Vital Signs: September 2014

Vol. 3, Issue 9

A message from Dean Cyril Clarke

Making progress on the college’s priorities

Dear friends and colleagues,
On October 1, I will celebrate the completion of one year of service as your dean. Soon after my appointment began, I shared with you several goals that I believed were worthy of our immediate attention. I am now pleased to update you on progress made in addressing these priority areas:
Further developing the partnership involving Virginia Tech and the University of Maryland – Efforts to enhance the partnership focused primarily on the necessity of reorganizing the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine. Administration of the center was transferred from College Park to Blacksburg, thus decreasing the need for faculty to travel frequently between the two campuses. To ensure that the center maintains its proximity to Washington, D.C. and the many federal and other agencies that are necessary for its success, three faculty positions were maintained at the University of Maryland campus in College Park.
Supporting faculty in their efforts to design a revised curriculum – In July of 2014, faculty approved a basic framework for revision of the DVM curriculum. The next step is to follow implementation guidelines developed by the faculty curriculum working group.
Expanding clinical education opportunities for veterinary students – Teaching Hospital caseload increased by approximately 23 percent, due largely to improved client relations and a recovering economy. A satellite small animal referral clinic that was opened in Roanoke in 2013 is developing as projected. In addition, good progress is being made in developing a partnership with the Washington D.C. Humane Society to provide clinical education in shelter medicine and surgery.
Advancing research and scholarship in translational medicine/comparative health sciences – In addition to the successful recruitment of several faculty with significant research assignments and acquisition of multi-user research equipment, we are well positioned to present a strong argument in favor of the translational medicine construction project when the university reviews its Capital Outlay Plan later this fall.
Ensuring that the Equine Medical Center has a sustainable budgetary model to support further development of its missions – In early 2014, a consultant with experience in equine practice was hired to conduct a business model analysis and to develop recommendations for financial sustainability. The consultant’s report is now being reviewed and an operational plan is being developed with input from the EMC Advisory Council.
In addition to these accomplishments, over the last year the college has:

  • approved bylaws that expand the role of faculty in college governance, streamlined the committee structure, and formalized committee charges and membership criteria;

  • developed a mentorship program for all academic faculty;

  • completed renovation of the library and integrated this space with the commons and cafeteria to create a new multi-use area for eating, study, and community interaction;

  • initiated the next phase of a project to provide updated and private offices for faculty;

  • renovated areas of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and conducted a comprehensive self-study in preparation for our October accreditation review.

These achievements are being built on the strong foundation established previously by Dr. Gerhardt Schurig and his leadership team and would not have been possible without your support. I am indeed privileged to work with such an outstanding community of learners, teachers, scientists, scholars, clinicians, and support staff.

Dr. Cyril Clarke, Dean

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