University of Arizona moves forward with veterinary program as request for funding is answered
The University of Arizona has received a $9 million grant from the Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation that will allow a long-awaited proposed veterinary program to begin holding classes in fall 2015, according to a university release.
Previous attempts by the university to garner monetary support from the state had fallen flat, though in March 2014 the Senate did vote to give the university $2.5 millon to use as it saw fit. Shane Burgess, vice provost and dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the university, said in June that the money would not be used to fund the veterinary program.
An American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) site visit occurred in January 2014, and the AVMA site visit for accreditation will take place soon. The Arizona Board of Regents will consider the degree offering at its September meeting.
The university touts a year-round veterinary program that aims to allow students to complete their degrees faster and accumulate less debt. The final two semesters will be spent working in private veterinary practices, government agencies or other community partnerships to receive hands-on learning in communities around the state. Other training partners will include federal and state animal health labs and regulators, U.S. Border Patrol and Homeland Security, and shelter or rescue agencies, the release states.
“Arizona students pay higher costs through nonresident or private tuition, incur more debt and often stay in, or seek employment with, the out-of-state veterinary practices and companies where they intern as part of the out-of-state education,” Burgess says. “We need the smart and dedicated people we train to stay here. Arizona’s hard-earned tax dollars need to promote Arizona’s future.”
A teaching hospital is not in the plans at this time; however, facilities will be built, refurbished or renovated at satellite locations in Douglas, Yuma, Maricopa and Verde Valley. In those locations, students will be able to learn about U.S.-Mexico border health issues, rural medicine, food safety and the cattle and dairy industries, according to the release.