Long Island University has been approved to open a College of Veterinary Medicine, making the private institution one of only four schools in the Northeast to offer such a program.
University officials said in an announcement that the school can start accepting applications for students to start next fall at the LIU Post Brookville campus.
“The launch of our veterinary school further elevates LIU as we clearly continue on our path to status as a nationally recognized teaching and research institution,” LIU President Kimberly R. Cline said in a statement.
The College of Veterinary Medicine received the go-ahead from the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education, enabling LIU to start accepting applications. At full enrollment, the school will serve 400 students, with 100 in each graduating class, university officials said.
LIU joins the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University and Tufts University in offering veterinary programs in the Northeast.
Students will get experience in surgery, diagnostic support, intensive care and other areas critical for veterinary practice, LIU said. The school has partnerships with more than 50 affiliates, including primary care and specialty clinics, zoos, research laboratories and shelters.
The university already has hired a dean for the college, Dr. Carmen Fuentealba. Enrollment officially will begin following program registration with the New York State Education Department.
Last May, LIU was awarded $12 million by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo — as part of New York State’s investment in transformational health care initiatives — to help establish Long Island as a biotechnology research corridor.
“Opening the first veterinary college in the New York metropolitan area will help transform the region and further contribute to Long Island's life-sciences research corridor as well as its economic health by creating jobs,” said Kevin Law, president and CEO of the Long Island Association.
Christopher Fevola, chief financial officer of LIU, said tuition has been set for the inaugural classes, but has not yet been publicly released. The cost estimate of the college also has not been publicly announced. University officials expect some of the costs to be covered by private and corporate donations, government grants and sponsored research.
LIU Post has struggled with its overall enrollment, as numbers dropped 22 percent — from 20,621 students in 2012 to 16,079 in 2017 — according to the data from the state Education Department.
But Fevola said this fall's freshman class of about 800 students represents an increase of 200 students from last year. Fevola said the university is in its "strongest financial position" more than any other time in history.