Rowan University hints at starting school of veterinary medicine

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Carly Q. Romalino and Chris LaChall

Rowan University officials say it is far too early to fully announce New Jersey’s first and only veterinary school.

But the governor’s office let the cat out of the bag last week, announcing more than $ 90 million for programs at Rowan University, including a veterinary school.

There are only 32 recognized colleges of veterinary medicine in the United States and only 19 more internationally.

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New Jersey, despite the Garden State’s ingrained agricultural history, does not have a veterinary school. The closest college for veterinary medicine is at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

“There’s an opportunity,” Rowan University spokesman Joe Cardona told the Courier Post this week.

New Jersey has committed $ 435 million from the New Jersey Debt Defeasance and Prevention Fund to several construction projects in South Jersey, the governor’s office announced in late November.

Other funded projects include $ 35 million to upgrade South Jersey Port Corporation facilities; $ 265 million to the Economic Development Authority for the New Jersey windport at Lower Alloway’s Creek; and $ 45 million for windport dredging to the Department of Transportation.

Of Rowan’s $ 90 million allocation, $ 15 million will go to the expansion of Rowan University’s Cooper Medical School in Camden and $ 75 million to the Rowan University School of Veterinary Medicine.

Cardona cautiously said that the university “isn’t quite ready to reveal the full picture” of what a veterinary school would look like.

While Rowan University is in the very early stages of developing a veterinary school, Cardona said the state entry fee will help “get it all going”.

Government funding would support the development of the physical facility and the educational program there.

“It’s still under study and development,” Cardona.

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In 2019, Rowan University worked with Vineland City officials to see if a Cumberland County veterinarian would be available there. This study looked at the need for a facility like this in southern New Jersey and where it would be located in the city. The former Newcomb Hospital was a possible location at the time.

Three years later, Rowan’s few concrete plans for a veterinary school have changed.

Sewell was instead seen as a candidate for the vet school home, according to Sandy Forosisky, director of economic and community development at Vineland.

The funding is due to a nationwide shortage of veterinarians. New Jersey pets are particularly at risk due to the lack of veterinarians in the state.

Carly Q. Romalino is from Gloucester County and has been reporting on South Jersey since 2008. She is a graduate of Rowan University and a six-time award winner from the New Jersey Press Association.

Romalino is based at the Courier Post and serves schools and education in South Jersey for the Courier Post, the Daily Journal and the Burlington County Times.

She hosts NJ Press Pass, a live social media interview show that delves into the things that matter to South Jersey residents.

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