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WSU considers merger to boost grant funding

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May 01, 2010

PULLMAN, WASH. — In an effort to boost its position among the nation's veterinary schools, the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University is looking to absorb the School of Molecular Biosciences into its program.

The molecular biosciences program's move from the College of Sciences to the College of Veterinary Medicine would give the veterinary program a boost in student and faculty size, which could result in more research study and grant opportunities, says Bryan Slinker, DVM, dean of WSU's veterinary college.

"Strategically, it makes us a larger college and more visible on the national scale," Slinker says of the primarily administrative shift.

Degree programs at both the School of Molecular Biosciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine would remain the same, and each program would retain its individual budgets. Nothing would physically move, either. There is a hope that the move, in addition to helping veterinary college secure more grant and research funding, could elevate the college's national ranking status, Slinker says. Currently, the only formal ranking of veterinary schools is done by U.S. News and World Report. At the time of the last ranking in 2007, WSU's veterinary program rated 14th among the nation's 28 veterinary colleges. The schools ranked higher than WSU all had bigger budgets and more staff, Slinker says, and this merger could offer a boost to the school in those areas.

The move is not a done deal yet, though, Slinker adds. The final decision rests with the university president, provost and board of regents.