By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau: As all of Arizona agriculture probably knows by now, the FY15 Arizona budget signed by Governor Brewer recently does not include funding for the University of Arizona’s veterinary medical and surgical program to train DVMs for Arizona. Vice Provost and Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Shane C. Burgess suggests we not despair as, “We will do this through foundational philanthropic contributions and a new revenue business plan that works without state funding in the context of the university’s budget process.”
In a letter dated April 20th to various statewide stakeholders, Dean Burgess shared his commitment to the effort. “For almost a decade and a half, I have been listening to many in academic leadership positions within our profession wring their hands about the non-sustainable way we educate veterinarians - costing our economy and almost all of our citizens too much money, competing with private industry and not providing the skills needed in graduates - and then continuing with the status quo.”
He praised U of A’s President Ann Weaver Hart and Provost Andrew Comrie and others at the University, the Arizona Board of Regents, senior legislative leaders and key stakeholders and alumni for the combined efforts at the legislature to try and get funding.
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She added, “We look forward to bringing you a proposal that is funded with alternative sources of revenue and philanthropy, in harmony with the values and principles of the Never Settle Plan. Bigger Questions; Better Answers; Bear Down.”
“We said we were serious and we are,” said Dean Burgess.