News & Events

UC Davis Drafts Plan for New Veterinary School Facilities

The University of California, Davis, has drafted a comprehensive $354 million long-range facilities plan for the School of Veterinary Medicine, designed to restore the school's full accreditation status, as well as to prepare for enrollment and academic growth anticipated for the next decade. The need for improved teaching and research facilities for the veterinary school became acute in 1998 when the American Veterinary Medical Association's accreditation committee visited the school for its routine accreditation review. While the school passed the review with flying colors in the areas of faculty, research, curriculum, clinical resources, library resources, students, admissions, continuing education and organization, it failed to make the grade in the area of facilities.

The accreditation committee cited the school for inadequate facilities for teaching, research and clinical care. It was also recommended that the campus unite all veterinary faculty and staff with the rest of the campus's health-science programs. Currently, core veterinary programs are housed in Haring Hall and a collection of long-term temporary buildings on the central campus, while clinical service and additional research programs are located at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and Tupper Hall, both in the health-sciences district of the campus.

As a result of the facilities deficiencies, the AVMA placed the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine on limited accreditation, meaning it would be reviewed again after two years, rather than the normal seven years, to make sure the school is in compliance with accreditation standards.

During the past 18 months, the veterinary school and campus administration assessed the magnitude of the need and drafted a facilities plan designed to correct the deficiencies and equip the school to handle anticipated enrollment growth.

"Through a combination of public and private resources we're confident that we can correct existing deficiencies and construct an infrastructure to match the outstanding caliber of our faculty and academic programs," said UC Davis Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef. "We are working closely with the UC Office of the President, the governor and the Legislature to secure the state funding on a timely basis and are gratified by their recognition of the urgency of this unique need."

The school currently trains 460 students for the doctor of veterinary medicine degree, with each incoming class now including 122 students. Class size will increase to 131 students as soon as facilities are available, and a UC task force has recommended eventually increasing enrollment to 150-180 students per class.

In addition, the school provides training for veterinary residents and offers graduate degree programs for more than 180 veterinary postgraduate students and graduate students from other disciplines. Enrollment in these resident and graduate programs is also expected to climb during the next decade to meet a growing demand within the state. UC Davis has committed approximately $45 million in campus and gift funds and plans to spend an additional $79 million in state funds to bring the veterinary school into compliance with accreditation standards.

The campus already has completed $2.8 million in facilities maintenance and upgrades, financed by deferred maintenance funds from the state, in Tupper and Haring halls and in the veterinary school's temporary buildings. This work included installation of improved ventilation systems and general maintenance work that had been put off during the early 1990s, when the entire UC system experienced severe budget cuts.

Additionally, the comprehensive five-to-ten-year facilities master plan provides for expanding two buildings and adding six new facilities to the vet school. When construction is completed, the core veterinary school programs will all be located next to the UC Davis School of Medicine in the campus's health-sciences district, bounded by Highway 113, Interstate 80 and Hutchison Drive.

The plan's first two projects, an instructional laboratory and an athletic performance laboratory for horses, are now going through the environmental review process. The two construction projects, which will cost approximately $20 million -- $3.6 million in the 2000-2001 state budget -- will begin in spring of 2001 and should be completed by 2002.

The instructional laboratory will be built west of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, south and east of Garrod Drive. The equine athletic performance laboratory will be built south of the veterinary hospital's Parking Lot 51.

Other projects outlined in the immediate plan to restore full accreditation include:

  • A $12.5 million expansion of the Center for Companion Animal Health, now located in the Veterinary Medicine II building, southeast of the veterinary teaching hospital. The 30,000-square-foot expansion of clinical space is slated for completion in 2003.
  • A new $13.6 million building for classrooms, instructional laboratories and faculty offices to be located northeast of the veterinary teaching hospital. The 67,000-square-square foot building is planned for completion in 2005.
  • A new state-funded $75 million teaching, research and clinical building to be constructed northwest of the veterinary teaching hospital. The 125,000-square-foot building also is planned for completion in 2005. Following completion of these construction projects, the school and campus administration believe that the specific deficiencies identified in the accreditation report will be corrected.

"We look forward to putting this facilities plan into action," said John Pascoe, executive associate dean of the UC Davis veterinary school. "California's rapidly growing need for highly trained veterinarians to deal with animal health, food safety and environmental concerns, drives us to move forward without delay."

Additional facilities projects have been planned to exceed the accreditation requirements and position the school for future growth.

Other projects included in the comprehensive facilities plan include:

  • A $9 million upgrade and expansion of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. The project will alter the existing facility and provide space for the client's lobby, administrative offices and physical therapy unit on the east side of the teaching hospital.
  • Two new veterinary school buildings, totaling 316,000 square feet, north of the veterinary teaching hospital and east of existing medical school administrative and teaching buildings. The buildings, which will include research, clinical and office space, are estimated to cost a combined $221 million and would complete the relocation of core veterinary programs from the central campus, as well as accommodate veterinary school growth.

Established in 1946, the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine has graduated 4,000 doctors of veterinary medicine. It is one of 27 veterinary schools in the nation and the only public veterinary school in California.