November 22, 2013

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

College Updates

Congratulations to Dr. Lynette Cole, service head for dermatology and otology in the VMC, on the successful 37th Annual Ohio State and IAMS Symposium held in October. This great CE event included more than 260 participants and sponsors, who spent two informative days at the Easton Hilton Hotel. I want to acknowledge the hard work of Lauren Lammers, new to our advancement team, who was instrumental in the success of the symposium.

I want to announce a new benefit for Ohio State employees: our Veterinary Medical Center will be offering a 10 percent discount for services with a valid Buck ID shown at the time of service. Please let your friends and colleagues across campus know about this new program. Remind them that they MUST have a Buck ID to take advantage of the discount. And let me reassure all of you in the college who are accustomed to a 20 percent discount – that will continue for faculty, staff, and students in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Our Financial Aid Officer Jane Woodland is retiring after 11 years of service to our college. She has been a great supporter of our students and we appreciate her efforts on their behalf. I want to wish her well in her retirement. We also want to welcome our new Financial Aid Officer, Lauren Heatherly. Lauren is spending the next couple of weeks working with Jane to ensure a smooth transition.

Campus Updates and Partnerships

The Discovery Themes initiative continues to expand and grow. The three theme areas of Food Production and Security, Health and Wellness, and Energy and Environment are driving a hiring effort at the university that will add faculty to existing excellent programs in these themed areas. In addition, Provost Steinmetz has announced a fourth area that is applicable to the research efforts across the three main themes. This new area is data analytics. From vast amounts of personal information collected about our spending habits to analyzing world food production, and biomedical research data, the ability to examine raw data to draw new conclusions underscores our research and offers great promise for future understanding and even as an economic driver. For example, Ohio is first in production of plastics, rubber and adhesives, and the use of data analytics – also referred to as big data – may allow us to utilize genetic information to create reusable products. (For a better understanding of the types of information being stored about you, check out, hosted by Acxiom, one of the world's largest "data brokers.")

Recognizing a shortage of workers skilled in analytics and research, the university has started an undergraduate major in data analytics with specializations in biomedical and business analytics. There is also a new partnership with IBM as part of a new data analytics center in Dublin, Ohio.

Last week, Ohio State and our college welcomed a delegation of 11 faculty leaders from Ethiopia's University of Gondar. Included in the delegation was the university president, Prof. Mengesha Admassu, and the university board chair, Dr. Sentayehu Woldemichael, who also oversees Ethiopia's public banks and insurance companies. The accompanying deans and department chairs represented multiple disciplines. The delegation was escorted by Dr. Wondwossen Gebreyes, our director of global health programs, Dr. Bayleyegn Molla, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, student assistant Elise Rowe, and Christine O'Malley, executive director of health sciences. They met with faculty and staff from 12 of Ohio State's 14 colleges, three vice presidential units, the Office of Academic Affairs and Interim President Alutto. The group also met with me and Dr. Clare Allen in our college, and toured the Veterinary Medical Center with Melissa Weber. As you may know, the University of Gondar is one of our partners in the Ohio State / Ethiopia One Health Initiative. Dr. Gebreyes and the One Health Task Force are currently planning next year's One Health Summer Institute. The 2013 primary activity areas were rabies elimination, cervical cancer screening and treatment, and food safety. Additional projects are under development.

The deans of the health sciences colleges are also working on several other initiatives. A recent planning retreat included discussions of our global health projects and a potential partnership with the Franklin County Community Health program. We are also beginning discussions about the Health Science Corridor, an area of the campus planned for future growth, which will feature aspects of all seven health sciences colleges.

Alumni and Fundraising

November has been a busy month for the Advancement team as we continue our efforts to raise $75 million for the “But for Ohio State” campaign. Two important events took place at the VMC. First, members of the President's Club were invited for a tour, and many people who support other areas across campus took advantage of the opportunity to see our facility. We also hosted a tour and dinner for clients. I want to thank to Drs. Cheryl London, Jon Dyce, Brian Scansen and Ed Cooper for providing an overview of the work they do – and introducing one of their patients to the group. The attendees seemed to really enjoy hearing the success stories of these patients. Two of our campaign co-chairs, Barbara Trueman and Teckie Shackelford, were on hand during the evening, and spoke passionately on behalf of our programs and fundraising needs. The evening culminated in the exciting announcement of a $1 million pledge to the Expansion and Enhancement project.


Next week is Thanksgiving. I hope you all have the opportunity to spend time with family and friends, and have a moment to reflect on all that we have. I want to thank those of you who will be here in our VMC, working on a holiday, responding to emergencies and caring for the beloved animals in our ICU areas. I am grateful for the dedication, skills and professionalism that each of you brings to this college every day.


Dean Lonnie King