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SCAVMA Members Hear Update on
CVM Economic Health

Dean Olson
Dr. Neil C. Olson, MU College of Veterinary Medicine dean, answers a question about the budget from a member of SCAVMA during a meeting Feb. 2 in the Adams Conference Center.

MU College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Dr. Neil C. Olson met with members of the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association Feb. 2 in the Adams Conference Center to discuss the country’s financial crisis and how it might affect their veterinary education.

University officials recently supplied information to the College outlining how possible budget cuts could affect the CVM’s operations. Olson detailed for the SCAVMA group the percentage of the College’s budget that is supplied from state funds – approximately 29 percent ¬– versus other sources of revenue, such as income from the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, the College’s laboratories and the Office of Development.

Olson explained that offsetting a reduction of $1 million in funds could require eliminating up to seven faculty or 22 staff positions. However, he also presented budget scenarios centered on increasing the number of students admitted to the CVM by 30, thus driving up the tuition revenue the College receives. The dean recently created a committee including faculty members and a student to examine the facility needs that must be met in order to increase the size of the incoming class from 80 to 110 and recommend how best to accommodate larger class sizes.

In response to student concerns about the possibility of diminished future job prospects that might accompany more competition from an increased class size, Olson explained that the job market is far from saturated and, in fact, a growing demand for veterinarians, particularly in the areas of food-animal practice, public health, comparative medicine and biomedical research, has created a looming shortage that at the current rate of graduates entering the profession is estimated to reach 15,000 veterinarians by 2025.

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Last Update: February 24, 2012