Vet college expansion looks to increase number of students

The College of Veterinary Medicine will launch a $22 million renovation that sustains its class size at 102 students and sets the stage for the college to increase its class size to about 120 students per year. Construction, expected to begin in early 2013, will conclude in the summer of 2015, in time to welcome students entering that fall.

The class-size expansion project will address long-term workforce needs in veterinary medicine.

"Expanding Cornell's class size is essential if Cornell is to maintain its academic impact on the profession," said Michael I. Kotlikoff, the Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine. "Cornell's program is one of the most rigorous in the nation, but our graduates are increasingly a minority in the profession as Cornell currently has the smallest class size of schools ranked in the top tier. This initiative will increase access for New York state students, maximize the capacity of our outstanding teaching hospital, support a greater than $2 billion animal health industry in New York and enable much-needed renovation of our main teaching facility that was built in 1957."

The expansion project, part of the college's 2009 master plan, seeks to create unified spaces, a sense of purpose and place for its students, gender-appropriate facilities, enhanced security, and demonstration space for educational and scientific meetings.

The class size expansion project has been scaled into two phases. Work is expected to continue after completion of phase one with additional renovations -- anatomy and clinical skills teaching labs, locker rooms and tutorial rooms -- that are necessary to support a veterinary class size of 120 students per year and will repurpose space in the middle of the veterinary college complex that was vacated in 2010.

Phase one, which was approved by the Buildings and Properties Committee of the Cornell Board of Trustees at its Jan. 19 meeting, will create two large-capacity lecture halls for medical education and an atrium to enhance interaction between students, faculty and staff; house demonstrations and public meetings; and encourage independent study, collaboration and networking.

"I am really delighted that we are able to launch this project that is so critical to sustaining New York state's top-ranked animal health program and thank Cornell's leadership, the SUNY administration, our supporters in New York state government and our many loyal stakeholders," said Kotlikoff. "With strategic investments from the state, we can prepare tomorrow's veterinarians to meet the challenges of the 21st century, leveraging the college's innovative and highly successful curriculum to teach students who have demonstrated an interest in and exceptional aptitude for all aspects of the profession, from scientific discovery to food safety and from primary care to specialty medicine."


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