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September 13, 2012

  • Where did the summer go?  It is fall again and the fall activities are in full swing. The newly admitted DVM freshmen are here, all 134 of them.  They have been properly oriented and are already immersed in their first semester courses. Thanks to Dr. Kenita Rogers, Dr. Dan Posey, the Professional Programs team, and the CVM faculty who made this orientation meaningful and memorable. In addition, 1805 BIMS students are on campus, including 708 new freshmen and 13 transfer students. The BIMS program has earned some bragging rights - again. Their rate of entry to professional schools remains excellent, their diversity numbers remain high, and time to graduation is among the highest on campus. In addition, a study of labor market outcomes and the defense of higher education by a student in sociology revealed that BIMS had the highest rate of employment or graduate study on this campus.  The graduate students are back as well.  On 9-11-12, 44 new graduate students were oriented at an event organized by Dr. Bhanu Chowdhary and the rest of his graduate studies team.  Over 60 people were in attendance, further highlighting the importance of our graduate program.
  • Texas A&M is officially in the SEC and has experienced its first SEC game against the University of Florida.  While the score was in favor of the Gators at the end, everyone nationwide should read the article, "Insight by an outsider" at  This amazing observation captures the spirit of Aggieland and explains much about our students, graduates, faculty, and staff.  We must guard this culture with all of our being.
  • Whole System Genomics (WSG) is one of the eight Initial University Multidisciplinary Research Initiatives (IUMRIs) recommended for support from the Academic Master Plan process.  The senior faculty position is being moved from COALS to CVM with support from Dean Mark Hussey, Dr. Russell Cross, Dr. Penny Riggs (WSG Convener), Dr. Jim Womack, Dr. Loren Skow, and Dr. Bhanu Chowdhary.  Dr. Womack and Dr. Skow will provide leadership until the position, a Professor with responsibilities to serve as director of WSG, is recruited.  Current efforts are underway to make sure the WSG implementation team and membership are engaged in the transition.  I have been asked to serve as lead dean for WSG.
  • The Center for Phage Technology (CPT) is another successful IUMRI. The CPT position is being moved from the CVM to COALS.  The CVM is still encouraged to collaborate within the CPT.
  • The Texas A&M Institute for Neuroscience (TAMIN) is another successful IUMRI, and the position designated for CVM has been filled by Dr. Joe Kornegay.  Dr. Kornegay is here and settling into his laboratory in the ILSB.  In addition, Dr. Jane Welsh, with Dr. Farida Sohrabji, has been doing an excellent job leading this group.  Their retreat was successful and they have an ambitious plan outlined.
  • Opportunities continue to present themselves to our campus and college.  One Health has been identified as one of two grand challenges on this campus, along with Energy.  Chancellor Sharp has formed the Chancellor's Research Initiative (CRI), which will provide $100M over three years in non-recurring funds to advance research on this campus, such as in the form of start-up packages, equipment, facilities, etc.  President Loftin is investing the monies saved from outsourcing into academic programs in the form of recurring dollars for new positions and graduate programs.  His current estimate is $6M, including $4.5M for faculty positions and $1.5M for graduate programs.  President Loftin is also designating $15M in non-recurring AUF funds to support One Health and Energy.  You will be working with your department heads and the rest of the CVM administrative team to develop proposals for these monies.
  • With One Health being one of the Texas A&M grand challenges and with One Health gaining traction nationwide and worldwide, our college must be positioned to take advantage of the seemingly unlimited opportunities.  After much thought, we created a non-tenure track position to help us do so.  The position is Assistant Dean of One Health and Strategic Initiatives.  Dr. Mike Chaddock from the AAVMC has accepted our offer and is expected to arrive in College Station by November 1, 2012.  Dr. Chaddock is known for his organizational skills, his network throughout the profession, his familiarity with Washington, DC, and his collegiality.  He was intimately involved with organizing and driving NAVMEC and has a special interest in One Health.  He will help draw together the deep talent we have in the CVM, across campus, and beyond to ensure that Texas A&M is a leader in One Health.
  • The Equine Initiative groundbreaking is scheduled for Tuesday, October 9, 2012, from 10AM to 12PM.  To date over $30M has been raised for this collaborative initiative primarily between CVM and AgriLife.
  • I represented the CVM at the annual American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Convention held August 3-7 in San Diego. There were many highlights where the Texas A&M CVM had the opportunity to shine. Dr. Garry Adams, professor in Veterinary Pathobiology, received the AVMA Lifetime Excellence in Research Award for his work in emerging and infectious diseases and biodefense. Dr. Leon Russell, professor in Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, was recognized for his leadership in the World Veterinary Association with an honorary lifetime membership in the organization. Our college continues to be recognized as a leader in diversity efforts. I was honored to receive an Achievement Award from the Lesbian Gay Veterinary Medical Association on behalf of the college and our continued efforts to create a welcoming environment for everyone. I also want to thank our Development Team for the wonderful reception they coordinated for our alumni, faculty, and students. It was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends, to share what's new in our college, and to celebrate being Aggies. I couldn't be prouder to have been representing Texas A&M.
  • In a recent memorandum, Dr. Jeffrey Seemann, the Vice President for Research at Texas A&M University, announced some changes in the formula for the distribution of indirect cost (IDC) return earned on direct expenditures for sponsored research grants and contracts awarded to faculty at Texas A&M University. Beginning September 1, 2012, and implemented retroactively for the final six months of Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12), a guaranteed direct allocation of 15 percent of IDC will now go directly back to the principal investigators. In addition, the colleges will receive an allocation of 35 percent of total IDC. Combined, this represents an increase from 40 to 50 percent in the direct investment of the university to research activities.
  • You may remember a previous email that was sent announcing the opportunity presented to our college to form a research partnership with the Texas Heart Institute and the Texas Emerging Technology Fund through. I am pleased to give you an update on this Texas Emerging Technology Fund Research Superiority Award proposal. In June we presented to the subcommittee, which supported our advancement to the full committee. We presented to the full committee on July 20.  The full committee was supportive and we have advanced to the TETF trustees, made up of Governor Rick Perry, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, and speaker Joe Straus. We should know in the near future if we will receive this award.  The "research talent" is Dr. Doris Taylor, who created the first beating heart in a laboratory.  There are many to thank, and I will do so later.
  • I am pleased to announce that the CVM's own Dr. Kent Carter, professor and assistant department head for animal resources in Large Animal Clinical Sciences, has been elected as vice-president for the American Association of Equine Practitioners. As vice-president, Dr. Carter is following in the footsteps of former Large Animal Clinical Sciences department head, Dr. William Moyer, and is in line to assume the presidency of this national organization in the near future. This nomination is a measure of the high regard in which Dr. Carter is held by his peers. Congratulations Dr. Carter on this tremendous honor, and for continuing the Aggie tradition of leadership in veterinary medicine.
  • I was recently honored to have been invited to attend the Texas A&M Association of Former Students Board of Directors meeting in Wyoming, designated to maintaining and further building affinity for Texas A&M.  It proved to be a valuable discussion, and I look forward to seeing how these discussions shape the future direction of our alumni association, university, and our college.
  • Progress continues on our new Veterinary Education Building. We have chosen an architectural firm, following an in depth interview of six finalists, and have forwarded the name to the Chancellor for approval.  We are looking for a firm that not only reflects our core values, but also is forward thinking and innovative when it comes to educational design.
  • Whether teaching in a classroom or clinical setting, conducting research, or treating the animals that arrive in our hospital, safety is important to everyone. Recently, members of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in our college participated in an injury prevention program conducted by the Environmental Health And Safety Department at the university. As a result, Kit Darling, Infection Control Coordinator for VMTH, and Hospital Administrator Terry Stiles created a Safety Committee that met monthly to set safety goals and to provide safety training that committee members could take back to the people in their work area.  Injuries can happen anywhere, and at any time, and for this reason we are excited to announce that the entire College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences will participate in the injury prevention program beginning in the fiscal year 2013.  Each department will have one or more representatives on the Safety Committee.

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