The Utah Board of Regents on Friday unanimously approved Utah State University’s proposal to develop the first veterinary program in the state. The new program will provide greater opportunity for Utah students interested in veterinary medicine, named as one of the 50 best careers of 2011 by U.S. News and World Report. Now that the Board of Regents has approved the plan, the proposal must go to the Utah Legislature for funding approval. The program will need $1.7 million of ongoing annual funding from the state for the first and second years. After the program has been established for four years, it will need $3 million of annual ongoing funding. USU President Stan Albrecht says he is excited about the prospects of the new program which has been in the works for more than three years. The program creates a partnership between USU and Washington State University. Students in the program will spend the first two years at USU and finish their last two years, including clinical studies, at WSU. Ken White, head of the Department of Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Science, says the program will accept 30 new students each year, 20 state residents and 10 non-residents. He says there is currently a shortage of rural animal veterinarians in the state.
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