A House subcommittee appropriated $10 million for construction of the proposed Tufts New England Medical Center veterinarian school last Monday, and yesterday the New England Regional Commission appropriated and additional $100,000 for the school.
The House Subcommittee on Appropriations for Labor, Health, Education and Welfare reduced the original $14 million dollar request after opposition by Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania. These universities have the only two veterinary schools in the northeast. The schools felt it would be more economical to expand existing programs.
Tug of War
Rep. Silvio Conte (R-Ma.) unsuccessfully opposed Rep. Daniel J. Flood (D-Pa.), chairman of the subcommittee, over the cut. Funds for the University of Pennsylvania school and a proposed school in Washington state were also approved.
The bill will go to the House Appropriations Committee before it is considered by the House of Representatives.
Kenneth Schlossberg, Tufts Washington consultant, said yesterday he expects Congress to pass the appropriation. "The Senate might increase it," he added.
Construction of a veterinary school is a top priority for Jean Mayer, president of Tufts. Mayer was a professor of Nutrition and master of Dudley House until he left Harvard last spring.
According to Harry B. Zain, director of public relations for Tufts, there are 20 veterinary schools in the country and only 38 New England residents were admitted to any schools last year.
"There was a substantially larger number who wanted to get in," Zain added yesterday.
Most veterinary schools accept applicants exclusively from the state or region in which they are located. Last year 98 per cent of New England's applicants were rejected, according to The Boston Globe.
New England is short 1100 veterinarians compared to the national average, Zain said.
The proposed Tufts school would be a part of its New England Medical Center and closely allied with its existing dental and medical schools.
The school would offer a four year curriculum and enroll between 300 and 400 students, all New England residents.
Zain said even with these two appropriations the plans for the school are still tentative. Tufts is seeking other private and public funding, including additional federal monies.
The United States Board of Higher Education and the American Veterinary Medicine Association must approve the proposal. This is not expected to be a major difficulty.
Tufts is waiting for a definite committment from the six New England Governors, to finance and support the school.
The school would be run on a contract basis. Each state would pay an amount proportional to its enrollment. Third and fourth year students would work in clinical facilities located in all of the states.
If plans proceed according to schedule, the Tufts trustees will be able to vote to accept students in 1978 for the 1979-1980 academic year.