Veterinary schools face more funding cuts in 2011 - DVM
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To combat the decreased state funding, UC-Davis raised tuition for undergraduates and professional school students. The School of Veterinary Medicine is seeking new revenue sources and continues to raise private funds for scholarships, endowed faculty chairs and other purposes to support its teaching, research and service mission, Narlesky says.

"With a new governor and legislators and with the state of California facing an estimated budget deficit of $28 billion, future state funding for higher education is uncertain," she says.

Across the country, Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine also has seen a decrease in state funding over the past couple years.

The school's annual advancement report showed that over the past five years, state appropriations have fallen from 60 percent of the total budget to 51 percent.

"We are anticipating additional cuts in fiscal year 2012," says Ernie Tanoos, assistant dean for finance and administrative services at the school. "Depending on the size of the cuts, preclinical, clinical and research programs could be affected."

Michigan State's Lloyd says the situation has accelerated in Michigan because of the state's economic structure and the failings of the automotive industry.

"We have seen an 18 percent decrease in the base funding from the state over the past three years, and we expect to see another five percent decrease over the next two years," Lloyd says.

The economic situation has forced the school, with approximately 430 DVM students, to look at other sources of revenue.

"This makes development and fundraising that much more important. It makes our clinical services revenue more important," he says. "Tuition becomes a big portion of the pie."

Over the past 10 to 15 years, Lloyd says the school began to shift faculty salaries off the state funding lines in the budget, instead funding them through grants, gifts and clinical services revenue.

According to the Census results released in December 2010, Michigan was the only state to lose population.

"With fewer people, there is obviously a smaller economy," Lloyd says. "As the economy shrinks, it puts extra pressure on things like higher education."

Federal funding sources remain elusive, forcing veterinary schools to continue to rely on state and private funding to keep the schools going, Pappaioanou says.

"There is no department in the federal government related to companion animals," she says. "Public health, food safety, is one of the only ways to get federal funding. To get more for veterinary medical education, we need research and evidence to take to the policy makers that proves companion animals improve the health and welfare of people."


Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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