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Monday, May 28, 2018

New York Governor Announces Funding for Veterinary College on Long Island

veterinary news long island university

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last week that his state is investing $12 million in the establishment of a new veterinary college on the existing campus of Long Island University (LIU)  in Brookville, New York. According to Cuomo's news release, the $40 million project will "fill a void in the academic landscape, while generating new opportunities for medical research and jobs creation in the state."

Fran JurgaCuomo lamented that of the nation's 30 veterinary colleges, only three are in the northeast - the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University outside Boston, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in upstate New York, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine ("Penn Vet") in Philadelphia, which has a large animal medicine and research campus in Kennett Square.

He noted that none of the three are in the New York metropolitan area. Despite this, he said, New York has the highest concentration of working veterinarians, but did not offer a source for that statement. 

Historically speaking, New York has been the home of five different vet schools. The American Veterinary College, located in mid-town Manhattan, was the second vet school in the United States. (Penn Vet is the oldest.) Columbia University also operated a vet school in Manhattan. New York College of Veterinary Surgeons was a third school in New York City in the 1800s.

By 1922, in spite of mergers and state funding for the latter, all three were gone and the state of New York became affiliated with a fourth upstate vet school at rural Cornell University in Ithaca, which had been in operation since 1868.

Andrew Cuomo
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
(Wikimedia CC-by-2.0 photo)
Cuomo did not include clarification of how a new vet school would affect state funding for the vet school at Cornell University, which is the 2000-acre land grant university for the state. Cornell currently hosts a class of 120 students per year; the pre-admission grade point average of Cornell vet school students is 3.7.

The Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists hospital at Belmont Park is located on Long Island.

LIU intends to establish this new college in 2018 on the campus of LIU Post, and begin classes in September 2019. It is projected that the College of Veterinary Medicine will enroll 100 students each year into the four-year doctoral program, with a 97 percent retention rate. LIU has committed to add at least 100 staff positions.

The state seems focused on the aspect of research and development as core functions at major veterinary schools across the United States. Cuomo noted that Purdue University's College of Veterinary Medicine, which is similar in size to the planned LIU school, generated a direct economic output of $220.2 million in 2014. 

LIU already has more than 20 memoranda of understanding and collaborations with well-known institutions, including The Bronx Zoo and North Shore Animal League.

The vet school announcement was one of three state-funded investments in biomedicine projects for Long Island.

Long Island has a thriving equestrian community and hosts one of the nation's premier hunter/jumper horse shows, The Hampton Classic, each September. Belmont Racetrack, home of the Belmont Stakes, is also located on Long Island.

Currently, US veterinary colleges graduate about 3,000 students per year from 30 colleges. Class size has risen by an average of 1.8 percent a year for the last 30 years. Median annual tuition is $50,123 for out-of-state students and $23,664 for in-state students, according to the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. 

Some of the newer vet schools, including the Utah State University program, formed partnerships with larger schools, such as Utah State's arrangement with Washington State University, so that students can gain clinical experience at a larger school.

Texas is currently home to two new vet school proposals, one for a Texas A&M expansion and the other for a completely new vet school at Texas Tech. Either or both would be located in the "Panhandle" region of the state in or near the city of Amarillo.

To learn more:

Read the history of New York City's Five Veterinary Colleges on the Veterinary Legacy blog.

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