Relationship Between Research Expenditures of Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Co-location with Relevant Research Facilities
One element that may influence the amount of funds received by colleges of veterinary medicine (CVM) is the presence or absence of additional programs such as a medical school (CoM) or a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) research laboratory on the same campus or nearby. The committee examined data on CVMs with CoMs co-located on the same campus, CVMs with ARS laboratories on or near the campus, and CVMs with neither nearby. CVMs at universities with CoMs that were not on the same campus were excluded from this analysis.
Ten of 27 CVMs are co-located on the same campus with a CoM. Three of the 10 also have an ARS laboratory nearby. Those 10 CVMs account for 46.4% of the all the CVMs research expenditures from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and 47.3% of the total research expenditures (“total all sources”) reported for all CVMs. The 10 CVMs co-located with CoMs have median faculty full-time equivalents (FTEs) of 101 (range, 72-151) and a student:faculty ratio of 3.8:1 (range, 2.76:1 to 5.43:1). The median research expenditure per FTE from NIH was about $60,600 (range, $36,500-121,100) and median research expenditure per FTE from “all sources” was about $153,600 (range, $84,800-202,300). Those figures are comparable with $52,000 and $104,000, respectively, for all CVMs. The same ten CVMs reported median research expenditures per school of about $1.24 million (range, $0.72-3.1 million) from USDA. Median expenditures per faculty FTE were about $12,200 (range, $4,800-27,100). The 10 schools accounted for 44.5% of the total research from USDA reported by all 27 CVMs.
Two groups of six CVMs each were selected for comparison on the basis of similar faculty FTEs and the presence or absence of co-located CoMs. Six CVMs
with CoMs on the same campus had a median faculty size (FTE) of 85.3 (range, 72-114) and a student:faculty ratio of 4.06:1 (range, 3.84:1 to 5.43:1). Six other CVMs without CoMs on the same campus had a median faculty size (FTE) of 88 (range, 70-112), however, these six had a lower student:faculty ratio of 3.72:1 (range, 3.32:1 to 4.43:1). Two of the six CVMs with a CoM co-located on the same campus also had an ARS laboratory nearby, as did three of the six CVMs without a co-located CoM.
The six CVMs sharing campuses with CoMs reported median research expenditures from the NIH of $5.05 million (about $59,250/FTE; range, $36,500-115,000). The six CVMs not co-located with CoMs reported $2.37 million (about $27,000/FTE; range, $10,300-46,100) in median research expenditures from NIH. The expenditures from “total all sources” for the six CVMs on campuses with CoMs were about $12.5 million ($146,000/FTE; range, $84,800-202,400). The six CVMs not co-located with CoMs reported about $6.57 million ($74,700/FTE; range $37,800 to $102,000). Thus, for NIH and “total all sources”, the six CVMs co-located with CoMs reported about twice as much research activity as the six without CoMs on the same campus. That was not the case, however, for research expenditures from USDA. The six schools with co-located CoMs reported median expenditures per FTE of about $12,200 (range, $4,800-27,100) and the six schools without co-located CoMs reported about median expenditures per FTE of $10,000 (range, $0-49,900).
Nine CVMs have an ARS laboratory on or near the campus. Three of the nine also have a co-located CoM. The median faculty FTE of the nine CVMs with ARS laboratories nearby was 91 (range, 76-151) with a student:faculty ratio of 3.59:1 (range, 2.69:1 to 4.48:1). The nine CVMs with ARS laboratories nearby account for 52% of the reported research expenditures from USDA by all CVMs, 23% of the research expenditures from NIH, and 26% of those from “total all sources” reported by all 27 CVMs. When the three CVMs with co-located CoMs are excluded, the remaining six CVMs have 31% of all the CVM expenditures from USDA, 12% from NIH, and 13% from “total all sources”. Among the nine CVMs, the median expenditure per FTE from USDA was about $13,200 (range, $7,000-28,700), from NIH about $45,400 (range, $8,900-79,400) and from “total all sources” about $103,100 (range, $35,700-149,300). Average expenditures per faculty FTE for all 27 CVMs were as follows: USDA, $11,800; NIH, $51,800; and “total all sources” $104,100.
Four CVMs with ARS laboratories nearby but without co-located CoMs were compared with four CVMs with neither ARS nor CoM programs on or near campus. The median faculty FTEs for both groups were 83, but the student:faculty ratios were 3.27:1 (range, 2.69:1 to 3.68:1) and 3.81:1 (range, 3.65:1 to 4.40:1), respectively. The median research expenditures per faculty FTE for the four schools with ARS laboratories nearby were as follows: USDA, about $12,000 (range, $9,700-28,700); NIH, about $28,500 (range, $8,900-79,400); and “total all sources” about $76,300 (range, $35,800-132,300). For the four schools with-
out ARS laboratories nearby median research expenditures per faculty FTE were as follows: USDA, about $6200 (range, $1,800-12,700); NIH, about $15,300 (range, $7,500-46,500; and “total all sources” about $67,200 (range, $37,800-100,600).
Ten CVMs with neither ARS nor CoM programs on or near the campus were analyzed. The 10 accounted for 24% of the research expenditures from USDA, 41% from NIH, and 38% from “total all sources” reported by all 27 CVMs. The median research expenditures per faculty FTE from USDA were about $8,800 (range, $2,100-14,500); from NIH, about $31,100 (range, $5,500-142,200); and from “total all sources”, about $80,400 (range, $17,000-345,000). However, those 10 schools had a median of 91 (range, 29-206) faculty FTEs and a median student:faculty ratio of 3.81:1 (range, 2.81:1 to 7.03:1). The group of 10 schools has fewer median faculty FTEs, higher student:faculty ratios, and larger ranges than either the group of ten CVMs with co-located CoMs or the group of nine with ARS laboratories nearby but without co-located CoMs. (However, there is a negligible difference in median student:faculty ratio—3.80:1 vs. 3.81:1 between the groups with and without CoMs.)
The analysis implies that “critical mass” and campus research environments may play a role in the relative research funding levels of CVMs. The larger amounts of research funding in CVMs co-located with research facilities of other related disciplines suggest that these CVMs may benefit from collaborative interdisciplinary research with those facilities.