My monthly updates often touch on good news, sometimes sad news and, especially lately, challenging times. This month is no different. We lost a colleague and friend of the College and we face difficult economic circumstances. Yet we also celebrate a new research grant from the National Science Foundation, and are in the process of moving into the new Diagnostic Medicine Center, a state-of-the-art facility long needed and much appreciated.
In June, the National Science Foundation awarded a $2.7 million grant to Colorado State University with the dual purpose of scientific research and engaging K-12 students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics with the goal of improving student enrollment in higher education in these fields. Dr. Stuart Tobet, a Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, is one of the co-principal investigators on the grant and we congratulate him on this exciting new program (see related article).
In more good news, after nearly two years of construction, and many more years of planning and preparation, the Diagnostic Medicine Center is ready for occupancy. Laboratories are getting settled in and we will have a dedication ceremony on September 11 with Gov. Bill Ritter and other dignitaries invited to attend. Thanks to everyone for all their hard work and long hours in seeing this project come to fruition. It is one of the finest facilities of its type in the nation and we are looking forward to the research, teaching, outreach and service opportunities that will be afforded by the new DMC. We hope that all of you can attend the celebration in September.
In regards to our economic challenges, I have been privileged to serve on the faculty and administration of three colleges of veterinary medicine at land grant universities throughout my career. From 1975 through 2009, budget reductions occurred in 17 years at the three institutions. Without a doubt, the reductions we faced in the 2009 fiscal year and will face in 2010 are the most challenging I have experienced in my career.
This past spring, the College was required to return $687,500 to the State of Colorado to meet budget shortfalls. Our budget will be reduced by $1,192,500 for the new fiscal year that began July 1, 2009. We have met reductions in a manner that minimized layoffs of valued personnel and mitigated impacts on our teaching programs. We will follow these principles as we manage budget challenges during the next two to three years. My goal is to position the College to rebound quickly as the state and local economy improves.
Finally, on June 8, Dr. Delbert Osguthorpe, a member of the Class of 1943, passed away at the age of 88 (see related article). I had the honor of getting to know Dr. Osguthorpe and his family during the last eight years that I have been dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He was a talented veterinarian and businessman, a farmer and conservationist, a pilot and public servant, a beloved father and husband, and he will be greatly missed by his friends and family. Dr. Osguthorpe’s legacy will live on for generations at Colorado State University. In 1992, in memory of his first wife Afton Silver, who died in 1989, Dr. Osguthorpe created an endowed scholarship that is awarded each year to a student in financial need, as was his wish.
Even in his death, his good work and concern for others carries on. Dr. Osguthorpe left a gift to the College that will fund construction of a new livestock building at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital. We look forward to beginning construction on this new building in the near future, and dedicating it to Dr. Osguthorpe upon completion. Our thoughts go to Dr. Osguthorpe’s family during this difficult time and we wish them all the best.
Dr. Lance Perryman
Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences