Dean’s State of the College Address Describes How Purdue Veterinary Medicine is Moving Forward

Friday, October 30, 2020

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The commitment of faculty, staff, and students to protecting each other during in-person instruction this fall was commended by Dean Reed as he gave a virtual State of the College address to students October 19.

Purdue Veterinary Medicine Dean Willie Reed continued a fall tradition virtually this month, giving his annual State of the College address to students using the Zoom platform.  The event, held at 12:30 p.m. Monday, October 19, attracted nearly 200 participants – a virtual crowd similar in size to the audiences that customarily heard the presentation in-person in Lynn 1136 in past years. Dean Reed delivered a positive message of progress, describing ways in which the college is moving forward on multiple fronts.

Dean Reed began the address by thanking everyone in the Purdue Veterinary Medicine family for abiding by the Protect Purdue pledge, enabling students to remain on campus for the in-person instruction that is so vital for DVM and veterinary nursing students. Dean Reed noted that not only have students, staff, and faculty done their part, but the Purdue Veterinary Alumni Association also assisted by supporting the purchase of PPE needed by students to safely participate in the in-person clinical instruction. 

Additionally, Dean Reed emphasized that the college continues to successfully attract research funding. In particular, he highlighted a research project led by Dr. Suresh Mittal, Distinguished Professor of Virology in the Department of Comparative Pathobiology, who recently received a $3.86 million grant to develop a novel Covid-19 vaccine.

Dean Reed also described how the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory expanded its role to offer testing of human COVID-19 samples, partnering with the Indiana State Department of Health and Indiana hospitals, and supporting testing of Purdue students, faculty, and staff.  For the Purdue University Veterinary Hospital, the pandemic led to such changes as offering curbside service for clients, with animals being received at their owners’ vehicles and then taken into the hospital to avoid the need to have animal owners entering the facility. 

A major highlight of the dean’s presentation involved fly-through videos showing architect’s renderings that depict inside views of the new hospital facilities now under construction just east of Lynn Hall.  Additionally, a fly-over video of the construction site gave the students a birds-eye view of the construction, which continues to progress despite the pandemic.  The new equine, farm animal, and small animal facilities are on schedule to be completed by the end of 2021.

Not only is the square footage of the college’s facilities increasing, the total number of applicants to the DVM program has been on the rise, with more than 1,670 applicants in 2019-2020, and over 1,500 applicants for 2020-2021, up from 814 in 2016-2017. A total of 334 students are currently enrolled in the DVM program, with 118 students in the on-campus Veterinary Nursing Program and 350 enrolled in the Veterinary Nursing Distance Learning Program.

Toward the end of his presentation, Dean Reed recapped the appointment of Dr. Ellen Lowery as director of the Purdue University Veterinary Hospital and Dr. Chad Brown as the new director of the Veterinary Nursing Program in 2020.  He also pointed out faculty and staff awards and honors before concluding by reminding everyone how, as Boilermakers, we keep learning and we keep going. Always, always taking the next step, together…because every giant leap starts with one small step.

Writer(s): Jonathan Martz, PVM Communications Intern, and Kevin Doerr |

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