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State cuts put colleges in precarious situation

The nation's 28 veterinary colleges have been hit hard by steep reductions in state appropriations to higher education, leading to cuts in faculty, substantial tuition increases, and increased student debt, according to new data from the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.

Findings from the 2012 AAVMC Advocacy Survey were presented during a closed-door economic summit attended by AVMA and veterinary college officials this January in Orlando, Fla.

Results of the AAVMC survey show an 84 percent increase in median out-of-state veterinary tuition over a 10-year period, from $21,100 in 2000–2001 to $38,788 in 2010–2011. Median instate tuition jumped 101 percent in that same time, from $9,134 to $18,316. In total, tuition revenue at the 28 veterinary institutions has more than doubled, going from $4 million in 2001–2002 to $8.7 million in 2011–2012.

Separate figures for Ross University in St. Kitts and St. George's University in Grenada place tuition at about $30,000 and $32,000, respectively, for two semesters.

As for student enrollment, the AAVMC projects a 3.7 percent increase at U.S. veterinary colleges, from 11,255 for the 2011–2012 school year to 11,677 for the 2012–2013 school year. It would be the second largest bump in a decade with the greatest increase coming from an addition of 512 students (a 4.9 percent increase) between 2008–2009 and 2009–2010. In the past 10 years, U.S. veterinary colleges will have added 2,314 seats, which is almost a 25 percent increase from total enrollment of 9,363 students for the 2002–2003 school year. Adding the two Caribbean veterinary colleges would increase the total enrollment for the 2012–2013 school year by about 1,500 more students.

Dr. Gerhardt G. Schurig, AAVMC president and dean of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, said in an AAVMC press release that even though tuition has gone up, the extra revenue barely begins to make up for more than $106 million in cuts in just the past two years, when total state appropriations for U.S. veterinary colleges dropped from $642 million to $536 million. In the past decade, student aid—that is, anything from scholarships to endowments to private donations—per DVM/VMD student has risen only 42 percent, from $2,371 in 2001 to $3,375 in 2011.

“These are challenging times for veterinary medical education and higher education in general. What's particularly alarming is how schools report that this is affecting their ability to hire and maintain faculty and provide students with the course offerings that they need,” Dr. Schurig said in the release.

According to the AAVMC Advocacy Survey, which received response from all but two U.S. veterinary colleges, more than half of respondents reported that cuts in state support for academic veterinary medicine, particularly over the past couple years, have seriously affected their ability to hire or retain faculty and staff, invest in new technology, maintain academic programs and course offerings, or provide extension and outreach services. Twenty-two veterinary colleges said state funding cuts have reduced their ability to update or maintain campus infrastructure.

“I think we need to fight to sustain and garner public support, but we will also have to start looking at alternative funding sources and educational models if we want to maintain quality,” Dr. Schurig said in the release. “We also need to work with other stakeholders of academic veterinary medicine to find ways to increase student financial aid.”

Dr. Schurig and nearly 70 other leaders representing all 28 U.S. veterinary colleges and seven foreign AVMA Council on Education–accredited colleges, the AAVMC, and the AVMA, met Jan. 15 in Orlando for the joint economic summit. The goal was to start a dialogue among the stakeholders and commit to working together on behalf of the broader profession. Attendees identified a range of economic issues and pressures they agreed were critical to the veterinary profession. They also determined that workforce concerns, educational debt, demand for clinical veterinary services, and public support of veterinary education were of high priority.

AVMA President-elect Douglas G. Aspros called the meeting a valuable and productive first step. “All of us came away from the meeting with a sense of relief that we got so many things out on the table and walked out of the room united as a profession,” he said.

The need to find and develop data sets on the demand for veterinary services that everyone can agree on became apparent at the meeting, he added, noting that such data sets currently don't exist.

“If we want to talk about solutions for veterinary medicine, we need to guide education and professional development with reliable and contemporary data.” The AVMA is already working in this area with the recent appointment of members to the Veterinary Economics Strategy Committee and with development under way on a Veterinary Economics Division within the AVMA.

Going forward, summit participants agreed to jointly review the anticipated National Academy of Sciences veterinary workforce study, when released, and committed to participating in additional meetings. The first was to occur during the AAVMC's annual conference March 8–11 in Alexandria, Va., and focus on identifying specific economic solutions. Progress reports will be jointly released periodically to AVMA and AAVMC members, and working committees could be established.

CDC gives guidance on diagnostic lab safety

A guide published in January is intended to reduce injuries and infections that occur during work in human and veterinary diagnostic laboratories.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention document “Guidelines for safe work practices in human and animal medical diagnostic laboratories” was published Jan. 6 as a supplement to the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The guide was produced by a panel with members from the CDC, university diagnostic laboratories, and private medical laboratories. It is available at through the “Supplements” section and under Vol. 61.

“Whether the patients are humans or animals and whether laboratorians work in microbiology or elsewhere in the laboratory, the human and animal diagnostic laboratory is a challenging environment,” the publication states. “The more that laboratorians become aware of and adhere to recommended, science-based safety precautions, the lower the risk.”

The document recommends creation of a “culture of safety” and includes guidance on topics such as biological safety cabinet use and inspection; appropriate disinfectant use; the need for negative airflow in laboratories; and the need for centralized surveillance and reporting of laboratory-related incidents, exposures, injuries, and infections.

The guide notes that laboratory employees are at higher risk than the general public of infection with some pathogens. Hepatitis B, for example, is the most frequent laboratory-acquired viral infection, and it affects 3.5 to 4.6 of every 1,000 laboratory workers, a rate two to four times that of the rest of the population, the guide states.

“Any laboratorian who collects or handles tubes of blood is vulnerable,” the guide states.

CRWAD dedicated to Simmons

Approximately 450 people attended the 92nd annual meeting of the Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases, Dec. 4–6, 2011, in Chicago.


Dr. Donald G. Simmons

Citation: American Journal of Veterinary Research 73, 4; 10.2460/ajvr.73.4.457

The meeting was dedicated to Dr. Donald G. Simmons, considered one of the founding fathers of the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

After earning his DVM degree in 1967 and his doctorate from the University of Georgia, Dr. Simmons became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists. Early in his career, he spent several years with the NCSU Department of Poultry Science researching viral and bacterial diseases of turkeys.

In the late ′70s, Dr. Simmons joined the new Veterinary Science Department at NCSU, where he would be instrumental in helping start the College of Veterinary Medicine. He taught veterinary students while continuing to research turkey diseases.

Dr. Simmons left NCSU in 1988 to head the Department of Veterinary Science at Pennsylvania State University. There, he provided leadership for teaching, research, and extension programs and for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' diagnostic laboratory.

In 1996, Dr. Simmons was hired as director of the newly established AVMA Education and Research Division. For the next 11 years, he participated in the AVMA Council on Education accreditation process for U.S. and foreign veterinary colleges, the accreditation of domestic veterinary technology programs, and the certification of foreign veterinary graduates wanting to practice in the United States.

Dr. Simmons played a key role in the AVMA securing reciprocity agreements with Canada and Great Britain that allowed U.S.-trained veterinarians to practice abroad. He retired to North Carolina in 2007.

Life membership in CRWAD was awarded to Edmour F. Blouin, PhD, Stillwater, Okla.

The 2012 CRWAD officers are Dr. Donald L. Reynolds, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, president; Dr. Rodney A. Moxley, Lincoln, Neb., vice president; and Robert P. Ellis, PhD, Fort Collins, Colo., executive director.

AVEPM awards

The Association for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine awarded the 2011 Calvin W. Schwabe Award to Dr. Dale D. Hancock, professor of epidemiology in the Field Disease Investigation Unit at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

The 1975 graduate of Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences earned a master's and doctorate from The Ohio State University and has been at WSU since 1984, when he joined the Field Disease Investigation Unit. Since that time, Dr. Hancock has taught veterinary students and undergraduates and headed up numerous disease investigations at farms.

At WSU, Dr. Hancock developed and led a pioneering research program in the field of preharvest food safety, focusing especially on Escherichia coli O157:H7 This program defined many of the key epidemiologic features of that agent in diverse animal populations.

Dr. Hancock's influence reached an entire generation of food animal clinicians through his publication, “Population Medicine News.” The biweekly periodical, available from 1988–1996, covered a wide variety of epidemiologic concepts and ideas.

Recipients of the AVEPM student awards were as follows: Epidemiology and Animal Health Economics category, oral—Matthew Allerson, University of Minnesota, for “The impact of maternally derived immunity on influenza virus transmission in neonatal pig populations,” and Heidi Pecoraro, Colorado State University, for “Comparison of virus isolation, one-step real-time reverse transcriptase-PCR assay, and two rapid influenza diagnostic tests for detecting canine influenza virus (H3N8) shedding in dogs.” Food and Environmental Safety category, oral—Sara Gragg, Texas Tech University, for “Salmonella in lymph nodes of cattle presented for harvest,” and William Chaney, Texas Tech University, for “Development of a semi-quantitative ranking scheme to estimate the concentration of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in bovine feces.” Poster—Josephine Afema, Washington State University, for “Antimicrobial resistance in the ten most common Salmonella serotypes at the Salmonella bank at Washington State University, Pullman: 1986–2010.”

The Mark Gearhart Memorial Graduate Student Award was presented by the AVEPM to Dr. Rebecca Smith, Cornell University, for “Environmental contamination with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis in endemically infected dairy herds.”

AAVI awards

The American Association of Veterinary Immunologists named Dr. Patricia E. Shewen winner of the 2011 AAVI Distinguished Veterinary Immunologist Award.

Dr. Shewen earned her DVM degree, master's, and doctorate from University of Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College, where she has been a faculty member since 1982. She currently holds the title of professor emerita.

The focus of Dr. Shewen's research has been immunity in infectious diseases of ruminants, particularly chlamydial infertility in sheep and bovine pneumonic pasteurellosis, with recent emphasis on induction of immunity in neonates.

During her career, Dr. Shewen helped organize three international scientific meetings at Guelph, including the 1st International Veterinary Immunology Symposium in 1986. She has held senior administrative positions at Ontario Veterinary College, having been the assistant dean of research and inaugural chair of the Department of Pathobiology at the college.

Recipients of the AAVI student awards were as follows: First place, oral—Nicole Behrens, University of California-Davis, for “T regulatory cells and IgE are inversely correlated in horses vaccinated with viral vaccines.” Second place, oral—Sarah Mattmiller, Michigan State University, for “Selenoproteins alter eicosanoid biosynthesis in macrophages.” Third place, oral—Xavier Revelo, University of Missouri, for “Impaired capacity of neutrophils to produce reactive oxygen species, release extracellular traps and express genes encoding for cytokines may contribute to altered immune function in periparturient dairy cows.” First place, poster—Lakshmi Sunkara, Oklahoma State University, for “Modulation of antimicrobial host defense peptide gene expression by free fatty acids.” Second place, poster—John Schwartz, University of Minnesota, for “The porcine antibody repertoire and its response to PRRSV infection.” Third place, poster—Lydia Siebert, University of Tennessee, for “Expression of CXCR1 and CXCR2 in bovine mammary tissue.”

ACVM awards

The American College of Veterinary Microbiologists named Dr. Yehia Mohamed “Mo” Saif the 2011 Distinguished Veterinary Microbiologist.

Dr. Saif is an internationally renowned expert on enteric and respiratory diseases of poultry. During a research career spanning more than three decades, Dr. Saif has written extensively about infectious poultry diseases and has edited several editions of “Diseases of Poultry,” seen as the standard reference text on the subject.

In addition to his duties as professor and head of the Food Animal Health Research Program at The Ohio State University, Dr. Saif is an assistant dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. A diplomate of the ACVM and American College of Poultry Veterinarians, he has been involved in international activities related to infectious poultry diseases throughout Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia.

Dr. Saif is the delegate for the American Association of Avian Pathologists in the AVMA House of Delegates.

Dr. Saif received his veterinary degree from the University of Cairo in 1958 and later earned his master's and doctorate at OSU.

The ACVM student awards were presented to the following recipients: Don Kahn Award—Ahmed M. Abdallah, University of Minnesota, for “Misfolded Y145stop catalyzes the conversion of full prion protein.” In vitro category—Lauren Demos, Murdoch University, Australia, for “FISHing for cats: development of a fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assay targeting feline papillomaviruses.” Molecular category—Sally R. Robinson, University of Minnesota, for “Novel PRRSV ORF5a protein is not immunoprotective but drives GP5 glycosylation.” In vivo category—Heather R. Walz, Auburn University, for “Evaluation of cd25, foxp3, and cc15 gene expression in placentomes of pregnant cattle inoculated with bovine viral diarrhea virus.” Poster—Huiling Wei, Purdue University, for “Development of DNA vaccine against H1N1 subtype swine influenza viruses.”

Other awards

The Society for Tropical Veterinary Medicine student award was presented to J.D. Ramsay, Washington State University, for “A novel Theileria equi sporozoite challenge model for pathogenesis and immune control studies in immunocompetent and immunodeficient horses.”

The American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists student award was presented to Ann Taylor Busby, Oklahoma State University, for “Functional analysis of tick genes differentially expressed in response to Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection.”

The NC-1041 Enteric Diseases (North Central Committee for Research on Enteric Diseases of Swine and Cattle) student awards were presented to the following recipients: First place, oral—Hye-Kwon Kim, University of Minnesota, for “Quantitative evaluation of changes in C-reactive protein level and Salmonella enteric status as indicators of the swine health status in response to use of the antibiotic growth promoter, tylosin.” Poster—Yong-il Cho, Iowa State University, for “Detection and molecular characterization of bovine noroviruses among bovine diarrhea cases in the U.S. Midwest.”

The Biosafety and Biosecurity Awards, sponsored by the Animal Health Institute and the Joseph J. Garbarino Foundation, were presented to the following students: First place—Carmen Alonso Garcia-Mochales, University of Minnesota, for “Evaluation study of interventions for reducing the risk of PRRSV introduction into filtered farms via retrograde air movement (back-drafting) through idle fans.” Second place—Audrey Ruple-Czerniak, Colorado State University, for “Isolation of Salmonella organisms from the environment in a large animal hospital using electrostatic (Swiffer) and sterile sponge collection devices.” Third place—Kate Bottoms, University of Guelph, Ontario, for “Biosecurity assessment as a tool towards risk-based surveillance on swine farms in southern Ontario.”

Western veterinary colleges band together

Five veterinary colleges have joined together to form a consortium designed to create more opportunities for students, faculty, and professionals in the field.

The Consortium of Western Regional Colleges of Veterinary Medicine is a regional think tank comprising Colorado State University, Oregon State University, the University of California-Davis, Washington State University, and Western University of Health Sciences.

Deans from the five institutions met in San Francisco this past October to hammer out plans for the consortium. There they developed a rubric for collaboration, which will be used to create and implement shared strategies, according to a Jan. 17 UC-Davis press release. Unanimous agreement was reached to begin work on a regional teaching academy that would offer advanced instruction for faculty on the latest innovations and research in veterinary medical education.

Other current issues in veterinary education the deans agreed to address include the following:

  • • How to narrow existing gaps between selected veterinary career tracks and societal needs.

  • • Targeted recruitment of veterinary students.

  • • Professional readiness among graduating veterinarians.

  • • Learning and applying nontechnical skills in veterinary school to keep veterinarians at the center of health care for animals.

  • • Identifying and developing ways for individual veterinary colleges to share resources and create a regional center of excellence for specialized veterinary training.

  • • Strong, ongoing faculty development to promote rich and innovative learning environments.

UC-Davis Dean Michael Lairmore said in the release, “We explored the concept behind the group and identified areas of potential collaboration that align closely with strategic priorities of the veterinary profession. We established short- and long-term goals with a focus on educating better prepared graduates, developing faculty expertise, and modeling collaboration. We are fully committed to continued engagement with other members of the consortium to secure a strong, relevant future for our profession.”

ACVP announces diplomates

The ACVP recognized 104 new diplomates on successful completion of the certifying examination in Ames, Iowa, Sept. 20–22, 2011. They are as follows:

Veterinary Anatomic Pathology

Hibret A. Adissu, Guelph, Ontario Theresa Alenghat, Philadelphia Brittany S. Baughman, Brandon, Miss.

Jeremy J. Bearss, Silver Spring, Md.

Amanda P. Beck, Manhattan, Kan.

Cynthia M. Bell, Madison, Wis.

Monali M. Bera, Boston

Pamela E. Blackshear, Durham, N.C.

Chantelle C. Bozynski, Columbia, Mo.

Jason W. Brooks, Rebersburg, Pa.

Vinicius S. Carreira, Lawton, Mich.

Vincent W. Carroll, Orefield, Pa.

Francisco R. Carvallo, Willimantic, Conn.

Kimberly Cavender, Nibley, Utah

Kenneth J. Conley, New York

Francois Courtin, Mansfield, Conn.

Sarah D. Cramer, Jefferson, Md.

Genevieve H. D'Amours, Hamilton, New Zealand

Michael J. Dark, Gainesville, Fla.

Elaine Debien, Sherbrooke, Quebec

Danielle R. Desjardins, Lansing, Mich.

Anh N. Diep, Palo Alto, Calif.

Keren Dittmer, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Shannon L. Donahoe, Bainbridge Island, Wash.

Rebecca M. Ducore, Silver Spring, Md.

Abigail C. Durkes, West Lafayette, Ind.

Jaclyn A. Dykstra, Roseville, Minn.

Chad B. Frank, Lafayette, Ind.

Karelma Frontera-Acevedo, Athens, Ga.

Katherine L. Gailbreath, Boise, Idaho

Chanran K. Ganta, Manhattan, Kan.

David J. Gasper, Madison, Wis.

Barbara Gericota, Davis, Calif.

Sanjeev Gumber, Baton Rouge, La.

Charles H.C. Halsey, Fort Collins, Colo.

Wael M. Hananeh, Irbid, Jordan

Jennifer H. Hanks, Fulton, Mo.

Seth P. Harris, Lincoln, Neb.

Ian K. Hawkins, Kirksville, Mo.

Kristi Helke, Charleston, S.C.

Samuel H. Jennings, Raleigh, N.C.

Ryan N. Jennings, West Lafayette, Ind.

Yoko Kashida, Worthington, Ohio

Rie Kikkawa, Everett, Wash.

Susan Knowles, Athens, Ga.

Shannon H. Lacy, Silver Spring, Md.

Carolyn H. Legge, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Aaron D. Lehmkuhl, Ames, Iowa

Michelle L. Lepherd, Ithaca, N.Y.

Debabrata Mahapatra, Orlando, Fla.

Raffaele Melidone, Millbury, Mass.

Linda F. Meola, Little Rock, Ark.

Kristy A. Mietelka, Canton, Mich.

Sasmita Mishra, Athens, Ga.

Tamas Nagy, Athens, Ga.

Danielle D. Nelson, Albion, Wash.

Janelle M. Novak, Knoxville, Tenn.

Gopinath Palanisamy, New York

Susan A. Piripi, Corvallis, Ore.

Brendan K. Podell, Fort Collins, Colo.

Deepa B. Rao, Morrisville, N.C.

Janildo L. Reis, Asa Norte, Brazil

Genevieve Remmers, Saint Paul, Minn.

Daniel R. Rissi, Athens, Ga.

Nicholas A. Robinson, Roseville, Minn.

Ahmad A. Saied, Baton Rouge, La.

Soraya T. Sayi, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Leah K. Schutt, South San Francisco

Fabienne H. Serra, Glasgow, United Kingdom

Farshid Shahriar, Irvine, Calif.

Alba M. Shank, Oregon, Wis.

Artem Shkumatov, Champaign, Ill.

Adam W. Stern, Mahomet, Ill.

Leonardo Susta, Athens, Ga.

Rommel M.T. Tan, Urbana, Ill.

Debra Tokarz, Raleigh, N.C.

Jose G. Vilches-Moure, Sacramento, Calif.

Andrew R. Vince, Guelph, Ontario

Srikanth Yellayi, Harrisburg, Pa.

Veterinary Clinical Pathology

Erica L. Behling-Kelly, Madison, Wis.

Elizabeth G. Besteman, Groton, Conn.

Katie Boes, West Lafayette, Ind.

Liesl C. Breickner, Knoxville, Tenn.

Jennifer S. Brown, Cordova, Tenn.

Michelle C. Cora, Raleigh, N.C.

Laura C. Cregar, Columbia, Mo.

Kathi A. Ellis, White Rock, British Columbia

Emily C. Graff, Auburn, Ala.

Aradhana Gupta, Baton Rouge, La.

Amir Kol, Davis, Calif.

Laura V. Lane, Stillwater, Okla.

Cinzia Mastrorilli, Auburn, Ala.

Jennifer K. McCleese, Columbus, Ohio

Don J. Petersen, Manhattan, Kan.

Nicolas Pouletty, Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec

Johanna D. Rigas, Corvallis, Ore.

Davis M. Seelig, Fort Collins, Colo.

Cleverson Souza, Meireles, Brazil

Dilini Thilakaratne, Torquay, United Kingdom

Elaine J. Tobias, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Michael Wiseman, Huntington Beach, Calif.

Valerie M. Wong, Guelph, Ontario

Audrey Baldessari, Redmond, Wash., and Mika Tanabe, Irvine, Calif., received dual certification in veterinary anatomic and clinical pathology.

Howe elected to Executive Board, District IX race under way


Dr. John A. Howe

Citation: American Journal of Veterinary Research 73, 4; 10.2460/ajvr.73.4.457

Dr. John A. Howe of Grand Rapids, Minn., has been elected District VII representative to the AVMA Executive Board.

Facing no challengers, Dr. Howe was declared elected to a six-year term on the board following the Feb. 1 nomination deadline. He will succeed Dr. Clark K. Fobian this August as board representative for AVMA members living in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Voting for the District IX race was under way at press time in March. AVMA members in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Utah will elect either Drs. Billy R. Clay of Stillwater, Okla., and Michael L. Whitehair of Abilene, Kan. to succeed Dr. Ted Cohn as their new Executive Board representative.

Completed ballots must be received by the AVMA no later than April 1. The election winner will be announced that month.

Dr. Howe started, developed, and now manages a four-doctor mixed animal practice in Grand Rapids and is a former president of the Minnesota VMA, which nominated him to the AVMA board. He has served on several MVMA committees and currently holds the vice chair seat on both the AVMA Council on Veterinary Service and Governance Performance Review Committee.

A 1977 graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Howe is a state-certified fish health inspector. He was appointed twice by the governor to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, for which he served a term as president, and he was a member of the Minnesota Veterinary Reserve Corps Advisory Committee.

Issues that interest Dr. Howe include scope-of-practice issues, animal welfare issues, changing philosophies of veterinary education, and national and state legislative issues affecting veterinary medicine and small business.

“Helping the general practitioner realize the value of AVMA membership and the importance of involvement in organized veterinary medicine is also important to me,” he said.

More graduates eligible to be AVMA members; bylaw on voting amended

A change to the AVMA Bylaws makes graduating veterinarians eligible for membership if they were members of any organization represented in the Student AVMA House of Delegates.

The AVMA House of Delegates approved the change at its regular winter session in January. Membership previously was offered automatically only to graduates who were members of student chapters of the AVMA, which are entities separate from SAVMA.

Eligible graduates pay no dues during their graduation year, and half the active-member dues rate for two years after graduation.

The change will immediately affect graduates from St. Matthew's University on Grand Cayman Island. Students there have representation in SAVMA but do not have an AVMA student chapter. When the bylaws change was first considered, it also would have affected graduates from the Caribbean schools at Ross University and St. George's University, which have since gained AVMA accreditation and student chapters.

Graduates from universities without SAVMA representation can apply for AVMA membership and pay a reduced dues rate during their graduation year and the following year.

Delegates also passed an AVMA Bylaws amendment that will require a two-thirds vote of the House of Delegates to approve all future bylaws amendments. The bylaws previously allowed a majority vote by delegates when the proposed changes had AVMA Executive Board approval.

Members of governance task force announced

The Task Force on Governance and Member Participation was created this past August to evaluate the AVMA governance structure, including the Executive Board, House of Delegates, and all other entities, including councils, committees, task forces, commissions, and trusts.

In January, the AVMA announced the committee members who had been appointed. They are as follows: Ralph Johnson, Denver, chair; Richard Alampi, Hillsborough, N.J.; Dr. Sarah Babcock, Washington, D.C.; Dr. Stewart “Chip” Beckett, Glastonbury, Conn.; Dr. Grace F. Bransford, San Anselmo, Calif.; Bridget Heilsberg, Fort Collins, Colo.; Dr. Adam J. Langer, Atlanta; Dr. Stacy L. Pritt, Chino Hills, Calif.; Dr. Kathy M. Reilly, Keene, N.H.; Dr. Rebecca E. Stinson-Dixon, Reidsville, N.C.; and Dr. Lori M. Teller, Houston.

Education council schedules site visits

The AVMA Council on Education has scheduled site visits to eight schools and colleges of veterinary medicine for the remainder of 2012.

Site visits are planned for the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, April 22–26; University of Sydney Faculty of Veterinary Science, June 3–7; Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, Sept. 16–20; Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, Sept. 30-Oct. 4; University of London Royal Veterinary College, Oct. 14–18; University of Montreal Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Nov. 4–8; and Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine, Dec. 2–8.

A consultative site visit is planned for the University of the West Indies School of Veterinary Medicine, Oct. 28-Nov. 1.

The council welcomes written comments on these plans or the programs to be evaluated. Comments should be addressed to Dr. David E. Granstrom, Director, Education and Research Division, AVMA, 1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173. Comments must be signed by the person submitting them to be considered.

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