Dean's Update - October 2012
October 11th, 2012
Please support the SECC campaign – even the smallest gift sends a big message
Dear colleagues & friends of the college,
Thanks for taking the time to read this Dean’s update. Since my last report, I have continued to make visits across the state. These included a trip to the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine with Dr. Jorge Piedrahita, attending the NC Agribusiness Ag Leaders Conference (including 20 presentations by candidates for office – too bad I can’t vote), a visit to the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center with Dr. Craig Harms and CVM students, a trip with Dr. Kate Meurs to meet Dr. Mark Dewhirst in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Duke University School of Medicine, and presenting to the NC Pork Council at the amazing Country Squire Restaurant in Kenansville, NC. Closer to home, the CVM hosted the wonderful Dog Olympics, our students hosted the remarkable Dr. Temple Grandin, and I had a chance to meet the President of the NC Farm Bureau, Mr. Larry Wooton. Within the university, several of us from the CVM have been participating in the planning process for the new College of Sciences, under the leadership of Dean Dan Solomon. This initiative will present us with many new opportunities for collaboration with NCSU partners. A number of new leaders joined NCSU in the past weeks, including the new Dean of CALS, Dr. Richard Linton, and Dr. Mike Mullen, the new Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Division of Academic and Student Affairs. I have already had a chance to host Dean Mullen on a visit to the CVM, and look forward to hosting Dean Linton in the near future.
Within the College two key processes are underway. The CVM Faculty Excellence Initiative reached a significant milestone with the submission of 20 pre-proposals, demonstrating a college-wide commitment to enhancing our research programs. The work of the Faculty Committee on Curriculum and Course Evaluation (FCCCE) and Course Coordinators Group on curricular change is also moving forward. This remains a challenging project, and will continue to push all of us hard as we try and realize the opportunities provided by curricular evolution. Coming at the same time as an enrollment increase, this places extra stresses on the instructors in the First Year courses. I met with the faculty leaders to discuss how we can move this forward, and to acknowledge the hard work it will take. I want to send two important messages regarding the curricular change: first, it will take the active engagement of all of us to make a success of this; second, the College is committed to providing the resources needed to make this work.
Funding for growth
In the last Dean’s update I explained the facts we knew about funding for the College for the coming year; this is a further update as the picture becomes clearer. First, we are fortunate in having a number of resources, including new enrollment funding, tuition premium funding, college reserves, and new strategic investment funding provided by the Provost. Second, we have made a commitment to focus our new hires for this year on teaching-related initiatives associated with the enrollment increase and curricular change. The most important development since I last wrote to you is that we were given the opportunity as a College to use our funds to supplement the pay increases that were provided by the state. To accomplish this much-needed pay increase, the College contributed $ 251,000 out of the total $ 633,000 required, with the state and Provost’s office providing the balance. The College contribution came from a combination of hospital, departmental, and Dean’s office resources. We know that this year’s salary increase does not make up for the last few years, but it is a start, and as a College we felt it essential to do as much as we could to reinvest in our own faculty and staff. Furthermore, we made this investment while preserving our ability to fund all the positions and initiatives originally programmed for this year in support of teaching in the DVM curriculum.
Development; it goes both ways
I want to focus on development, or fund raising, at the CVM, and how it impacts our programs. Development supports everything from our White Coat of Excellence awards to the building of the Terry Center, from the Summer Research Internship Veterinary Student program to the Teaching Animal Unit. Making development work for your program needs your partnership, as no development team can raise funds on its own. The development success stories I have seen in my career all depended on a personal and special relationship between a donor and a faculty member or a program that inspired the donor to become a part of a vision. For example, this relationship can grow from a clinical interaction, when the donor asks the doctor how they can help, and that clinician is ready to explain their vision for the future. Perhaps that is the key message for all of us in supporting development, whether for clinical or basic research, teaching or clinical programs; all of us need to be ready to tell our story, explain our goals, and present our vision for the future. The development team can help in many ways, from developing the story to facilitating the relationship with donors. Why not drop by and find out how they can move your program forward?
Development news for the fall includes a major success story of the team led by Susan Lilly. This group has raised over $120,000 in new funding through a month-long calling campaign to our clients, who responded magnificently to support the work that you do. Another important piece of news is that we are hiring a new Major Gifts Officer to join Susan’s team. This individual will focus a significant part of their effort on equine programs. We have had some significant equine development success stories, but there is the potential to do more.
I want to say a little about the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Foundation. This organization is slightly older than the CVM, and its mission is to win support and funding for your programs. The 40 members of the Board of Directors include many of our most important donors, and all of them work hard to promote our programs and bring recognition to what you do. I’d like to thank Dr. Betsy Sigmon in particular, the outgoing President of the Board, and welcome the new President, Mr. Randolph Reid who many of you will recognize as he volunteers in the VHC on a regular basis. Please take the time to welcome and thank these board members when you recognize them at College events.
We recently ran an exercise to identify key development targets for the College, and developed a comprehensive list. I would like to highlight just a few of our key targets for fund raising and show how these examples could affect our programs:
- Endowed Chairs – few gifts mean more to the college. An endowed chair not only honors the recipient, but can add a new position and become a transformational gift for a program.
- Student Scholarship Endowment – student debt load remains a huge concern for DVM and graduate students. Scholarships have a major impact on our students, and on our ability to recruit the best.
- Linear Accelerator – we are recruiting world-class radiation oncologists, and together with world-class technology these people will make a difference. We will be able to treat more types of cancer with better outcomes and fewer side effects, and we will be able to grow a bigger research program with collaborations at Duke University School of Medicine and beyond.
- Equine Sports Medicine Clinic – there is a huge horse population in North Carolina and the region, and our clinicians need the right facility to treat all manner of performance-limiting injuries and diseases. It’s time we gave them the facility they deserve.
- Global One Health Endowment – across the world, problems of food security, infectious disease, and environmental factors are impacting the interactions between humans and domestic and wild animals. This is a critical area in which we can make a key contribution.
- Education Building – we take huge pride in our teaching programs, and we need a new top-class facility to house them. This building can take inspiration from the new James B. Hunt Jr. Library and find novel education solutions by providing stimulating new teaching environments.
- Connections to Agriculture – we have a unique opportunity to interact with the most important industry in North Carolina. Finding translational technological solutions for problems affecting animal health is a critical goal, and can be accelerated by endowed positions and institutes.
- Teaching Animal Unit – this is one of the signature programs in the College, and it needs new investment in programs and facilities to ensure we can be proud of every part of it.
- Human-Animal Bond Endowment – as our relationship with animals evolves, our understanding of how to deliver comprehensive health care changes too. The contribution that humans and animals make to each other’s psychological and physiological health, from service animals to the family pet, is an increasingly sophisticated and critical area for study.
This is an eclectic list, but it illustrates just some of our opportunities if we can win support for our programs. The CVM has an illustrious development history, and we need to build on it for the future. While we look to our partners outside the college for their support of our programs, we also need to send a strong message of our support for the community by giving back through the SECC campaign. My hope for this campaign is for a high participation rate; you can literally make a big difference with a $5 gift online. I think it sends a critical message to the community in North Carolina when we can say that a significant proportion of the employees at this institution give back to the community. Please consider participating; it will mean the most to our neighbors when they see our high level of commitment.
As for myself, in the near term I’ll be traveling to China to visit veterinary colleges in Zhejiangand Beijing in October, and over Thanksgiving I will visit the University of Surrey to discuss their new veterinary school initiative. The next big event in which the CVM will participate is the 17th Annual North Carolina Veterinary Conference on November 2nd-4th. I hope to see many of you there. I also look forward to seeing you at the next CVM Friday Social on November 9th, and at the Faculty-Staff Holiday party on December 14th!
All the best,
D. Paul Lunn, BVSc, MS, PhD MRCVS,Dip. ACVIM
Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine
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