Back in 2016, the University of Arizona sought accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education. However, the school fell short on five of 11 accreditations. In their next attempt, University of Arizona’s veterinary medical education program was again denied initial accreditation by the COE for only earning seven out of 11 accreditation standards. It’s yet another delay for the school that would be the 31st veterinary school in the United States.
“It’s been a rigorous process and we’ve learned a great deal about what is required to meet the COE’s requirements for accreditation,” said Andrew Comrie, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “The UA remains committed to achieving that designation for our program.”
The UA had appealed the COE’s decision to withhold its designation of “reasonable assurance of accreditation” last December. The Council reversed part of the earlier decision and approved the program’s plans for a research program, but issues with four other standards remain and those will be addressed in a revised submission.
The COE also significantly shortened the wait period before the UA could reapply for consideration. While they could have required a 12-month wait after the appeal, the Council will allow the UA to reapply as soon as June 14.
The UA already has begun several efforts for the resubmission. Those include hiring a consultant with experience in COE accreditation and opening a search for a permanent dean of veterinary sciences to lead the university’s efforts to establish a veterinary sciences faculty, create the curriculum and a program for clinical training.
The UA also plans to appoint an interim dean of veterinary sciences to accelerate the accreditation efforts.
The need for more veterinarians in Arizona is particularly acute for counties and cities outside Maricopa County, especially for large-animal practices. The Tribal Nations also have been short of veterinarians for several years.
The proposed UA program would be the only public veterinary medical education program in Arizona.