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Veterinary School Restored to Full Accreditation as New Buildings Rise

March 7, 2005

Bolstered by an ambitious $354 million building program, the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine has been restored to full accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association, ending more than six years of limited accreditation for the school.

The decision came this week following a full review by the AVMA accreditation team, including a December site visit and facilities inspection.

"This is very good news indeed," said Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef. "We are indebted to many whose advocacy, generous philanthropic support and just plain hard work enabled us to pursue such an aggressive building program a program that will provide facilities befitting what is arguably the nationĀ¹s finest veterinary school. I'd like to especially acknowledge Senator Chuck Poochigian, former Assemblymember and current Yolo County Supervisor Helen Thomson and the late Senator Ken Maddy, whose efforts particularly helped position us for success."

Bennie Osburn"We are thrilled that our school now meets or exceeds all 11 AVMA accreditation standards," said Bennie Osburn, dean of the veterinary school, who received the news by telephone from the AVMA's Council on Education.

"Bold action by state leaders, working in concert with campus and UC officials and concerned friends, brought in an amazing $140 million in public and private funds. As a result, we have begun or completed five new building projects in the past five years that directly address teaching priorities," Osburn said. "Our faculty, staff and students also have worked so hard to help assure that the school would be restored to full accreditation."

The veterinary school has been on limited accreditation since the summer of 1998, when the AVMA cited it for inadequate facilities for teaching, research and clinical care. Other than facilities, the school passed that review in all areas.

The 1998 accreditation review committee recommended that the campus update or replace aging facilities and unite all veterinary faculty and staff with the rest of the campus's health science programs. At the time, core veterinary teaching programs were housed in Haring Hall and a collection of long-term temporary buildings on the central campus, while clinical services and additional research programs were located at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and Tupper Hall, both in the health sciences district on the west side of the campus.

Since being placed on limited accreditation, the veterinary school has continued its teaching, research, clinical and public service programs while working to upgrade its facilities. The past six years have seen unprecedented planning and growth for the school.

Newly completed veterinary facilities include:

* The 63,000 square-foot Veterinary Medicine Laboratory Facility, completed in 2002 on Garrod Drive southwest of the veterinary hospital. It includes instructional surgery suites for veterinary students, animal-holding facilities for both large and small animals, a facility for canine blood donors and an instructional lecture hall. It also has exercise runs for dogs and other small animals, plus a pasture for large animals. Its modern surgical facility has already been used twice for the annual Spay Day, when 300 low-cost spay and neuter procedures were provided as part of a massive public service effort to curb pet overpopulation and improve animal health. The $12.5 million facility was constructed with a combination of state and university funds.

Bennie Osburn"* A new $14 million, 36,000-square-foot-building added in 2004 for the school's Center for Companion Animal Health on the southeast side of the veterinary hospital. The two-story facility houses the center's oncology, pharmacy, genetics and physical rehabilitation units, including administrative and faculty offices, state-of-the-art laboratories, exam rooms, chemotherapy treatment rooms and an outpatient pharmacy. The new facility and $2.4 million in major equipment were funded by private donations from individuals and foundations.

Veterinary school facilities now under construction include:

* The Veterinary Medicine Instructional Facility, which broke ground in April 2004 north of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. This two-story, 55,000-square-foot classroom complex will replace cramped and aging facilities and become the instructional heart of the expanded, modernized veterinary campus. Construction of the new $27 million facility, scheduled for completion in late 2006, was supported by public and private funds.

* The six-story, $77 million Veterinary Medicine 3A building, which will include 98,000 (assignable) square feet of teaching and research laboratories, research support services, academic offices, clinical services and administrative offices. Located just northwest of the veterinary hospital and across from the instructional facility, it is slated for completion in 2007. The new building will enable the school to centralize its veterinary medical activities. The facility was publicly funded, with state funds totaling $66.1 million for the building provided in 2002 through a state economic stimulus package.

*An Equine Athletic Performance Laboratory of 10,000 square feet on the east side of Garrod Drive is also being built just south of the veterinary hospital. This single-story building will include a laboratory with two horse-size treadmills. The facility was made possible by $4.3 million in public and private funding.

In addition to the new buildings, a number of upgrades have been made to existing facilities.The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine is the largest of the nation's 28 public veterinary institutions and California's only public veterinary school. It currently enrolls 488 students for the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, with each incoming class now including 122 students. Other teaching programs in the school include an extensive residency program at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, a master's degree program in preventive veterinary medicine and graduate academic studies.

The school is the primary health resource for California's companion animals, livestock and wildlife. Its internationally recognized teaching hospital, staffed by more than 300 medical, nursing, technical, and administrative employees, treats more than 30,000 animals each year while teaching essential clinical skills to veterinary students.

The veterinary school is reviewed every seven years by the American Veterinary Medical Association's Council on Education, which is recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the accrediting agency for colleges and schools of veterinary medicine in the United States.

This news release was originally distributed March 7, 2005 by UC Davis News Service. Updated March 29, 2005.