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Update from the Dean’s Office
In June, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases named Colorado State University as one of 10 Regional Centers of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research. With $40 million in funding during the next four years, the RCE is having and will continue to have a profound effect on our College.
Many of our faculty members, including Dr. Barry Beaty, principal investigator on the RCE project, worked countless hours to prepare the RCE application which, in turn, was based on untold years of exhaustive research in infectious diseases, and the potential for this research to yield diagnostics, vaccines, and effective therapeutics in the future. This is an amazing achievement and one of which all of us can be proud. It is a time of opportunity, but it also is a time of challenges – primarily, the challenge of space.
The RCE already has placed pressure on our existing facilities, requiring some to give up laboratory and office space from which they have based their programs. I’d like to thank all those who so graciously agreed to change laboratory locations to accommodate the program requirements of the RCE award. Not all faculties would be that collegial, but our ability to work together to achieve higher goals is a key factor in the success of our College.
Be that as it may, no one likes giving up space – especially when there is so precious little to be had – so I want to reassure you that the College has short- and long-term plans in place to address this issue. We have prepared and submitted to the Board of Governors detailed planning documents for the first three buildings to be constructed under the master plan for the South Campus. On the Foothills Campus, the new Equine Reproduction Laboratory was dedicated May 12, and additional facilities are already planned. The groundbreaking for the Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL) will occur sometime this fall, and we are still in the running for federal funds to add another building to the Bioenvironmental Hazards Research Building (BHRB), and to build the Discovery Suite, an expansion of research space at the BHRB. These new buildings and expansions will greatly increase our BioSafety Levels 2 and 3 laboratory capacity.
The College also has identified the need for a new research and office building on the Main Campus to help meet our space objectives. During my tenure at North Carolina State, I had the opportunity to help design a similar building. I’ll be touring the newly completed facility in late July and look forward to bringing back schematics to help us plan and design for our own needs.
You’ll be able to read more detailed information about the College’s construction plans in the College’s Strategic Plan, which will be posted to our Web site soon. When that plan is posted, I’ll be sending out an e-mail to let everyone know how to access it, as well as how to access the University’s Strategic Plan which should be posted some time this month.
In other news, I’d like to recognize the faculty and staff of the Animal Cancer Center. The ACC has received a $2 million grant from the University’s Academic Enrichment Program, a one-time source of funds to help successful applicants enhance and expand their research and teaching programs. See the accompanying article in this edition of E-Insight to learn more.
I’d also like to thank our faculty members who have agreed to serve on the Equine Facilities and Positions Advisory Committee. This committee is identifying needed facilities and endowed faculty positions, as well as prioritizing these needs in order to address the requirements for success of each of the College’s equine programs. Members will also help in identifying potential donors to help fund these efforts. Members are Drs. Gary Baxter, Diana Hassel, Dean Hendrickson, David Lee, Paul Lunn, Pat McCue, Wayne McIlwraith, Terry Nett and Ed Squires.
Later this month, July 16-20, I’ll be heading to the American Veterinary Medical Association in Minneapolis. On Sunday, July 17, the College will be hosting an alumni reception. I’m looking forward to sharing all the good news from the College with our graduates. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and I look forward to seeing you when classes are back in session next month.
With Best Regards,
Lance Perryman, DVM, PhD