AVMA reinstates funding for veterinary student leadership program


AVMA reinstates funding for veterinary student leadership program

Dec 22, 2009
By dvm360.com staff
Schaumburg, Ill. -- Just three months after voting to slash funding for the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Veterinary Leadership Experience (VLE), AVMA board members reversed its decision and reinstated funding for the next two years.

In September, AVMA pulled its $300,000 contribution for VLE over the next four years, just a day after the Student AVMA (SAVMA) pledged $25,000 from its reserves for the 2010 VLE program.

SAVMA's contribution came at a price of a $2-membership dues increase for each SAVMA member. At the time, AVMA pledged to prioritize its programs and possibly reinstate funding following its November board meeting.

The reinstated contribution of $150,000 comes close to AVMA's previous level of support for VLE for the next two years (instead of four).

AVMA has funded the program since 2005, spending a total of $315,000.

"I'm pleased that the AVMA's moving forward to continue its funding of this really important project, which many students have characterized as life changing," says VLE co-founder and facilitator Dr. Richard M. DeBowes.

VLE is a leadership development program for veterinary students founded in 2002 at Washington State University.

The funding pledge for VLE follows an association announcement that it is considering a $50 per year dues increase for members at its Jan. 9 House of Delegates meeting. The increase, the first since 2004, would raise dues to $300 per year for AVMA members and generate about $3.5 million in new revenue to offset a projected $1.8 million deficit for 2009.