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University of Arizona dedicates new school

The University of Arizona created a new school to focus on animal health, growth and nutrition.

The University of Arizona has established a new School of Animal & Comparative Biomedical Sciences that will bring together teaching, research and extension resources from across the university's College of Agriculture & Life Sciences to focus on animal health, growth, nutrition and disease and human health challenges facing Arizona and the global community.

The University of Arizona Faculty Senate approved the creation of the new school on March 4, and it was formally dedicated during a ceremony last week.

The school, which is being developed from the existing department of animal sciences and department of veterinary science and microbiology, will welcome its first undergraduate and graduate class in fall 2013.

The two departments currently offer undergraduate degree programs that prepare many students for medical or veterinary careers. Beginning this fall, students who join the school will be able to take advantage of a streamlined pre-professional track with access to additional upper-division electives.

The School of Animal & Comparative Biomedical Sciences is expected to provide improved degree opportunities and expanded options for interdisciplinary collaboration in the growing fields of animal production, food safety, integrated biomedicine and bioinformatics, the university explained. Students enrolled in the school will have access to stronger advising services and a range of innovative research facilities and programs.

"The School of Animal & Comparative Biomedical Sciences will create new opportunities for our students to engage in internships, research and varied laboratory and field experiences as undergraduates and as graduate students," said Joy Winzerling, Bart Cardon associate dean of academic programs and career development. "Opportunities like these strengthen our students' career skills and make them more competitive as they enter the workforce."

Additionally, the new school likely will host the proposed Arizona Veterinary Medical Education program. The university has petitioned the Arizona Legislature for a $250,000 state appropriation for an initial feasibility study of the program. The proposed program would address rural shortages of large-animal veterinarians and other veterinarians needed in the public health, disease research and food safety industries.

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