March 2, 2012

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

College Updates

I want to welcome Dr. Liesa Stone, our first Chief Advancement Officer. An alumna of our college, she will supervise the combined efforts of development, alumni relations, and communications.

Thanks to everyone who participated last week in the Midwest Veterinary Conference. Did you know it is the fifth-largest veterinary CE event in the country? And the largest run by a state VMA. Many of our faculty provided sessions in continuing education, as well as spending time at our booth in the exhibit hall. Thank you to Jeannette Schmidt for organizing the booth volunteers. We also had two successful receptions. On Friday night, the VMC welcomed referring veterinarians to a reception sponsored in part by Novartis. The event was well attended. Several members of the VMC Large Animal and Small Animal Practitioner Advancement Boards spoke on behalf of the VMC and the efforts of the board members to advise us on ways to enhance our customer service. I want to recognize Dr. Rustin Moore for his work with both boards, and with organizing the reception. I want to thank Dr. Michelle Harcha for her work organizing the successful alumni reception on Saturday night. I enjoyed speaking to the approximately 220 pre-vet students and a few parents at a lunch as well. I hope I was able to peak their interests in all of the career paths available in our profession.

Campus Updates and Partnerships

Building new partnerships across the campus continues to be a priority for our college. We have met with several groups on campus recently.

Dr. Steve Gabbe, senior vice president for Health Sciences at Ohio State, met with us to discuss further collaboration of our college with the Wexner Medical Center. We continue to explore opportunities among all seven health science colleges for inter-professional training and global health issues.

We're also in conversations with Christine Poon, dean of the Fisher College of Business. We want to develop courses for many of our health science students to help them become more business savvy. There are opportunities to offer business training for veterinary students as well as students in the other health science colleges to help them develop the skills they will need to operate small businesses. One of our Strategic Leadership Teams is working on this project, along with Dr. Michelle Harcha, and I want to thank them for their ongoing efforts. I know we all look forward to seeing the results.

We are exploring opportunities with the John Glenn School of Public Affairs, as well. We are working with them to offer programs about public policy development, especially courses that can offer updates on scientific issues to our legislators and other public officials, which can influence policy decisions.

We recently met with Tim Gerber, chair of the Faculty Senate at Ohio State. This group has the ultimate governing responsibility for the promotion and tenure system at Ohio State. There is rule at the university that mandates a limit on the percentage of clinical track faculty that can exist within a particular college. This is a burden on the health science colleges trying to expand their clinical services. We are working with the other health science colleges to seek an exception to this rule for our colleges, or a formula to recalculate the existing percentage. This will go to the Faculty Senate through the rules committee in the near future.

Campus planners met with us recently to discuss future plans for an expanded health sciences corridor along Kinnear Road. There are changes coming to the landscape – in this case, the dam south of King Avenue is being taken out soon, which will cause the Olentangy River to narrow, and flow faster. The long-range building plans include reclamation of about 12 acres of green space around the river. In addition, future plans will allow for new clinical facilities and buildings that will make this part of campus a new focal point for the health sciences and will encourage training and education across colleges and department.

State and National Issues

I've had the opportunity lately to participate in several events and give talks. I spoke at the Food Systems Leadership Institute on leading change, and had the rare chance to talk to undergraduate students taking a course in bioterrorism and biosecurity. They asked interesting questions!

We recently met with Mike Bumgarner of the Ohio Farm Bureau. We discussed how our college and the Farm Bureau can become better partners and mutually support a number of issues. We are working hard to re-engage the state and national agricultural organizations and community groups.


Dean Lonnie King