Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA, has withdrawn an
antitrust lawsuit against the American Veterinary Medical Association
(AVMA). The lawsuit, filed in April 2000, alleged restraint of trade in
allowing Western University to provide veterinary education.
The AVMA’s Council on Education (AVMA-COE) declined to confer a letter of
reasonable assurance to Western University in February 1999, February
2000, and October 2000. The AVMA-COE is the accrediting body for U.S.
veterinary colleges and is recognized as such by the United States
Department of Education.
Prior to being served with the lawsuit in October 2000, the AVMA-COE
established an ad hoc liaison committee to work with Western University to
facilitate its reapplication. Western University added an increased
emphasis on molecular and cellular biology to its curriculum, and
increased standardization of physical facilities at its clinical sites to
meet concerns of the AVMA. On Monday, March 5, 2001, the AVMA-COE issued
a “”letter of reasonable assurance”” to Western University for the proposed
college. When the school opens its doors to its first class of students in
fall 2003, it will be the first college of veterinary medicine in Southern
“”The AVMA’s Council on Education is committed to ensuring the quality of
professional veterinary education and, through the accreditation process,
protecting the interests of the general public as related to veterinary
medicine. We wish every success to Western University of Health Sciences
as they develop their proposed college,”” said AVMA President, Dr. James
Granting the “”letter of reasonable assurance”” signifies that a proposed
college is likely to gain accreditation if it implements its plans as
proposed, thus demonstrating that it meets or exceeds the “”Standard
Requirements of an Accredited or Approved College of Veterinary
Medicine.”” The AVMA-COE’s “”Standard Requirements”” are established to
ensure that graduates of accredited colleges of veterinary medicine are
firmly based in the fundamental principles, scientific knowledge, and
physical and mental skills of veterinary medicine, and are able to apply
these fundamentals to solving veterinary medical problems. The
requirements include standards related to organization, finances, physical
facilities and equipment, clinical resources, library and learning
resources, students, admissions, faculty, curriculum, continuing education
and research programs.
Each of the 31 accredited veterinary colleges in the United States and
Canada is evaluated on a regular basis and must demonstrate that it meets
these standards in order to maintain accreditation.
“”We are thrilled that the AVMA has recognized the quality of our proposed
program, which we see as one of the most innovative in veterinary
academia,”” said Western University College of Veterinary Medicine Dean
Shirley D. Johnston, DVM, PhD. “”We look forward to working cooperatively
with AVMA-COE in the years ahead.””
The College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University, when accredited,
will be the 28th veterinary school in the United States, and the first new
school in about 20 years.