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Update from the Dean's Office
Spring is making its presence known on campus with unseasonably warm days and an abundance of colorful early-blooming flowers. It's hard to believe that at this time a year ago we were still digging out from one of the biggest blizzards in Colorado history!
Things have been busy at the Office of the Dean, but the topic on everyone's mind right now is the budget and what, if any, additional cuts we will see at Colorado State University. On Monday, March 29, the Long Bill (the state budget) was introduced in the House where it will be caucused on before it winds its way through to the Senate. For our elected representatives, the next two weeks will be consumed with the budget. We will not have the final answer on our budget for 2004/2005 until the Long Bill is passed and signed by Gov. Bill Owens later this spring.
When I attended the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) conference in Washington, D.C., last month, it was clear that other veterinary medical colleges across the nation are facing budget challenges very similar to ours. The financial situation is especially disconcerting given the tasks that lie before us. To that end, members of the AAVMC finalized two initiatives to bring greater support for the societal responsibilities with which we have been charged.
The first is an initiative AAVMC will present to Congress in January 2005 to obtain funding for U.S. veterinary schools and colleges to prepare additional veterinarians for careers in research and public health service. If the initiative passes, appropriated funds would be provided on a competitive basis for facilities and new faculty positions. The second initiative is designed to increase animal health formula funds by twenty-fold in fiscal year 2005. This initiative would support agricultural animal research which, given concerns over infectious diseases such as foot-and-mouth and BSE, and biosecurity, is essential to meeting our public and animal health goals.
On the BSE front, I'd like to congratulate the Colorado State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for being selected by the USDA as one of seven labs nationwide to implement high throughput testing for BSE. This speaks highly of the faculty and staff at the Diagnostic Laboratory, as well as the College, and for the investment they have made in new technology and training.
I'd also like to recognize and congratulate the Argus Institute for Families and Veterinary Medicine now celebrating its 20th anniversary. The professionals and staff at Argus have provided VTH client families, faculty, staff and students an incredible amount of compassion and caring especially when dealing with the emotions of grief and loss. Best wishes to them as they commemorate their 20 years of service.
Before I sign off, just a reminder about the faculty and staff spring meeting on Tuesday, April 20, 4:15 p.m., at the University Park Holiday Inn. We will have standing committee reports and an update on other issues affecting the College. Also, remember to join us at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital's Open House April 2 and 3.
Lance Perryman, DVM, PhD