Schaumburg, Ill. — New federal regulations, under the Higher Education Opportunities Act that went into effect July 1, are already changing the way the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education (COE) operates.
Under the new regulations, COE will have to provide the public with a summary of reasons for its decision when an adverse accreditation ruling is made.
The new rules also will change the appeals process for institutions seeking accreditation, according to AVMA. COE now will have to allow the school or program to submit a written response to any problems uncovered by COE and must be considered by the accrediting body before a decision can be issued. Appeals will take into consideration new data available at the time of the appeal, not just the data that was available at the time of COE's initial decision, AVMA says. Additionally, two members will be added to the appeals panel, which must include veterinary educators, practitioners and a member of the public. The panel will receive more training and have more power — permitted to affirm, amend or reverse adverse decisions instead of just affirming decisions or asking COE to reconsider them.
The new regulations will apply to both domestic and foreign institutions seeking accreditation and already has affected a recent COE decision regarding the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia (UNAM). The school filed an appeal following COE's adverse decision regarding its accreditation request in March. Now COE must abandon its original decision in order to consider a written response of UNAM to the problems noted in the COE's review of the school's accreditation request. The UNAM response will be reviewed at COE's September meeting, AVMA reports.