May 11, 2012

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

College Updates

Congratulations to Dr. Yasuko Rikihisa, newly elected to the National Academy of Sciences. This honor recognizes a career of great research and we are so pleased that she has received this acknowledgement of her important work. I hope you all noticed the new "banner" pictures on our web page.

I also want to congratulate our fourth-year student Elizabeth Coppelman, who was recognized last week at the Schweitzer Fellowship "Celebration of Service." The fellowships support outreach projects that address the healthcare needs of underserved communities. Elizabeth worked with a program at Serendipity Stables, where people with disabilities take part in equine therapy. The project also provided veterinary students with the opportunity to help care for the horses in the therapy program. Thank you goes to her mentor Dr. Carlos Pinto, associate professor in Veterinary Clinical Sciences, for supporting Elizabeth's efforts. We should encourage our students to apply for this fellowship next year.

Thank you to our three neurologists in the Veterinary Medical Center who spoke last week at the Columbus Academy of Veterinary Medicine. Drs. Ronaldo da Costa, Sarah Moore and Laurie Cook gave a great presentation that was well-received by the audience. Participating in events such as this is an important part of our outreach commitment to practitioners and the community. And frankly, it's also a great public relations and marketing opportunity for us!

And great news for Dr. Steve DiBartola: the college strategic plan has been completed and submitted to the university provost. After we receive approval, we will officially post it on our college web pages. We'll let you know how to access it.

Campus Updates and Partnerships

Did you get a chance to hear President Gee's recent faculty address? His speech "A Blueprint for the 21st Century University" is available for you to read. His focus on developing new resources to become a Top 10 public institution by 2020 includes a brief discussion of the proposed leasing of our parking operations on campus, which has become quite controversial. He also mentions a new focus on commercialization, and the proposal to require sophomores to live on campus. This June marks the 400th commencement at Ohio State and the final June graduation as we move to semesters next year that important ceremony will be held in May. The spring commencement, which includes our veterinary and graduate students, will award more than 10,000 diplomas – the largest graduating class ever at Ohio State.

We continue to build partnerships and develop innovative programs with units across campus. As you know, Ohio State is the only university in the country with seven health science colleges on one campus. The deans are defining a creative vision for the next 10 years that will integrate with the larger university plans for a research and health science corridor. We are also developing a relationship with Glenn School of Public Affairs. Director Charles Wise is helping us to set up meetings with state legislators later this year to discuss Ohio State health sciences as well as issues in health and wellness.

State and National Issues

You might be interested in knowing about the National Research Council's efforts to assist the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in efforts to replace the Plum Island Animal Disease Center. This facility handles foreign animal disease (FAD) pathogens, including workforce training and surveillance, and the replacement facility was not funded in the new federal budget. The U.S. animal agriculture industry, plus food processing, is worth $1.2 trillion dollars, and provides one out of every five jobs in the U.S. economy. Veterinarians are key to protecting his huge asset and guarding against the accidental or intentional introduction of FAD pathogens, which could devastate the industry, and endanger U.S. citizens. We are helping to advise the DHS on options for a high security laboratory that is commensurate with protecting our huge food animal populations and ensuring their value to the U.S.

Alumni and Fundraising

The Veterinary Medical Center (VMC) welcomed their Small Animal Practitioner Advisory Board members to campus today. The input and advice given by this group of dedicated veterinarians has provided invaluable improvements to our customer service in our VMC. We continue to reach out to our referring veterinarians to provide them with our news and updates, and to learn how we can continue to serve them and their clients more effectively. Great organizations develop feedback loops for continuous learning and improvement. Our practitioner boards help us achieve this, and many improvements in communications and customer service already have been implemented based on the ideas from the boards.

Upcoming Events

We are hosting a Town Hall meeting for our students to discuss key issues of concern, such as tuition, debt, the economics of our profession, etc. We are pleased to welcome two guest speakers who will participate in this event. Dr. Jim Lloyd, associate dean for budget planning and institutional research at Michigan State University will discuss economics and finances. Ohio State alumnus and former dean Dr. Glen Hoffsis, current dean at the University of Florida, will offer his perspective on the financial aspects of buying a practice. We are working with SCAVMA to help plan for this event, which is scheduled for May 24 at the Ohio Union.

Dr. Lloyd will also give a faculty/staff seminar from 4-5 on May 24 on the economics of veterinary medicine and financial issues pertaining to veterinary medical education.

We are getting closer to some of our biggest events of the year: our Annual Open House on May 19 is now just a week away. I know many of you have been working on this event for months, and I look forward to this year's attendance being even greater than last year’s. And in just a few weeks, it will be time for Senior Send-off (June 8), our annual Student Awards Ceremony and Oath and Hooding (June 9), plus the Distinguished Alumni Awards and Brunch, and Ohio State Commencement (June 10).


Dean Lonnie King