University Statement Regarding the Proposed FY18 PA Budget
The students, faculty and staff of the University of Pennsylvania recognize the severity of the Commonwealth’s budget challenges. The Governor’s proposed budget does not include the annual appropriation that supports clinical services, research and scholarship at Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine. This is an opportunity to expand awareness of the Vet School’s historic partnership with the Commonwealth, which was designed to protect the health and safety of the citizens of Pennsylvania and its largest industry, agriculture. Funding from the Commonwealth ensures the Vet School’s ability to deliver life-saving services at its two animal hospitals, advance research programs that support the agricultural industry, and maintain our commitment to developing and growing the veterinary profession.
The Vet School is essential to the success of the statewide agriculture community. The School is a major contributor to maintaining the viability, health and profitability of our state’s diverse and economically important livestock and poultry industries. During the 2015 budget impasse, which occurred during the most recent national Avian Influenza outbreak, Penn Vet played a critical role, conducting over 70,000 tests to check the costly spread of disease.
For more than 100 years, the Commonwealth has recognized the significant contributions that Penn Vet, Pennsylvania’s only veterinary school, commits to the state’s prosperity. Today, 40% of Penn Vet’s students are residents of Pennsylvania, and two-thirds of its graduating students remain in Pennsylvania to practice. There is a practicing Penn-trained veterinarian serving in almost every county in the Commonwealth.
We understand this is the beginning of important budget discussions and look forward to illustrating the full value of Penn Vet to Governor Wolf and the General Assembly.