February 2020
Leading Expert on Diversity in STEM to Address 2020 AAVMC Conference
One of the first African American female chemical oceanographers in the U.S. and a leading expert on diversity in STEM, Dr. Ashanti Johnson, will present a keynote address at the 2020 AAVMC Conference and Iverson Bell Symposium in Washington, D.C. March 6-8, 2020. Registration is now open for the conference, which will be presented at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. With programming structured around the theme “Catalyze 2020: Innovate and Inspire,” the conference is expected to attract hundreds of educators and other leaders from the veterinary medical profession. Dr. Johnson will speak on "Diversity and Inclusion: Strategies and Best Practices to Advance from Concept to Reality." Learn more.
Racially/Ethnically Diverse Student Enrollment at Record Highs
A concerted effort across academic veterinary medicine to achieve a more diverse and inclusive educational environment seems to be paying off. Racially/ethnically diverse students from under-represented groups now make up 21.1 percent of students enrolled in DVM programs in the United States. AAVMC Senior Director for Institutional Research and Diversity Dr. Lisa Greenhill reports that under-represented veterinary medical (URVM) student enrollment made up just 13.5 percent of DVM student enrollment in the U.S. in 2014. Learn more.
2019-20 Annual Data Report Published
The AAVMC’s 2019-20 Annual Data Report has been published and is available on the website. Constructed from the enormous datasets collected during the annual Comparative Data Report (CDR) project, the ADR presents the public with a comprehensive statistical portrait of the world of academic veterinary medicine. Data is available on enrollment, diversity, applicants, tuition and debt, personnel, budget, and other areas. The report is produced on a dynamic, interactive software platform that enables users to explore information based upon specific areas of interest in academic veterinary medicine. Click here to see the report. Learn more.
Conference Session to Explore Use of Animals in Education
The use of animals as educational resources in the health professions continues to change. Advancements in technology have considerably reduced the number of animals required to support instructional programs through the use of sophisticated models, and new protocols have been introduced over the decades to ensure the humane treatment of animals in the classroom and learning laboratory. But many educators recognize that the topic warrants additional scrutiny. That process begins in a formal way on Friday, March 6 from 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. when the AAVMC presents an the Use of Animals in Education symposium in conjunction with the AAVMC Annual Conference. Learn more.
Veterinary Futures Commission Charts Course for Future Success in the Profession
A joint commission created by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) has released a report identifying emerging trends that will affect the veterinary profession during the next generation, providing insights that may be used to adapt to the profession’s changing environment. “ The Future of Veterinary Medicine,” produced by the AVMA and AAVMC’s Veterinary Futures Commission, was published following four face-to-face working sessions and more than a year and a half of research and investigation by the commission’s members, composed of experts from academia, clinical practice and leadership positions within the profession. Learn more.
Wisconsin Earns Epic Global Coverage for Academic Veterinary Medicine During Super Bowl Spot
University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine clinical personnel were just doing what they do every day at UW Veterinary Care: provide excellence in clinical care for patients. But Scout, a 7-year old Golden Retriever suffering from a cancerous tumor on his heart wasn’t just any dog. And his owner, WeatherTech Founder and CEO David MacNeil, wasn’t quite the everyday client. So moved was MacNeil following the college’s successful treatment of Scout that he decided to produce and feature a television commercial telling Scout’s story during the 54th Super Bowl, where the commercials are often as celebrated as the game itself. Learn more.
Legislative Agenda Defined for Advocacy Day Visits
Preparations for the AAVMC’s annual Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill are well underway. Scheduled for Thursday, March 5, the event provides an opportunity for AAVMC and member institution representatives to visit with members of Congress and staffers on issues important to academic veterinary medicine. The three areas of focus include gaining funding for Section 1433 Animal Health and Research Funds, The America Grows Act, and The Advancing Emergency Preparedness Through One Health Act. Learn more.
Leaders in Academic Veterinary Medicine Convene for Deans Leadership Conference
The AAVMC 2020 Deans Leadership Conference held in Naples, Florida, January 16-18 featured one of the highest attendance levels in history. Most of the deans leading the AAVMC’s 53 member institutions, including most of the North American and Caribbean college deans, four of the five Australian college deans, and three United Kingdom college deans attended. Held since the 1980’s, the conference provides an opportunity for deans to consider and address the issues, opportunities and challenges shaping the future of academic veterinary medicine. The meeting featured presentations and discussions on a variety of topics, including transdisciplinary engagement and technology transfer, third party rankings, accreditation, and the Veterinary Futures Commission. The meeting also featured a presentation on the development and implementation of the AAVMC’s new strategic plan. Learn more.
“Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World” Legislative Briefing on Capitol Hill
Timing is everything, goes the old saying. As global media rang alarm bells about the emerging coronavirus threat, legislators and staffers gathered for an AAVMC/AVMA/One Health Commission briefing on Capitol Hill. The briefing had been scheduled before the emerging epidemic hit the headlines. But the rising threat level helped account for the SRO attendance. Two sequential briefings were actually held, one in the House and one in the Senate office buildings, on January 30, and each were packed according to AAVMC Governmental Affairs Director Kevin Cain. Congressional Veterinary Caucus Co-Chairs Drs. Ted Yoho (R-Florida) and Kurt Schrader (D-Oregon), shown left and in the middle above, participated. Learn more.
Veterinary Educator Collaborative Scheduled June 21-23 at Kansas State University
Planning is well underway for the annual meeting of the AAVMC’s Veterinary Educator Collaborative (VEC), which will be hosted by the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine June 21-23, 2020. This year’s meeting is themed “ It Takes a Village.” VEC focuses on planning, faculty development, and sharing best practices. Participants exchange ideas, learn from each other, and generate new ideas in the context of an ongoing collaborative exchange. The collaborative serves as a mechanism to address challenges in veterinary education and is open to all veterinary educators and the educationalists who support them.
VMCAS Early Cycle Opening Off to Strong Start
The Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) 2020/21 application cycle opened on January 22, 2020 and will close on September 15, 2020. The cycle typically opens in May. The change was made this year to make the process more convenient for applicants and provide them with more time to complete the various components of the application process, according to AAVMC Director of Admissions and Recruitment Affairs Diana Dabdub, who reports that the cycle is off to a strong start. Almost 2,000 applications have been started and almost 100 transcripts have been received. Learn more.
FFAR Seeks Nominations for 2020 New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) is now accepting nominations for the 2020 New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Award. FFAR plans to grant up to ten awards to early-career scientists pursuing research that supports the Foundation’s Challenge Areas and promotes global, sustainable food production. Each applicant is eligible to receive up to $150,000 per year for a maximum of three years totaling $450,000 from FFAR. Addition information is available in the Call for Nominations. The deadline for submitting nominations is March 4, 2020 at 5:00 pm ET. Complete submission guidelines and program deadlines are available on the FFAR website. Learn more.
Opportunity to Aid Victims of Australian Bushfires
The Australian bushfires have caused unimaginable destruction and loss. An area the size of the state of Kentucky has been scorched. 33 people have lost their lives and an estimated one billion animals have perished in the flames. Concerned people and organizations around the world are rallying to help. Our colleagues at AAVMC member institutions in Australia have advised that aid and assistance for the animal victims of the catastrophe is being coordinated through the RSPCA Australia National Bushfire Appeal and the Australian Veterinary Association Veterinary Benevolent Fund.
People in Motion

Dr. Dori Borjesson, chair of the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, has been selected as the new dean of the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine. She will assume her new responsibilities on July 20.

Dr. Ruby L. Perry, the dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Tuskegee University, has been named as Tuskegee's acting president.

At the University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science, Dr. Chiara Palmieri replaced Dr. Joanne Meers as Associate Dean for Research and Dr. Joerg Henning replaced Dr. Malcolm Jones as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.
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