A $10.7 million gift from the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation -- the largest single cash gift in the campus's history -- will boost significantly efforts to improve aging facilities at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine and to restore full accreditation to the nation's top-ranked vet school.
"The very generous gift from the Valley family Foundation could not have been more timely," said UC Davis Chancellor Larry N. Vanderhoef. "It endorses the unsurpassed quality and vitality of our veterinary medicine programs while addressing the inadequacy of the facilities in which those programs currently operate. Along with efforts we've already initiated -- our capital campaign, building renovations, and a new building in our state capital budget -- the Foundation's gift helps us take several significant steps toward restored full accreditation."
In November, the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education, the accrediting body for all U.S. veterinary educational institutions, assigned the School limited accreditation status for two years, citing a need for modernized classrooms and laboratories and adequate classroom space. 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. At the end of the two-year period, the School may regain full accreditation if sufficient progress has been made in correcting facilities deficiencies. In the meantime, the School remains accredited, with students qualifying for national certification and state licensing examinations.
The Valley family Foundation's gift will support renovation and construction of instructional, research and office space, including alterations to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and an expansion of the Center for Companion Animal Health, as well as new classroom space for a growing body of veterinary students.
"We hope that this very welcome gift will inspire further public and private support of the University's ongoing efforts to benefit animals and society," said Bennie I. Osburn, Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. "Such an investment in the continued success of the School from the Valley family, our long-time friends, means so much to us."
The Foundation has supported the School since 1989, contributing more than $386,000 for horse-related research. "The Valley family has had a continuing interest in our programs and been good friends of the School over the years," Osburn said. "We were very pleased that the Foundation was able to respond so generously to our facilities challenges."
The foundation's gift adds heft to several initiatives already under way. The School last summer launched its 50th Anniversary Campaign, aimed at raising $50 million in private support for the School by the year 2002, with $17 million earmarked for initial construction and renovation projects. An education bond measure approved by voters last November will fund planning for a new veterinary medicine building, and limited campus deferred-maintenance funds will help address the most urgent vet school deficiencies over the next 18 months.
"The Valley family gift, combined with other corrective efforts, has positioned us well to make progress in addressing the AVMA's concerns," Osburn said. "We're most grateful and hope that other supporters and friends will follow the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation's lead."
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.
For more information, contact:Lynn Narlesky
, Vet. Med. Dean's Office, (530) 752-5257