Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

07-24-06

Contacts:

Dr. John U. Thomson, Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, (515) 294-9860, thomson@iastate.edu

Dr. David K. Hardin, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, University of Nebraska, (402) 472-3379, dhardin2@unlnotes.unl.edu

Tom Ligouri, ISU Veterinary Medicine Communications, (515) 294-4257, ligouri@iastate.edu

Dan Moser, University of Nebraska -- Lincoln Communications and Information, (402) 472-3030, dmoser@unlnotes.unl.edu

Teddi Barron, ISU News Service, (515) 294-4778, tbarron@iastate.edu

New Iowa State--Nebraska program addresses national shortage of food animal veterinarians

AMES, Iowa and LINCOLN, Neb.-- Officials at Iowa State University and the University of Nebraska--Lincoln have approved an agreement that will bring the nation's two leading livestock producing states together in addressing the region's increasing need for veterinarians.

The new cooperative Agreement in Veterinary Medical Education was recently approved by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents and Nebraska's Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education, and signed by Iowa State University President Gregory L. Geoffroy and University of Nebraska--Lincoln Chancellor Harvey Perlman.

Each year up to 25 students from Nebraska will enter a four-year study of veterinary medicine and attend the first two years of the program on the UNL campus. The cooperative program will be part of the university's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the departments of veterinary and biomedical sciences and animal science. Students will complete their final two years and receive their doctor of veterinary medicine degrees at the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine.

UNL students will pay ISU professional-school resident tuition all four years. Nebraska will pay the difference between resident and non-resident tuition for the final two years. Before the agreement, Nebraska students would have attended out-of-state schools for their veterinary medical education and their tuition dollars would have left the state of Nebraska.

"Offering students the combined resources of the region's two land grant universities provides our states with new veterinary medical education and care resources that support the health and growth of our agricultural industries and economies," said John U. Thomson, dean of the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine. "The program provides revenue advantages to both states as well as the benefit of exposing students to the learning and employment opportunities that exist in the region."

The cooperative program is designed to build on the strengths and assets of both universities to educate more veterinarians, particularly in food safety and security and food animal and public health, areas of high national demand. It also is intended to encourage collaborative teaching, research and program development between the two institutions.

Iowa and Nebraska are two of the leading food animal producing states in the nation. Iowa leads in swine and egg production, and collectively the two states rank second in total cattle production. Nebraska ranks first in red meat production.

"The program offers a truly regional approach to providing a veterinary medical education," said David K. Hardin, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources associate dean for the ISU -- UNL Cooperative Program in Veterinary Medical Education, and head of UNL's Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. "There is a growing need for food animal veterinarians and this program provides experience that will benefit the states as well as the students."

Both universities are in the process of hiring new faculty and developing facilities to accommodate the new program. ISU is renovating laboratory spaces and classrooms, undertaking a major expansion of its Veterinary Teaching Hospital, and plans to add 30 faculty positions during the next five years. UNL will add seven new faculty and renovate facilities in its Veterinary and Animal Sciences areas.

Steering committees and working groups at both universities are planning and implementing the new program. A joint oversight committee consisting of representatives from both universities will coordinate efforts. The first students will enter the program at UNL in the fall of 2007 and move to the ISU campus in the fall of 2009.

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Quick look

Under the new cooperative Agreement in Veterinary Medical Education, up to 25 students from Nebraska will enter a four-year study of veterinary medicine each year and attend the first two years of the program on the UNL campus. Students will complete their final two years and receive their doctor of veterinary medicine degrees at the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine. The cooperative program is designed to build on the strengths and assets of both universities to educate more veterinarians and to encourage collaborative teaching, research and program development between the two institutions.

Quote

"Offering students the combined resources of the region's two land grant universities provides our states with new veterinary medical education and care resources that support the health and growth of our agricultural industries and economies."

John U. Thomson, dean of the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine