A Message from Dean Reed

Monday, December 14, 2020

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Dean Willie Reed, College of Veterinary Medicine

Everyone can relate to the experience of heading off on a trek, moving in what you thought was the right direction only to realize later you actually were going the wrong way.  You probably even have a story about a time when GPS led you astray.  Ultimately these situations involve the same problem – inadequate information about where you are going and how to get there.  Just as a good map is important when we travel, so a strategic plan is vital to an organization as it charts its future.

I am pleased to say that in the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, strategic planning is a way of life. Over the past decade, we have developed and carried out two five-year strategic plans that have led to a number of significant accomplishments.  With the second of those plans ending in 2020, teams of faculty and staff worked diligently to review the document, take stock of the progress achieved, and revise and update remaining action items in a refreshed strategic plan that will run through 2023.

As we completed this process, we found ourselves in the midst of unprecedented changes brought on by a global pandemic.  In a matter of a couple of weeks’ time in March, we moved virtually all of our instruction on-line, students left campus, faculty and staff transitioned to working from home, and a host of traditional spring events were either cancelled or changed so they could be conducted virtually.

The amount and pace of change related to the pandemic has been remarkable, and no strategic plan could have anticipated these sudden developments.  However, the strategic plan we adopted five years earlier put us in a position of strength, ensuring that we were prepared to respond to the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Today we are living with a very different reality as we follow the guidelines of the Protect Purdue Plan that enabled the University to safely bring students back to campus for in-person instruction.  Plexiglas shields in offices and reception areas, people wearing masks and  face shields in labs or during clinical instruction, and social distancing throughout our buildings became visible evidences of a new normal.  Through it all, our strategic planning guides us as we make adjustments and adaptations while staying true to our fundamental values, among which our commitment to diversity and inclusion is paramount. 

Articles about our strategic planning and the tremendous effort that went into preparing for a safe return to in-person instruction during the fall semester are just some of the stories of our people and accomplishments you will find in this annual report issue of our PVM Report magazine.  Also check out the exciting progress being made on construction of our new Purdue University Veterinary Hospital and read about groundbreaking research,

We look forward to the future with boldness as we work together toward a better world for both animals and people, confident that, whatever challenges lie ahead, we will persevere with the persistent pursuit of excellence that characterizes Boilermakers everywhere.

Willie M. Reed, DVM, PhD
Dean, Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine

Writer(s): Kevin Doerr |

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