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Arizona hires assistant dean for proposed vet school

Dr. Jim Maciulla will manage clinical rotations and partnerships.

Arizona hires assistant dean for proposed vet school
Dr. Jim Maciulla

Still lacking the official go-ahead to open a college of veterinary medicine, the University of Arizona is moving forward with assembling an administrative team.

Jim Maciulla, DVM, MS, most recently the owner of a Flagstaff, Arizona, mixed-animal practice, was named assistant dean for clinical relations and outreach, the university announced May 16.

UA plans to open the second veterinary school in Arizona and the 31st in the United States as early as 2020. What’s lacking is provisional accreditation, which the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education could grant following a scheduled site visit in May 2019.

The college would offer a three-year, year-round program that UA promotes as a way to get students into the workforce sooner.

The interim dean, David Besselsen, DVM, Ph.D., called Dr. Maciulla’s new role “a critical position.”

“Jim has a highly qualified background for this type of position,” Dr. Besselsen said. “He’s been extremely active in the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association and recently served as its president. He has a built-in network of colleagues and has earned a high level of respect from the veterinary community in Arizona.”

The university reported that Dr. Maciulla will:

  • Oversee all phases of the off-campus clinical rotations of third-year veterinary students.
  • Lead efforts to recruit and maintain partnerships with regional veterinarians.
  • Assure student learning outcomes are achieved and measurable in the hybrid distributed clinical education model.

“My No. 1 focus is going to be to graduate competent, day one, ready-to-practice veterinarians that fit the needs of the state,” Dr. Maciulla said.

UA has said that Arizona needs more rural veterinarians.

“Our goal is for employers to be proud to hire a UA graduate with a DVM degree because they know they’re going to be financially literate, they’re going to be clinically competent and they’re going to be positive forces within those practices from day one.”

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