It is the Friday before spring break. Almost everyone is in class today (I guess the few missing could not wait for a break?)

It is about this time each spring that the students now feel overloaded with tests and projects for most of their classes. I can tell you that most of the instructors are also ready for a slowdown from preparing projects, tests and grading them.

As mentioned in the previous blog last week my students had tests and this week in the track management class a large racino budget project was due Wednesday. The management class also received their next big project. It is a simulcast project in which they must prepare a plan to implement both import and export of simulcast products and also do an analysis of a simulcast operation given a full year of actual simulcast handle wagered on import races. They must look at the efficiency of the operation and analyze what financial impact would result if less signals were imported or the facility was open for less hours of operation.

Ironically when the guest speaker Raj Mutti from Hastings Park was here two weeks ago, he told the students that his operation just completed such an analysis for their establishment!

I will spend the break grading the budget project and getting things prepared for the remainder of the semester. The formal search process to replace the retiring associate coordinator will also begin next week.

The series of “guest professors” continued this week. Dr. Scott Stanley, associate professor for the University of California, Davis, spoke in Steve and Wendy’s class about drug testing and the pharmacological effect some medications had on horses in tests conducted at the Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory.

On a larger scale here at the University, final approval was given for the formation of the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences. The RTIP will be part of that school but  I don’t anticipate any immediate changes for us. I know a study has also been approved to look into the feasibility of a vet school as part of the new school. I guess in a few years from now if that happens that would enhance things the RTIP could offer for the students pursuing our equine path.