Alberta Learning donates a one-time contribution of $1.5 million to the University of Saskatchewan's Western College of Veterinary Medicine. The donation was to be part of the capital to create a chair in Beef Cattle Health Management. At the time the WCVM was the only veterinary school in western Canada and of the 280 students, 80 were Albertans. In the 2000-01 year, Alberta Learning paid a portion of the program's costs, amounting to $1.9 million.
Provincial Learning Minister at the time Lyle Olberg announced the University of Calgary would have a veterinary school in 2006. The U of C vet school would specialize in animal and equine health; public, eco-health and epidemiology and investigative medicine. The project was expected to cost $8.4-12.4 million annually to operate and graduate 30 students a year.
The university announced the faculty of veterinary medicine would open in Sep. 2006. A $12 million expansion to the Life Sciences Research Centre had been approved and renovations were to be made to the Animal Resources Centre. Spaces in the Biomedical Sciences building were set aside for students starting in Sep. In their last year of study, students would be assigned to practices around the city. Clinical Programs associate dean Dr. Eugene Janzen noted the university would compensate community members for their efforts to help teach students.
U of C faculty of veterinary medicine dean Dr. Peter Eyre resigned. Eyre publicly criticized the project for being rife with politics and pushing ahead without secure funding.
The province pledged $46.8 million to fund operating costs for the first four years, in addition to the earlier $16 million donation allocated for startup costs. U of C vice-president external relations Roman Cooney explained the project was pushed back to ensure the school provided quality education, noting the university hoped that the school would be open by fall 2007.
WCVM alumni Dr. Alastair Cribb is hired as the new dean. Towards the end of Jun., American Veterinary Medical Association visited the U of C for a consultative visit. Discussion was made about expanding the program from three years to four years.
An announcement is made that the opening of the vet school will be postponed until fall 2008. The original $16 million dollars the university had requested from the province for startup had tripled to $80 million to cover the cost of the initial infrastructure. Alberta Advanced Education spokesperson Cam Traynor explained the university had sent a request for the additional funding but could not confirm it would be accepted, noting it was up for consideration in the 2007 budget. Faculty of veterinary medicine dean Dr. Alastair Cribb announced the program would move from three years to four years.
Advanced Education minister Dave Hancock visited the U of C and announced the $64 million in capital funding--the difference from the U of C 's original request of $16 million, making up the total amount $80 million that was needed for infrastructure. Twenty-five million dollars were allocated for renovations of the Foothills complex and the remaining $55 million going towards a clinical skills building to be located in Spy Hill.
AVMA visits the U of C for their second consultive visit.
The AMVA announced the U of C would receive their first step in full accreditation, the final step allowing the U of C to admit--this time for sure--their first class of 30 students for fall 2008. Currently, the faculty has just over 30 staff and faculty hired out of a proposed need of 60.
The Foothills and Spyhill complexs will open, admitting 30 undergraduate students. Graduate and post-graduate students will work with faculty to study the links be- tween animal and human health.