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November 14, 2011

  • By now you have heard the news. We have received a copy of the letter of notification from Chancellor John Sharp to President Bowen Loftin that President Loftin's request for Permanent University Funds (PUF) for his top priority at TAMU has been granted. A $120M commitment will allow construction of a new Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Education Building and Small Animal Hospital Expansion.  This past Friday at College Hour, our Director of Facilities, Sam Wigington, Dan Kennedy Texas A&M University System Director of Project Planning, and I shared the latest updates on CVM facilities including the new building. Sam has already begun meeting with constituent groups to prepare for the design and construction of the new building. Faculty, staff, students, and others will be involved at all important steps. Our department heads have been given a list of questions to be answered - the program of requirements - to begin the space assessment process. Sam will contact student groups, so that each class and each student organization will be represented in the process. We will also be putting together a resource group of outside practitioners and asking them for input. At the February 2012 Board of Regents meeting the building project will be presented as part of the Capital Plan for final BOR approval. At that time we can begin to engage the TAMU Council on the Built Environment and we will set a date to officially break ground.  For those of you who were unable to attend today's College Hour, you can find it on the web at college-hour. We will also develop a place on our website to keep all involved and informed.
  • Each year The Houston Chronicle newspaper holds a strategic planning retreat. This year they made a special request to visit the CVM as their retreat kick off. On Sunday, November 6, the editorial staff of The Houston Chronicle newspaper arrived in Aggieland, hosted by the communications team from main campus. Two of our CVM student ambassadors, Joe Pluhar and Emily Murawski , led the CVM tour.  David Marquez described the technology and treatments available in our new Diagnostic Imaging & Cancer Treatment Center.  John Scroggs, Sam Wigington, and Angela Clendenin volunteered their Sunday to make sure all went well - and it did. Joe, Emily, and David were just as we have all grown to expect of these students - they were perfect. The Houston team members commented a number of times on the poise, professionalism, and knowledge of our veterinary students. They were most impressed by the sample of wonderful things going on in our college and expressed interest in helping tell our story. They specifically want to do stories on our research. This tour has turned into a wonderful connection for our college.
  • This past Thursday, Dr. Ian Tizard attended a luncheon celebrating Dr. Michael Criscitiello from Veterinary Pathobiology, who has been named as a Montague-CTE Scholar for 2011-12. According to the Center for Teaching Excellence website, "The Montague-CTE Scholar award is given annually to a tenure-track faculty member, one selected from each College, based on their early ability and interest in teaching. Awardees receive a $6,500 grant to encourage further development of undergraduate teaching excellence. There are more than 150 Montague-CTE Scholars on the TAMU campus today." Congratulations to Dr. Criscitiello.
  • On November 7, I attended a breakfast to thank the members of the Staff Awards committee for putting on such a wonderful ceremony this year. I also had the opportunity at the breakfast to thank this year's staff awards winners and Pear Enfield award winner for their service and commitment to our college. It's true - people make us successful. Our college is fortunate to have so many hardworking and dedicated faculty and staff that make this place shine.
  • On November 8, representatives from Pfizer Animal Health met with the CVM Administrative Team to discuss possible collaborations and areas of funding. They will generate a list of possibilities for further exploration.  They also met with Jodi Korich and her team to advance the Veritas initiative.
  • The Veterinary Emergency Team is now on the web. A dedicated page for the VET has been added to the CVM website at /vet. Please make sure to visit it soon if you haven't already. There is information about the team, news and updates, links to photos and a very moving video from their deployment in September to the Bastrop Complex fire. On November 1, they gave an excellent presentation to the BVVMA. The VET also recently received recognition from President R. Bowen Loftin for their efforts in rescuing and treating animals affected by the wildfire.
  • On November 2, the Council of Deans met again with representatives of the Board of Regents, this time with Regent Elaine Mendoza and Regent Jim Schwertner .  I will tell you about the Regent visits in more detail when we are together, but they are committed to Texas A&M.
  • VLCS has been working with an external consultant to identify ways to ensure ongoing success of the VMTH.  On October 27, VLCS presented some of their recommendations to the Hospital Board. The Hospital Board will continue to meet with them to hear the rest of their recommendations.
  • On October 25-26, I went to Ft. Worth for a Board of Directors Meeting of the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame and Museum, for the awards luncheon for new inductees, and for the opening of the Sandra Day O'Connor exhibit.  We were able to visit with her personally. This exhibit is worth seeing. The exhibit that will follow this one will be one on ---- veterinary medicine.
  • On October 24-25, the Equine Initiative Development Committee meeting was held at the Hagler Center and members toured the CVM. The plans for the new facilities were shared with them.
  • Tomorrow, November 15, we will have some very special visitors at our college. The annual Retired Faculty Brunch is scheduled for that morning in the Mark Francis Room. Please make an effort to come by and extend a warm welcome to these special members of our CVM family.

Sincerely,
Eleanor M. Green, DVM, DACVIM, DABVP
Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine
College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
Texas A&M University
(979) 845-5053