Winter Issue 2019

by Bryan Slinker, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine

As we begin 2019, I remain ever thankful for the efforts of our college’s faculty and staff, supported by our many friends and stakeholders. We seek to lead the way in the Drive to 25, President Schulz’s goal to position WSU as a top 25 research university by 2030. This is a daunting task, and, although we may not fully achieve this vision, we will be vastly improved from aspiring to do so.

Our research programs across the college, spanning from fundamental molecular and cell biology to applied clinical and field research, in Pullman and globally, are thriving. Our faculty generated the most research grant support in 2018, making it our best year ever. We are now the 3rd highest ranking among all U.S. veterinary schools in federal funding, and we are on track to do even better this year.

Major initiatives in neuroscience, functional genomics, individualized medicine, and global infectious diseases, among many, continue to drive us forward. Our strengthening partnership with the Centers for Disease Control in Kenya has now led to opening a major effort in Guatemala. The number of clinic partners supporting our vision for a Rabies Free Africa continues to grow steadily; there are 100 at this writing, providing critical support to catalyze the world-wide effort to eliminate human deaths from rabies—which currently number nearly 60,000 per year—by 2030.

With the help of very many of you, we will have a new 3.0 Tesla MRI installed in our Veterinary Teaching Hospital by summer, improving our ability to provide state-of-the art clinical services. Our Clinical Simulation Center will continue to expand in the scope and sophistication of its offerings, thanks in part to the generous support of many donors, and is seeking to be the first such center within a college of veterinary medicine to be accredited. This is a critical element of our efforts to improve our curriculum to prepare our many fantastic students to be exceptional entry-level DVM graduates.

Our Teaching Academy continues to lead the way among all veterinary colleges to develop our faculty and staff as educators and drive innovation in course delivery. Importantly, the scope of activity touches all we do in education, including our undergraduate degree programs. Coupled with a recently completed holistic review of the desired educational outcomes that define our entry-level DVM graduates, these resources will be critical in guiding curriculum development as we meet the demand for the next generation of health professionals.

We are faced with many challenges, but our successes and opportunities—of which I have only named a few—greatly overshadow these. It is always good to remember that.

As always, Go Cougs!