UA Plans New School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences

The faculty of the University of Arizona's department of animal sciences and department of veterinary science and microbiology have unanimously voted in favor of the creation of a School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences.

The school, which would be housed in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, would be dedicated to the discovery, application and dissemination of knowledge in the animal, microbiological and veterinary sciences – an entity that builds on the strengths of the existing departments.

The two departments’ administrative functions would be converged. The new school is expected to provide improved degree opportunities as well as greater opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration in the growing fields of animal production, food safety, integrated biomedicine and bioinformatics, among others.

Plans for the school are still being finalized.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has been a leader in education in the animal and veterinary sciences as well as in microbiology since the department of animal husbandry was founded in 1915, followed by the department of veterinary science in 1938. Currently, CALS offers undergraduate degree programs that prepare many students for medical or veterinary school.

"Jobs in biotechnology, the animal industries and veterinary medicine are growing, particularly in Arizona,” said CALS Vice Provost and Dean Shane Burgess. “Our students deserve a 21st-century education that lets them gain hands-on experience in the lab and in the field. The School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences allows our students to take better advantage of traditional and new, expanding job markets.”

The new school likely would host the proposed Arizona Veterinary Medical Education program. This week, the Arizona Board of Regents approved a $3 million state budget request to study the feasability of the program. The Legislature ultimately will decide whether to approve the funding.

Students enrolled in the new school would have access to more faculty and internship opportunities, stronger advising services and a range of innovative research facilities and programs, including the Race Track Industry Program, Arizona Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Food Product and Safety Laboratory, Aquaculture Pathology Laboratory, Equine Center, William J. Parker Agricultural Research Center and the V Bar V Ranch in north central Arizona.

Read more from this September 30 UANews article at the link below.

Date released: 
Oct 4 2012
Chuck Sterling