Spectrum Logo
A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Commission discusses animal adoption policy

By Susan Trulove

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 29 - April 20, 1995

The Commission on Research has asked the Animal Care Committee to draft a policy for adoption of animals used in teaching and research. A member of the commission will be appointed to be a part of the subcommittee named to draft the policy. A final policy will be adopted by the commission after input from the colleges that use animals in teaching and research.

David Moore, executive secretary to the Animal Care Committee, told the commission at Wednesday's meeting that dogs in the College of Veterinary Medicine are the most requested species for adoption. Two to five dogs used in the college are adopted each year by students or faculty members of that college.

Responding to questions, Moore said the animals come from shelters in Giles, Montgomery, and Wythe counties and from donations by drug companies.

"So the animal was available for adoption before coming here?" Joe Schetz asked.

"Only 1 percent of shelter animals go to teaching or research labs," Moore said. "Seventy percent of the animals at shelters are killed." He explained that a student or faculty member may form an attachment to an animal while teaching or doing research.

The policy would only be for internal use. Animals would not be available to the general public, if the policy allows adoption. It would not apply to agricultural animals that the state has determined have value and for which there must be some means of cost recovery.

In other business, the commission members continued a discussion of centers, institutes, and councils. They reviewed a list, submitted by the college deans, of 85 centers in the colleges and departments.

Anne McNabb suggested, "There might be a recommendation that some centers say `teaching center' or `research center'" in their titles.

"Why can't we limit (the policy defining centers) to research groups?" asked Schetz.

Harry Kriz said, "I thought we were concerned with defining what a center is. It's clear we're totally out of control."

Peter Eyre said, "Does it matter whether it's this commission or some other? We're trying to grapple with a university situation. This is a good start."

"We can't change these centers' names," Kriz said.

"When a new group comes along, we'll have the rationale for saying yea or nay," Jim Wightman said.

Schetz said the existing policy, which he wants to improve, only applies to interdisciplinary university centers. "I would resist broadening the talk all the way down to two-man centers."

The list will be returned to the deans to determine if they agree with the commission's assessment regarding which centers are university centers, and to whether the others listed are instruction or research centers.

Kriz reported from the Library Committee that in terms of hours of operation, Virginia Tech's library ranks strongly compared to libraries at other research universities. He also reported that overdue notices are now being sent three times per week, instead of twice.

Hsiung Tze, who has been acting commission chair since Janet Johnson became interim dean of the College of Human Resources, has been named chair of the commission.