In February I attended the 10th Annual CVMBS Research Day and was very impressed by the quality of the research being done by our undergraduate and graduate students. Amid the disheartening news of our current economic state and pending funding cuts, our students continue to provide a bright light illuminating what our future holds.
Research projects featured at Research Day included exciting work in chronic wasting disease, radiosurgery, feline immunodeficiency virus, immunotherapy and so much more. I think this was our largest year ever for entries and the judges had a difficult time selecting winners for oral and poster presentations (see related article). Congratulations to all who participated in the Research Day activities and best of luck in your future investigative endeavors.
I also want to congratulate members of the PVM Class of 2009 for their excellent performance on the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) taken in December 2008. Nationwide, 93.4 percent of fourth-year veterinary medical students passed the examination, while 97.6 percent of CSU students were successful. This impressive performance by our Professional Veterinary Medical students reflects their commitment to excellence, the quality of our curriculum and the dedication of our faculty. Congratulations!
The end of February brought news from the Office of the President regarding the budget situation at Colorado State University. Interim President Tony Frank sent a campus-wide e-mail summarizing the Fiscal Year 2008/2009 fiscal rescission for Colorado State University. As you may have noted from the message, his intent is to minimize the impact of these reductions on academic units as much as possible. To that end, the average central administration reduction is 5.89 percent and the average academic unit reduction is approximately 2.83 percent.
The actual dollar amount CVMBS is required to return to the State of Colorado is $687,500. This amounts to a 2.89 percent reduction of Education and General (E&G) funding to the College for this fiscal year. General is the state appropriation to the University, and Education is the tuition paid by enrolled students. I am working with department heads and directors of the hospital and diagnostic laboratory to return the funds by the March 13 deadline. The payment of $687,500 will be made primarily with one-time funds for this year, but must be converted to base budget reductions effective July 1, 2009.
This means we will begin the 2009/2010 fiscal year with a 2.89 percent reduction in our E&G budget. Additional base budget reductions also will be required as of July 1, 2009. The exact amount will not be known until May when the state budget is finalized. However, we have been asked to plan for total E&G budget reductions ranging (including the $687,500 mentioned above) from a low of $1.163 million to a high of $1.877 million. Whether furloughs or other salary reduction strategies will be used to decrease the size of the reductions will be decided at a later date following additional discussion with the campus community. I will keep you informed as more information becomes available.
In other news, from March 13-16 I’ll be traveling to Washington, D.C., for the Association of American Veterinary Medical College’s annual legislative meeting. The AAVMC sets its federal agenda at this meeting and determines what elements the organization wants to lobby for with regards to the federal budget.
From March 16-20, Colorado State University will be on spring break. If you are traveling, I hope you enjoy your time off and stay safe, wherever your destination.
Lance Perryman, DVM, PhD
Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences