February 20, 2013

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

College Updates

Thanks to the more than 250 faculty, staff, students, and alumni who helped interview 438 student applicants to the Class of 2017. Congratulations to everyone in Student Affairs who made arrangements and guided us all through this important process. Not all of the veterinary colleges interview their prospective students and I believe that our process, which has been expanded and refined this year, gives us the best class of students possible. I especially want to acknowledge the success of the Friday night dinners implemented by Dr. Linda Lord.

Congratulations to Dr. Steve DiBartola, professor of Veterinary Clinical Sciences and associate dean for Administration and Curriculum, who is now a recipient of the 2013 Alumni Achievement Award from the University of California-Davis. A noted authority on renal disease in cats, he is being recognized for his contributions in internal medicine and teaching.

Campus Updates and Partnerships

For the next 10 years, you will hear a lot about the Discovery Themes now being promoted by the university. To keep veterinary medicine at the forefront of these discussions, we now have representatives from our college on Faculty Advisory Committees for each theme.  Drs. Tom Wittum and Jeff LeJeune serve on Food Production and Security; Drs. Linda Saif, Matthew Allen, and Prosper Boyaka are on the Health and Wellness committee; and Dr. Barbara Wolfe is working with the group on Energy and Environment.  The Faculty Advisory Committees will develop sub-themes under each discovery theme.  This will be followed by a university-wide RFP process and eventually awards for the proposals that will ensure OSU's national leadership in strategic areas.

The deans of the seven health science colleges have agreed to hire a communications director to promote the health sciences at Ohio State. I am pleased to announce that Christine O'Malley, currently director of advancement for the College of Public Health has agreed to fulfill these duties on an interim basis for the next six months. She will split her time between Public Health and health sciences.

We are continuing to explore partnerships with the Fisher College of Business, including courses for our students. As part of this exploration, Christine Poon, dean at Fisher, is planning a unique retreat to discuss our business model. She will be inviting strategic innovators with strong business backgrounds to examine our current plans and offer creative suggestions to help us accomplish our goals. This meeting is planned for May.

Alumni and Fundraising

We are planning a series of town-hall style Community Conversations across the state of Ohio. Our alumni are hosting these events with us, and we’re inviting area veterinarians for a discussion about issues facing the profession and the college. Our first two meetings are scheduled next week in Wooster (2/27), hosted by Drs. Rod Ferguson and Doug Wiley, and Cleveland (2/28), hosted by Drs. Brian Forsgren and Robert Hutchison. We look forward to meeting with our alumni close to where they live.  We will be holding 6 other sessions in other parts of the state.

Upcoming Events

The Midwest Veterinary Conference starts Thursday, February 21 and runs through Sunday the 24th. I know many of you have volunteered to staff our booth in the exhibit hall and I thank you in advance for your participation. I am looking forward to greeting many of our referring veterinarians at a Friday night reception hosted by our Small Animal and Large Animal Veterinary Practitioner Boards. On Saturday, we welcome alumni to our annual Alumni Reception. These are both well-attended events and we look forward to connecting with these supporters of the college and the VMC.

Next Monday, February 25 we’ll be welcoming journalist Kathryn Bowers and cardiologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, M.D. for a noon lecture about "Zoobiquity," which is the title of their book as well as the word they coined to describe the commonalities of health across species.  This nationally acclaimed book has brought a lot of attention to comparative medicine and one health for the veterinary profession.  Their lecture at noon in the VMC Auditorium will be entertaining and educational.


Dean Lonnie King