May 29, 2012

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

College Updates

Our most updated strategic plan is now posted on our website. This is the version that was submitted to Provost Joe Alutto and reflects our goals and plans. I want to thank Dr. Steve DiBartola, Associate Dean for Curriculum and Administration, for his efforts on this project.

Congratulations to the team who planned and implemented our Annual Open House held May 19. We had well over 3,000 participants, including Brutus Buckeye, Buck I Man, and President Gee. Walking tours of the VMC were very successful, and we received positive feedback from faculty, staff, and students, as well as the community members and potential students who spent part of their day here. Many of our faculty and staff helped make the day a success, and it was our students who truly made it an exceptional event.

Congratulations to Dr. Michelle Harcha! She has been selected by Pelotonia to represent Team Buckeye in posters and a video to promote this year's fundraiser, August 10-12. All Ohio State Peletons – including the College of Veterinary Medicine - are a part of Team Buckeye. She has served as captain of our team for the past two years.

Financial Considerations of Veterinary Medicine

On Thursday, Dr. Jim Lloyd, Associate Dean, Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and Dr. Glen Hoffsis, Dean, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, presented their perspectives – as well as information from the AAVMC and the AVMA – about the financial status of veterinary medicine. Their presentations were hosted by SCAVMA as our first-ever student's Town Hall Meeting. The AAVMC and AVMA are now working together to address student debt, declining state support, and expanding career opportunities. Dr. Lloyd and Dr. Hoffsis each presented a message that should reassure all of us: despite the economic downturn, our field remains vital, profitable, and continues to meet the needs and expectations of society. You can watch the town hall meeting here:

Alumni and Fundraising

Last week, our advancement team invited faculty to meet with our Campaign Committee chairs: Dr. Bob Hummel, Teckie Shackelford, and Barbara Trueman. The committee chairs are helping to plan strategies for our $92 million capital campaign, which will officially kick off with the University's $2.5 billion campaign next fall. All three of the chairs were pleased to get to know our faculty better and expressed how much they look forward to working with all of us on our campaign.

University Rule Changes

The University Faculty Senate met recently to hold discussions and a key vote on clinical track faculty. In the past, not more than 40 percent of a department's total tenure-track faculty could be clinical track faculty within the health science colleges and no more than 20% in the other colleges. Currently, our Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences has 38 percent of its faculty in the clinical track, which was close to the limit, and made recruiting clinical specialists difficult. In addition, the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine also has over 30% of its faculty appointed in the clinical track. The rule has been modified in two ways: First, an entire College faculty will be considered in the future rather than just assessing departments individually, and second, all faculty will be counted, not just tenure track faculty. This change will help us to meet the needs of clients and patients in our Veterinary Medical Center, as well as provide expanded specialty teaching and learning opportunities for our students. With this rule change, our college has 29 percent of our total faculty appointed in the clinical track well under the newly mandated 40% of a college.

University News

Did you hear the announcement about the new university initiative to expand classroom technology? Digital First will provide faculty, staff, and students with online and classroom education to develop engaging digital learning. The College of Veterinary Medicine may become a leader in this effort, adapting new technology for teaching and enrichment of education for our students. We are still in the planning stages and will let you know what develops. The Apple Corporation will assign specialists at Ohio State to help faculty and students make this a reality.

State of Ohio

Ohio has a new Director of Agriculture: David Daniels, a former famer and producer who has also spent time in the Ohio Legislature. We visited with him recently, along with State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey. We all know the relationships between our college, veterinarians and agriculture are critically important, and we share many of the same areas of concern. We discussed better collaborations to meet the challenges of rural veterinary practice, especially food animal practitioners, Ohio exports, and food safety and security. Director Daniels will be our keynote speaker for the Focus Forward Weekend on July 19th.

Big 10 Convenes for Cooperation

The deans of the veterinary colleges at Big 10 universities (Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Purdue, and Minnesota) are aligned as part of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), an organization designed to foster collaboration among Big 10 institutions. Last Friday, this group met to discuss budget difficulties, including loss of state support. Now is an opportune time to work together to gain efficiencies and leverage our combined assets. If we worked collaboratively, our six colleges could offer the best facilities, experiences, and experts for students anywhere in the United States.

I hope you all had a great holiday weekend!


Dean Lonnie King