Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University Campus Veterinarian

Centralization of Animal Facilities

Memorandum from Vice President for Research Christopher Keane

This memorandum is to announce the initiation of a staged process to centralize the laboratory animal facilities at the WSU Pullman and Spokane campuses under the Office of the Campus Veterinarian (OCV). Our end goal is to establish a cost efficient, service oriented program that meets the needs of the animal research community and provides appropriate centralized support for all involved colleges.

The two external reviews of the WSU animal program conducted in Fall 2016 recommended centralization under the OCV. A third review by Dr. Goodly from the University of Illinois provided recommendations for the implementation and transition to centralization. Subsequent to the reviews, Drs. Nina Woodford and Steven Russell have discussed the proposal for vivarium centralization with the university research community over the last several months and have developed an implementation plan in conjunction with college and campus leadership.

Vivarium centralization will be done in a staged fashion. Vivarium facilities associated with the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) and the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) on the Pullman campus will be centralized first, with centralization of the remaining vivariums to follow. Please note that vivarium centralization under OCV entails the provision of regular husbandry duties which include required cage changing; daily feeding, watering, and animal health observations as well as sick animal reporting; and facility and equipment sanitization, monitoring, and repair.

The list of vivariums involved, and their associated target dates for commencement of centralized operations is at the end of this memorandum. Unless circumstances change, the management of the remaining animal facilities will remain delegated to the individual departments or investigators, as is currently the case. currently remaining the animal case. facilities will remain delegated to the individual departments or investigators, as is

Key points – management to centralization:

  1. Dr. Steven Russell and Dr. Daniel Montanye will be appointed as the proposed Assistant Director of OCV Vivarium Services respectively for WSU Pullman and WSU Spokane (hereafter called Assistant Director) reporting to the OCV Director and henceforth would be responsible for establishing and maintaining operations in the centrally managed facilities in cooperation with the OCV Director, the Laboratory Animal Vivarium User Group and facility managers/supervisors.
  2. A Laboratory Animal Vivarium User Group, comprised of vivarium users, will be appointed to advise the Assistant Director of Vivarium Services and the OCV Director regarding policies, procedures, and other issues involving management and operation of the WSU vivariums. Separate user groups will be appointed for WSU Pullman and for WSU Spokane.
  3. Details of integration will be worked out via a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU will include space allocation, staffing transfers, equipment and subsidy determination.
  4. Current facility staff, supervisors and managers will become OCV personnel with management reporting to the Assistant Director.
  5. Animal care staff currently employed by individual facilities will retain a principal location of employment within a facility, but may be re-assigned as needed (illness, vacation, position vacancies, promotion, work load, etc.).
  6. Physical space, equipment, and materials as associated with current animal facility operations will be re-assigned to OCV Vivarium Services.
  7. OCV Vivarium Services will develop and implement standardized per diem rates and services, and a common training and staff evaluation system. Funds have been set aside to subsidize the cost difference for those investigators facing increased rates during the transition period.
  8. OCV will track metrics related to faculty user satisfaction, services and compliance prior to centralization and subsequently at regular intervals for performance evaluations with the VPR and the Laboratory Animal Vivarium User Group.

We do recognize that animal housing and research needs vary tremendously; hence each situation will be handled on a case-by-case basis in a staged manner. Please contact the OCV administration with any questions or concerns you may have. Additional information including FAQ and other details will be distributed as the process moves forward.

Steven Russell
Veterinarian, OCV

Nina Woodford
Director, OCV

Thank you again for your support as we move to the implementation stages of the centralization process.

Appendix – Involved vivariums:

College of Veterinary Medicine (target centralization date July 1st, 2018)

  • Veterinary Biomedical Research Building Vertical and Basement Vivaria
  • Biotechnology and Life Sciences Building Vivarium
  • Bustad Hall Vivarium
  • Animal Disease Biotechnology Facility Vivarium
  • Infectious Disease (197L & 199) Buildings

College of Arts and Sciences and College of Veterinary Medicine (target centralization date July 1st, 2018)

  • Eastlick Hall Vivarium
  • Wegner Hall Vivarium

WSU Spokane (target centralization date of January 1st, 2019)

  • Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences Building Vivarium
  • Health Education and Research Building Vivarium

College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (targeted centralization date January 1st, 2020)

  • Experimental Animal Laboratory Building Vivarium