Over the history of campus, the challenge of maintaining ready access to consumables has been addressed through individual lab storage, departmental storerooms, and college or school-level storehouses. Most recently, this need has been met at UC Davis through the VCMS, or Vet Med Central Services.
Unfortunately, over recent years this facility, while providing excellent service to campus researchers, has operated with a significant and chronic budget deficit that has been covered by the School of Veterinary Medicine. It is not reasonable to expect the SOVM to continue to subsidize this service for the entire campus, and the VCMS is currently scheduled to cease operations at the end of June. And yet, the significant concern that the scheduled closure of this facility has engendered among campus researchers clearly demonstrates the desire of many for a convenient on-campus source for commonly used consumables; most are in agreement that this service significantly supports their research productivity.
This work group is charged to address the following questions, among others:
- If the campus uses a central approach, what are the most efficient and cost-effective services and products that it should offer?
- Given that the current facility operates at an unacceptable deficit, what are the best strategies to create a financially sustainable operation?
- Are there alternative strategies that would meet the same needs as a storehouse in a more economical manner?