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State of the School Address

June 1, 2012

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Dean Michael Lairmore

June 1, 2012

Dean Michael Lairmore reported on new initiatives, hiring, budgeting, enrollment, student support and other aspects of the school in his first "State of the School" address May 30.

Lairmore framed his remarks in the context of the school's Strategic Plan, mission, vision and seven strategic goals. He congratulated the faculty and staff on coming through the accreditation process successfully and pointed out numerous examples of advancements in several areas of teaching, research and service that speak to the school's mission to advance animal, human and environmental health.

The complete presentation may be downloaded as a PDF here

Regarding student recruitment, Lairmore said that the admissions process is on the cusp of change to update admissions criteria and the interview process. To address student debt, the school is maintaining its professional school fee at the same level as last year while hiring a staff member with experience in financial counseling. He also cited the Hartwell Fellowship as an example of new types of support for the advanced training of graduate students beyond the DVM degree.

To foster best practices in veterinary education, Lairmore described the new regional collaborative group of veterinary schools working to develop a "teaching academy" for faculty in several western veterinary schools and  noted increased faculty attendance at conferences on educational methodology for adults, which is a core principle of the school's innovative curriculum. 

As for research productivity, Lairmore pointed to the most recent figures showing that the faculty in 2011 had more than 200 grants and contracts adding up to $86 million. He added, "We need to invest continually" in transdisciplinary research and find new ways to foster the commercialization of discoveries in veterinary medicine.

In the area of clinical care, Lairmore mentioned planning for new facilities, streamlining of technology services, new recruitments in several clinical services, leadership opportunities for clinicians and a strong residency program. He described caseload as a resource on several fronts, including clinical trials and other research, as well as a teaching tool and benefit to the community at large.

Lairmore ended his talk by telling faculty and staff, "The school is robust. We have the talent to put this plan into place. It is an incredibly important time for the school."