The College of Veterinary Medicine will launch a $22 million renovation project this spring, with enthusiastic support from members of Cornell University’s Board of Trustees. The initiative enables the College to sustain its class size at 102 and sets the stage for an additional increase that will stabilize Cornell’s pre-clinical class size at about 120 students per year. Construction, which is expected to begin in early 2013, will conclude in the summer of 2015, in time to welcome students entering that fall.
“Expanding Cornell’s class size is essential if Cornell is to maintain its academic impact on the profession,” said Michael I. Kotlikoff, 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 is part of the College’s master plan that was completed in 2009 and seeks to look forward, creating unified spaces, a sense of purpose and place for our students, an appropriate demonstration venue for the many educational and scientific meetings held at the College (including the New York State Veterinary Conference, an annual conference presented by Cornell and the New York State Veterinary Medical Society), gender-appropriate facilities, and enhanced security.
Phase one will create two larger capacity lecture halls suitable for medical education and a unifying atrium that will enhance interaction between students, faculty, and staff; enable demonstrations and public meetings that are secure from other hospital activities; and encourage independent study, collaboration, and professional networking.
The class size expansion project has been scaled in two phases. College officials expect that work will continue after the 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 existing space located in the middle of the veterinary College complex that was vacated in 2010 when the New York State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory was opened.
“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.”