scholarships, graduate student fellowships, faculty positions and research programs."
Achievement of long-term school objectives in teaching, research and public service requires a partnership between public and private supporters.
The campaign is the first of several phases in development of "Vet Med III," a new building project that will house much-needed classrooms and laboratory teaching facilities. Currently, such a building project requires private contributions to leverage a percentage of construction costs from public sources.
One component of the capital campaign will provide funding for construction of clinical, research laboratory and office space at the Center for Companion Animal Health. These improvements will enhance faculty support, veterinary care services and research programs.
"We need to reinvest to ensure that facilities and faculty numbers keep pace with the quality and diversity of school programs." Dean Bennie Osburn
The school has already received several large contributions, primarily from individual donors. The dean says, "We are fortunate to have many friends, including many individual animal lovers. With the help of agricultural organizations, charitable foundations, animal-related businesses, and our own graduates and faculty, we hope to reach our goal in time for the 50th reunion of the first graduating class in 2002."
In addition to being the most ambitious fund-raising venture in the history of UC Davis, the 50th Anniversary Campaign will raise awareness about animal health care, wildlife science, human health issues, biotechnology advances and other responsibilities within the broad scope of veterinary medicine.
"We need to ensure affordable education for future veterinarians and scientific breakthroughs to serve a global society," says Dean Osburn. "We hope that people, by responding to our appeal, will acknowledge that animals touch all our lives."
The state government has recently approved a $2.5 million annual budget augmentation.
These funds will expand specialty residencies, create programs in Southern California to better serve the entire state, and increase class size to begin to address the shortage of veterinarians in the state.
Efforts continue on these and other initiatives in private-sector funding and public budgeting to ensure that facilities and faculty numbers keep pace with the quality and diversity of school programs.
"With a public and private support base, the school can overcome concerns regarding finances and facilities, and meet California's need for veterinary medicine in the 21st century." Dean Bennie Osburn