About the College
Every seven years a site visit team from the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education (COE) visits the College of Veterinary Medicine to conduct a thorough review of the College's self study and to determine the College's accreditation status. The College has always been fully accredited by the COE since it graduated its first class in 1979.
In April, 2008, the College of Veterinary Medicine participated in a COE accreditation site visit. The COE noted several College strengths including faculty and student support for College administration and the recently completed Small Animal Teaching Hospital addition which enhances the College's academic programs providing premier care in canine rehabilitation and physical therapy, radiation and medical oncology, and avian/zoological medicine.
However, the COE awarded the College limited accreditation status (rather than full accreditation) primarily as a result of some facilities deficiencies in the Large Animal Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The Large Animal Teaching Hospital has not received major renovation or building infrastructure repairs since the hospital opened its doors 30 years ago. The COE requires that the College improve its large animal isolation facilities, the large animal surgery and surgical preparation areas which are no longer contemporary and worn flooring in the large animal teaching hospital.
Limited accreditation provides a two year window for the College to make acceptable progress towards fixing these weaknesses. While this is a large challenge that has to be dealt with quickly, the College is fortunate that we have complete University of Tennessee system support as well as strong stakeholder support for this critical need. Resolving this challenge is our number one goal.
Limited accreditation is a legitimate accreditation status, but certainly not the status for which one aims. Students graduating from a veterinary school/college on limited accreditation, are not disadvantaged in any way, and can sit for national and state licensure examinations just as any other student.
The College has been working to establish financial support to secure funds for the $20.9M needed for the Large Animal Hospital expansion and renovation. In December 2010 to February 2011, the floor of the entire Equine Hospital ward area including all equine stalls, treatment areas, examination rooms, and Equine Intensive Care were renovated to include installation of a new in-floor drainage system, and the existing concrete floors were sealed and covered with an impervious "Pad and Pour" system. This new floor eliminated the poor drainage and sanitation issues associated with the original pitted concrete floor.
In May 2011, construction began on the Large Animal Hospital expansion and renovation which includes construction of new and renovated Equine and Farm Animal hospital facilities and an Equine Orthopedic Diagnostic Center. The new Equine Hospital and Orthopedic Diagnostic Center is expected to be completed in late 2012 or early 2013. The Farm Animal Hospital is tentatively expected to be completed in the spring of 2013.