In order to maintain our excellence as one of the nation’s top veterinary colleges, we periodically revisit our goals and progress to formulate a strategic plan. The most recent of these plans was drafted on September 30, 2012 and lays out a road map for the college through the year 2018. The introduction to the plan is below. To read the entire document, you may download the full 2012 – 2018 Strategic Plan.
Introduction: Setting the fundamentals for adaptation and evolutionary change
The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine is the only 4-year Regional Veterinary College in the nation. It has 3 main sites: The Virginia Tech Blacksburg campus which houses most of the College’s programs and instructional facilities including the comprehensive, multi-species Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH); the “Leesburg campus” representing the Equine Medical Center (EMC) which is a VTH specialized in equine medicine; and the University of Maryland College Park campus which houses the “Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine” at the Gudelsky Center.
The College derives a large portion of its budget through revenues (tuitions and fees and VTH income), research and donations. Direct State allocations have been on a decreasing trend for several years and this trend is expected to continue. The assumption is that revenues and other “income” sources, newly implemented efficiencies and cut or repurposing of unnecessary or outdated programs will have to make up the difference without lowering the quality of the output.
One critical mission of the CVM is to train competent, entry level veterinarians (4 year DVM program – professional students) able to pass the national board examination and demonstrate competency in clinical skills and other aspects of veterinary medicine in order to fulfill the broad spectrum of societal needs demanded from the veterinary profession. Related to that mission is to train residents and interns as well as graduate students.
It is important for Colleges of Veterinary Medicine to train the veterinarian of the future. Society is changing as a reaction to a variety of demographic, political, economical, environmental, and technological influences that in turn are impacting the future of veterinary medicine as a profession. This changing reality demands that the content of veterinary medical education and the way it is delivered must be adjusted if not changed.
Several studies have been carried out in order to predict the future direction veterinary medical education must undertake to prepare the veterinarian of the future. One of these studies utilized foresight technology and it clearly indicated the need for change in veterinary medical education (1). The Foresight report engendered two more studies and consequent reports which describe and recommend future directions for veterinary medical education (2,3). They also define some of the shortcomings that may interfere with the appropriate pathways to change. It is the College’s intent to follow up and implement many of these recommendations and make them part of its educational strategic plan in a format consistent with the VT 2012-2018 Strategic Plan (A Plan for a New Horizon).
The College has recently increased its DVM student capacity to 120 students/class based on a variety of reasons, and creating a four-year growth period until steady state in 2016-17. Recent accreditation of foreign schools, the announcement of the opening of new, private Veterinary Schools in the USA with potential for accreditation as well as an increase of available seats at the majority of existing Veterinary Colleges in the USA, will put severe pressure on recruiting high quality applicants to our program. Creative curricular approaches, up to date instructional technologies, updated facilities and a “hands on” study environment as well as good post-graduation employment rates will be important factors in continuing to attract the best and brightest students to the College.
The College, in recognition of expanding responsibilities of the veterinary profession to societal needs, has added a new department of population health sciences and now offers an MPH degree to provide veterinary students and Virginia Tech students at large the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in the core public health competencies emphasizing the human, animal, and environmental health interface also known as One Health.
Research is an important component of the academic life and learning environment and is another critical mission of the College. Veterinary academe should increase its commitment to research in general, developing future research trained faculty, and encouraging current faculty to work across disciplinary and professional boundaries. Dissemination of the research findings and its application to practical problems also needs to be stressed.
This strategic plan is focused on addressing the issues mentioned above and strengthens the overall capacities of the College.
To read the rest of this document, download the full 2012 – 2018 Strategic Plan.