March 20, 2013

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

College Updates

Welcome to students from Rakuno-Gakuen University of Ebetsu, Japan. We have had faculty and student exchanges with RGU since 1987. Everyone appreciates this friendly and scholarly relationship. You can read more about the history of this partnership on our website, thanks to Dr. John Hubbell.

The new Subway has opened in the basement of the Veterinary Medical Center! We are pleased to welcome this restaurant to our college. It will offer food for faculty, staff, students, and clients from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. I encourage your patience in these early weeks, as they train new staff members to provide customer service.

Speaking of the VMC, the project executive team (Dr. King, Dr. Moore, Dr. Hubbell, Karin Zuckerman and Renne Komula) and our project consultants recently held a meeting to begin discussion about the VMC Expansion and Enhancement project. This is the first time the group was brought together. Consulting organizations include: Elford – Construction Manager; Perspectus Architecture – Architect; Smith, Miller and Hawkinson – Design Architect; Kim Wagner – Veterinary Planner, and Korda – Civil and Structural Engineering. The University project manager is Paul Lenz. The college core advisory team also includes Drs. Chris Adin, Josh Daniels, Andrea Monnig, and Rex Riggs (alumnus), as well as Stan Highley, Annie Jones, and Robin Richardson. The entire project team will be meeting soon.

I want to congratulate and thank the group that implemented our recent VetStar upgrade in the VMC. Training and implementation went smoothly and that only happens with advance planning and hard work. Thanks to Cathy Bindewald, Chris Wells, Reno Lemon, Sue Chmura, Annie Jones, and Ken Luke.

Budget Update and Dialogue with the Dean

Frank discussions about the college budget and the sustainability of our comprehensive education model are being carried out in the college and across the state. The advancement team, along with Drs. Rustin Moore, Linda Lord, and I are engaging in conversations with area veterinarians  at eight separate sessions. So far, we have spoken in Wooster and Cleveland, and plan to be in Dayton on March 25. We have spoken with students as well, and have heard their concerns, which include the increase in class size, student debt and the current employment market. We are now beginning a series of Dialogues with the Dean, which will continue through June. Overview sessions that included a detailed description of the college budget were available this week. The sessions will be available soon on our website (watch for an email with a link).

Campus Updates and Partnerships

Kathy Starkoff, chief information officer for Ohio State, visited our college to get our input about our computing needs. Her office is now focused on the business aspects of computing on campus, while “e-learning” including the Digital Union and Digital First program, Ohio State’s campus-wide initiative to enhance teaching, learning and research through technology, are now being housed in the Office of Academic Affairs. We recently met with a representative from Apple to discuss potential collaborations with them.

The sixth annual Regenerative Medicine Wound Care Conference was held March 14-16. Several of our faculty are part of the Center for Regenerative Medicine and Cell-Based Therapies including Drs. Alicia Bertone, Chris Adin, and Matthew Allen. Dr. Bertone was recently invited by the NIH to serve as a member of the Comparative Medicine Special Emphasis Panel to review comparative and translational training grants.

State and National Issues

I recently returned from New Zealand where I had the opportunity to give a talk at the Global One Health conference hosted by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA). Awareness from One Health continues to build, and I am proud to be able to contribute to the discussion. We are fortunate to be at Ohio State with seven health science colleges. We can remain at the forefront of collaborative, interdisciplinary research.

Upcoming Events

I want to remind everyone that the Annual Open House is scheduled for Saturday, April 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition, with our shift to semesters, our spring activities are much more compressed. Thus, I also want to remind you of some important dates:

  • Honors and Awards; Saturday, May 4th at 11 a.m. at the Fawcett Center
  • Oath and Hooding Ceremony; Saturday, May 4th at 8 p.m. in Mershon Auditorium
  • Distinguished Alumni and Faculty Awards Brunch; Sunday, May 5th at Faculty Club
  • Spring Commencement; Sunday, May 5th with President Obama as speaker


Dean Lonnie King