August 21, 2012

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

College Updates:

If you were not able to be at the town hall meetings on August 10, I'd like to share several exciting announcements:

  • Subway will be offering healthy and affordable food options from 7am to 6pm in the new VMC cafeteria. Construction will begin soon, and we hope that the new cafeteria will be operational by mid-October.
  • While we continue to explore options for an onsite MRI for small and large animals at the VMC, we have signed an agreement to provide MRI for horses through MREquine. The company's mobile unit is committed to be here at least once a month as needed.
  • The public phase of the university's $2.5 billion campaign will kick off during Homecoming/Reunion Weekend Oct. 5-7. The college's goal is $75 million, which will be used for VMC expansion and enhancement, student scholarships, and faculty and programmatic support. We have already begun planning and work on the small animal operative practice, Sisson Hall ULAR Vivarium, and Goss Lab renovation.
  • We announced plans last week for a satellite companion animal emergency and referral/specialty hospital in Dublin, a partnership with Veterinary Specialty Management Services that will provide enhanced learning opportunities for our students and residents, increased enrollment of patients in clinical trials, and an expanded caseload and referrals to the VMC.

We also held a mini-retreat on August 10 for the administrative team at the college. We have had a number of personnel changes, and so we enjoyed getting to know each other better, learning of the many activities being conducted within the groups in Administration and exploring how we might work together more efficiently and ensure that we align with the college's vision and mission.

Pelotonia 2012 was August 10-12 – a beautiful weekend to ride. I am proud to say that the college exceeded its goal, raising $25,908. Drs. Rex Riggs and Rustin Moore were "high rollers," which means they committed to raise at least $4,000. Congratulations to all who participated in this fight against cancer with a special thanks and tribute to Dr. Michelle Harcha, our team captain!

You may have seen one or more emails about the new website that launched last week. This new website is the most recent and visible outcome of a collaborative effort involving the associate dean for Academic Affairs, Semester Conversion Task Force, Curriculum Committee, Educational Design and Systems (EDS), and Veterinary Information Systems (VIS). Although this website will primarily benefit students and faculty concerned with the professional core classes, it is a by-product of the data captured in the web-based Curriculum Management Tool (CMT) that faculty used to document and create their syllabi for the new semester courses. The CMT is now the single central authoritative source for information about the professional and graduate curriculum in the college. It will be an invaluable resource during the upcoming accreditation process during the coming year. Thanks to all involved in this important project.

It's wonderful to see all the new faces on our campus! Orientation started last Wednesday and concluded with the convocation for the new class on Friday. Convocation speakers included myself; Dr. Adam Parsons, president of the college's alumni society; Dr. Ryan Zimmerman, president of the OVMA; and Dr. Jennifer Brandt of our Student Affairs office. Dr. Linda Lord, associate dean of Student Affairs, led in the reading of the Veterinarians Oath. I hope you will welcome all the new students as they begin the journey to becoming a veterinarian.

Alumni and Fundraising:

The first week in August, Dr. Liesa Stone, Danielle Ford, and I were involved in several alumni events while attending the AVMA convention in California. We held a reception at AVMA in San Diego, with about 80 alumni attending; in Los Angeles, we held a dinner with 23 alumni and donors to the college and university. While in Los Angeles, we also visited alumni and friends of the college at the Veterinary Centers of America (VCA) headquarters, as well as Art Antin, COO and VCA co-founder. It was a good opportunity to talk with them about the future of the college and profession, and about partnering more with VCA in the future.

Last evening we held a reception for Dr. Milt Wyman, a great friend of the college and a colleague, teacher, and mentor to many students through the years. The purpose of the reception was both to honor Dr. Wyman and to talk about his legacy through the Dr. Milton Wyman Residency Fund in Veterinary Ophthalmology. Our current Wyman resident, Dr. Eric Miller, spoke about what the residency means to him, and Drs. Rustin Moore, David Wilkie, and alumnus Kerry Ketring honored Dr. Wyman as well. The college wishes to raise an additional $850,000 in order to fully fund the residency.

Campus Updates and Partnerships:

I had the pleasure of meeting with Dr. Bruce McPheron, who will be the next dean for CFAES and vice president for Agriculture. He is an Ohio native and most recently was dean of the College of Agriculture at Penn State University. We look forward to working with Dean McPheron and continue to build our relationship with CFAES and Ohio agriculture.

State and National Issues:

We recently visited Battelle's Biomedical Research Center located in Plain City, Ohio. This center has an impressive facility and a number of experts in infectious diseases, molecular and cellular biology, toxicology, virology, and laboratory animal medicine. We had a very good discussion and identified common areas of interest and potential partnerships. We will host members of the center in the near future to continue our discussions and hopefully identify specific opportunities to work together.

Upcoming Events:

Classes begin tomorrow under the new semester system.

Finally, I wanted to update you on our colleague Melissa Weber's condition. As many of you know, she was recently diagnosed with lymphoma and will soon begin her cancer therapy. She has a long road ahead, but we know she is in the best hands at the James Cancer Hospital. We wish her well in the coming months.


Dean Lonnie King