This Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine strategic plan has been developed in alignment with Virginia Tech's long-term Beyond Boundaries future and the university's strategic plan — "The Virginia Tech Difference: Advancing Beyond Boundaries" — including its four strategic priorities: advance regional, national, and global impact; elevate the Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) difference; be a destination for talent; and ensure institutional excellence.

Letters from ...

M. Daniel Givens
M. Daniel Givens

As this strategic plan of our growing college is finalized, we chart a course for continued improvement and sustained impact. This collective work to plan our future course has been ongoing for many months. I have worked closely with Interim Dean Greg Daniel to understand and thoughtfully consider input from the many individuals involved in this planning process. Thanks to the input of many students, staff, faculty, alumni, referring veterinarians, and college partners, our strategic plan is clearer and more focused.

Our plan for the future is impacted not only by thoughtful efforts during the preceding year, but also by preceding decades of diligent and thoughtful work in this endeavor. As this college will celebrate 40 years of veterinary education this fall, I am reminded of statements by John of Salisbury in the 12th century:

We are like dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants. We see more, and things that are more distant, than they did, not because our sight is superior or because we are taller than they, but because they raise us up, and by their great stature add to ours.

This college has a rich history of inspiring focus, perseverance, and dedication — and yet, our greater debt is to our future. We owe much to those who, in years to come, will depend on us for educational opportunities in veterinary medicine, biomedical science, and public health, to those who will depend on us to provide impactful and compassionate care to preserve and restore the health and well-being of their animals and their communities, and to those who will rely on us to identify innovations and breakthroughs that will help us flourish as mutating pathogens and a changing environment swirl around us. We have a very bright future, and I am pleased to share our plans for how we will focus our time, efforts, and resources in the coming years.

We also realize that the coming years will include unforeseen challenges; thus, we will review and revise this strategic plan as unique opportunities and challenges appear on our horizon. These future revisions will occur as a result of thoughtful but timely deliberation guided by input from many diverse perspectives. With a clear plan of action, a cohesive and diverse leadership team, and a clearly articulated strategy to revise the plan as critical opportunities arise, I am very excited about the impact that this college will have in years to come.

M. Daniel Givens, Dean

Gregory Daniel
Gregory B. Daniel

After more than a year of preparation, it is gratifying to see the college's next strategic plan. In creating this plan, we wanted broad-based input from our entire college community to establish common ground on which we could build a future together. We desired to find new ways to improve our internal communications and engagement. Working together to create this strategic plan was an important step toward achieving that goal.

Based on the climate survey and on feedback from various retreats, we knew that better methods of communication and engagement were possible, and we recognized the need for transparency in decision-making processes.

Months before he assumed his role as the college's new dean, Dean Givens began working with us on formulating this strategic plan. I appreciate and value the input and engagement of our faculty, staff, and students in this process. Their ideas, thoughts, and aspirations are captured in our strategic plan.

Not only does the college's strategic plan align with the university's strategic plan, "The Virginia Tech Difference: Advancing Beyond Boundaries," providing great opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration that combines the college's native strengths with strengths across campus and beyond, our plan is built upon the traditional missions of a land-grant university: research, teaching, and service.

The college's plan features an expanded scope that highlights strategic pillars on improving wellness, well-being, and sense of community within our college — i.e., taking care of our college community — and advancing One Health initiatives to improve the health and well-being of animals, people, the environment, and communities, including marginalized, underserved groups — i.e., taking care of other communities. In addition, the college's strategic plan incorporates the ideas and goals found in its Diversity Action Plan. The college has always focused on academic excellence and excelled in many research areas, but there are additional opportunities for the college to expand its sphere of influence and impact by embracing a One Health perspective.

We are currently in the midst of a global pandemic that affects our day-to-day lives, but I am optimistic that the college is poised to surge forward to achieve the goals outlined in this strategic plan. I want to thank all members of the college community for their contributions to this strategic plan and for the hard work and dedication they bring with them to the college every day.

Gregory B. Daniel, Interim Dean, 2017-2020

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DVM students walking outside in white coats