We are well into the spring semester at Colorado State University and looking forward to longer days and warmer weather. This month brings the 81st Annual Western Veterinary Conference (WVC) and I’ll be combining conference business with development work in the Southwest.
On Friday, Feb. 13, I’ll head to Arizona along with Paul Maffey, the College’s Director of Development, to meet with friends and alumni of the College. On Monday, we’ll head to Las Vegas for the WVC where we’ll be visiting with alumni and attending conference sessions. During the conference, the College will host a small luncheon for some of our alumni, and an evening reception open to all CVMBS alumni. Because of budget concerns, this year we’ll be scaling back on refreshments, but still look forward to welcoming everyone and reconnecting with our former students.
Also at the conference, Kelley O’Neill, a third-year DVM/MBA student, will be honored at the Scholarship Awards breakfast.
In other activities, I am looking forward to completing the search for a new dean for the College of Agricultural Sciences. It has been a pleasure serving as chair of the search committee and we have narrowed the pool to four excellent candidates. We hope that the University will announce soon that an offer has been made to the best candidate and accepted.
Finally, in this update, I’d like to talk briefly about the economic conditions creating anxiety across the nation and on campus as well. At Colorado State University, we are in the process of making some tough decisions that will allow us to streamline our operations while maintaining excellence in education, research and outreach. I have outlined plans more fully for the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in my letter to the CVMBS community dated Feb. 2.
As we continue to move forward, we do so with caution. The State of Colorado is trying to adjust to budget shortfalls by reducing spending and cutting back program dollars. Gov. Bill Ritter projects a deficit in this year’s state budget of $631 million. Higher education will be impacted by having to implement $30 million in budget cuts. CSU’s share of that is estimated to be $6.5 million. Right now, it looks as if budget shortfalls will continue at least into 2010. We hope that this down cycle in the economy will be as short as possible and we will continue to be effective in the face of economic adversity, meeting these challenging times with compassion for others, and the determination to fulfill our mission.
Lance Perryman, DVM, PhD
Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences