April 30, 2012

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

College Updates

Last week was a week of recognizing the hard work of groups who sometimes seem to be taken for granted: administrative assistants and laboratory professionals. This week was designated National Medical Laboratory Professionals week, an annual celebration of the laboratory professionals and pathologists who play a critical role in veterinary and medical care. I hope you had the chance to show your appreciation to those in the many labs critical to our work in the college, including Applied Pathology, the Blood Bank, Clinical Pathology Laboratories, Comparative Pathology & Mouse Phenotyping, Shared Resources including the Cytometry Core, Histology/Immunohistochemistry Laboratory, Diagnostic and Clinical Microbiology Service, Infectious Disease Molecular Epidemiology Laboratory, and the Tissue Bank. I also want to take a moment to recognize Administrative Professionals week. This college runs because of the hard work, professionalism, and dedication from each of you every day. While it's great that an official week is dedicated to your efforts, we need to remember to regularly appreciate the talent in this college.

I want to thank the Vision Design Committee and all of you who have participated over the past four months as we discussed our collective vision for the college, and determined what values are driving us forward. This is an important exercise for any successful organization, and I believe it will have profound and far-reaching positive impact. I am reviewing the committee’s recommendations with the associate deans and chairs, and other advisors, and we will report back to you soon with the final wording.

I was impressed by the large number of students who participated in the Veterinary Business Management Association club meeting! There are about 118 students who are members and who participate in Dr. Harcha's elective course. I appreciate the opportunity to speak with students and the popularity of this elective demonstrates student interest in understanding the business side of veterinary medicine. The Fisher College of Business is working with us to establish a minor in business for our DVM students, along with the other health sciences colleges. While this is still in the planning stage, the strong interest evidenced by this group shows us that we are on the right track to make this happen for our students.

Campus Updates and Partnerships

The deans from the health sciences are engaged in strategic planning to enhance the visibility and shared resources of our colleges. One part of the One University plan is to create a Research Corridor along Kinnear Road. There is also an emerging concept to create a "Medical District" as part of that effort that would better integrate the programs and research of the 7 health science colleges. The deans are also meeting with our professional student organization and are planning a trip to Ethiopia to work with our African Global Health partners. We are building partnerships to improve global health and strengthen our inter-professional training programs and research opportunities for our students and our faculty.

Friday was the annual meeting of the Public Health Preparedness for Infectious Diseases (PHPID) program. Veterinary Medicine was a founding college in this successful collaboration that now program includes six colleges and 150 faculty across Ohio State's campus, all working to end the threat of infectious diseases. Dr. Yasuko Rikihisa, professor in Veterinary Biosciences and Ohio State’s 2011 Inventor of the Year gave the keynote talk. PHPID has been the most successful interdisciplinary, "One University" initiative on campus and members recently completed an exciting strategic plan to position its growth for the next five years.

State and National Issues

Dr. Barbara Wolfe, veterinarian for The Wilds, met with Dr. Bill Saville, chair of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, to discuss a new joint residency program between our college, The Wilds and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The program would offer a residency in Conservation Medicine and Ecosystem Management. Participants would spend one year at each of the participants' locations (the college, The Wilds, and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium). This unique program will be supported by the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.

Alumni and Fundraising

Thursday night we hosted a dinner for Ohio State alumnus Dr. C. Richard Beckett, (DVM 1960), who has built several successful veterinary practices and was instrumental in starting the pre-vet and other programs at Findlay University. Many of the 15 first-year veterinary students who are graduates of the Findlay program participated in the dinner, and had the opportunity to meet Dr. Beckett and his wife. He spoke eloquently about the business of veterinary medicine, and I'm sure the students were inspired by his words and energy. Ohio State Alumnus Dr. Michael Kerns, (DVM, 1981) also attended. He has been a faculty member at Findlay, and has taught and mentored many Findlay students over the years.

Our Campaign Committee met Friday. This group will be crucial participants in our upcoming $92 million campaign, part of the university's $2.5 billion campaign which kicks off publicly in October. This group – which includes donors and alumni, led by our Advancement team – will assist us with strategies for raising the funds we need for Veterinary Medical Center renovations, student scholarships, and faculty and staff program support.

Upcoming Events

We are hosting a Town Hall meeting for interested students on May 24. We will discuss the economics of the profession and other financial issues for students, as well as answer questions.


Dean Lonnie King