The University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences reported in late January that it will close the Caine Veterinary Teaching Center by year’s end in order to adopt a new approach for educating veterinary students. This new approach will include placing veterinary faculty throughout the state to work more directly with livestock producers and university facilities.
“We believe this change is necessary to reflect changes in the regional veterinary education program and to better prepare students to work with Idaho’s livestock producers,” said John Foltz, Ph.D., the college’s dean. “In addition, this change aligns with the university’s ongoing process of refining and redirecting resources in line with guidance from our State Board of Education as we meet changing needs.”
The shift will locate faculty positions formerly based at the Caine Center near Caldwell to the nearby Caldwell Research and Extension Center, the Nancy M. Cummings Research, Extension and Education Center near Salmon, UI’s Moscow campus and in the Magic Valley, according to the university.
The decision to close the Caine Center also reflects a refocusing of resources over the past decade away from animal research and diagnostic services in Caldwell, the university further noted.
“We appreciate the efforts of staff members at Caine and hope they will find suitable opportunities to continue employment with the university,” Dr. Foltz said. “Changing times in both the livestock industry and veterinary education require the university to adapt to new ways to better prepare our students to serve the public.”
The College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University supports UI’s new direction.
“For 40 years, the partnership with the University of Idaho has greatly benefited the education of generations of veterinarians serving the livestock industry,” said Bryan Slinker, DVM, Ph.D., dean of WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “The proposed plan is a creative way to adapt to changing industry and educational needs, and we fully support this evolution of the partnership.”
The long-term proposal calls for locating two veterinary faculty in the Magic Valley, which is the epicenter of Idaho’s dairy industry. The UI campus faculty position will focus on small ruminants and sheep. The position at the Nancy M. Cummings Research, Extension and Education Center near Salmon will focus on the beef cow-calf industry critical to the Idaho beef industry. The Caldwell faculty position will be focused on general food-animal care.