By Jada Butler
After missing the initially intended fall 2019 start to the program, the university received approval from the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education to begin accepting applications for the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM). The program is now set to begin in the fall 2020 semester, and has an expected enrollment of 100 students.
In an email to the LIU community, President Kimberly Cline announced that the university received the letter of reasonable assurance from the council, as well as delivered updates following the university’s 2015 strategic plan, “LIU 2020: Education Beyond Boundaries.” She wrote, “Earning designation as one of 32 veterinarian schools in the country is a tremendous accomplishment, made possible by many campus leaders, but especially through the team led by Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Randy Burd, Dean Carmen Fuentealba, an international leader in the veterinarian field, and a group of extraordinarily talented veterinary faculty.”
LIU will join Cornell University, Tufts University and the University of Pennsylvania in offering a veterinary medicine school in the northeast region. There are a total of 32 veterinary medicine schools across the nation.
Dean Fuentealba said there are numerous, equally important steps the university must follow to implement a program that will meet and exceed the 11 accreditation standards of the American Veterinary Medicine Association Council on Education. “Our first step was to join the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC),” she said. The university will also need academic facilities to house new students and to carry out student clinical requirements.
While plans for an extension of Pell Hall to accommodate the new classrooms for the vet school were considered this past spring, the university has also purchased land from the Commack School District to house animals in the student clinic. The Board of Education signed a 10-year lease of the Marion Carll Property to LIU. The lease covers 6.5 acres of the 9-acre property, including a dilapidated barn and dangerous overgrowth, according to a statement from the school district. Per the agreement, LIU has promised to tend to the property and improve and maintain its condition. The property will also be open in the coming years for students in the district to take educational field trips.
The lease was given to LIU after the Marion Carll Property Committee considered two other proposals during a meeting on May 8. LIU scored a perfect rubric in the ratings of each proposal and the committee unanimously voted in favor of recommending the CVM proposal to the Board of Education.
On Monday, Sept. 16, the Commack Community Association met with Dr. Carmen Fuentealba, dean of the veterinary medicine school, to discuss the university’s intentions with the leased property. According to the minutes of the meeting, which was held at the Commack Public Library, the veterinary school is “required to have a place for students to learn to do live exams on chickens, cows, goats and horses. These animals are categorized as ‘Food and Fiber’ animals. The college would keep a small herd of 10 dry cows, 10 goats and some chickens for 10 students at a time to practice medical exams on the animals. The livestock for the college must be purchased from USDA approved vendors.”
When it comes to fulfilling the required 100 student enrollment, Dean Fuentealba is not worried. “We are confident that we will have no difficulties recruiting excellent students,” she said. The CVM will join the Veterinary Medical College Application Service which is administered by the AAVMC. According to the site’s latest report, 8,152 individuals applied through VMCAS in the 2018-2019 cycle.
Dean Fuentealba is prepared to take on the quickly approaching start of CVM, and is excited for “educating the next generation of practice-ready and entrepreneurial veterinarians.”