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UAF OKs veterinary program

Posted: November 4, 2011 - 12:05am

FAIRBANKS — The University of Alaska Fairbanks is moving ahead with Colorado State University to establish a program to address the shortage of veterinarians in Alaska.

The program would allow students to take two years of graduate-level study in Fairbanks before spending their final two years of veterinary training at Colorado State University, according to a story in Thursday’s Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

The University of Alaska Board of Regents included funding for the new program in next year’s operating budget while meeting Wednesday in Fairbanks. UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers said the $400,000 appropriation will be enough to teach as many as 20 veterinary students at the UAF campus before they finish their training in Colorado.

Rogers said roughly six veterinarians among the current faculty at UAF will offer the local classes, along with two new faculty members and part-time instructors from the community.

The program could begin as early as fall 2013. However, the Legislature must fund the program before it becomes a reality.

“There’s a huge need in Fairbanks,” said Cristina Hansen, a UAF doctoral student and local veterinarian.

In December, the regents are expected to consider a “super-tuition” plan for students in the program. Veterinary students would pay more than $20,000 a year, far more than other UAF students but the same as students at CSU’s vet school.

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