“What’s happening at the vet school this summer?” This question, while welcomed, sometimes assumes that activities decline on the College of Veterinary Medicine campus when the cicadas are singing on the plains. My answer is that things are going well in every aspect of our mission, from research to education. This issue of the Auburn Veterinarian features some recent highlights of the college from the perspective of 125 years of veterinary medicine at Auburn. I’d like to note a few happenings at the College that will ensure that our next 125 years will be equally impressive:
- Auburn’s veterinary curriculum continues to be highly sought by students in Alabama, Kentucky, and throughout the nation. In 2017, 980 students applied for 120 seats in the Class of 2021. Despite high demand, approximately 50% of qualified applicants from Alabama and Kentucky were admitted.
- Auburn’s resident tuition for veterinary students (including tuition for Kentucky students) ranks second from the lowest in the nation, while non-resident tuition ranks in the lower third. As a result, average student debt at graduation is fourth from the lowest in the nation.
- The Teaching Hospital’s caseload, which creates opportunities for clinical education, has increased by 57% over the past three years across all categories: small animal, equine, and food animal. Auburn students benefit from a robust and balanced caseload and are highly sought after graduation.
- Auburn’s Teaching Hospital ranks among the top five in the nation in client satisfaction from among 65 teaching hospitals and private/corporate referral centers surveyed by CalPro Research. 95% of clients (n=300) rated their experience as positive.
- Auburn’s researchers are widely recognized as experts in molecular therapeutics of heritable diseases, canine detection, medical countermeasures to infectious diseases, and vaccine technology. As a result, opportunities continue to emerge for Auburn faculty to serve as experts in support of major corporations, startup businesses, and government agencies.
- Auburn CVM has become an educational and research partner throughout Alabama: Huntsville (Hudson Alpha Institute for Biotechnology and Redstone Arsenal), Birmingham (UAB School of Public Health and the Greater Birmingham Humane Society), Winfield (Upper Coastal Plain Animal Health Research Station) and Gulf Shores (Satellite Veterinary Specialty Referral Center).
- Auburn CVM continues to grow its faculty through targeted recruitment. Successful hires are nearing completion in genomics-informatics (2), pharmaceutical engineering (2), toxicology, orthopedic surgery, neurology/neurosurgery, radiation oncology, anesthesiology, equine medicine, and equine emergency-critical care.
- Auburn CVM enjoys tremendous financial support from our alumni and friends. The college’s development team has raised over $82 million ($13 million above our goal) in support of the Because This is Auburn campaign. In 2016, our team raised $23 million (the largest amount ever) in support of the college. These gifts will be used to support scholarships, professorships, a state-of-the-art linear accelerator for the college’s comprehensive cancer center, and much more.
There is so much for the Auburn Family to be excited about when it comes to the past, present, and future of the College of Veterinary Medicine. But we need your help to do even more. Please see page 50 for information on a new initiative to form the Auburn Veterinary Alumni Association that will connect Auburn veterinarians, scientists, and friends as we enjoy mentoring and camaraderie across the nation. Please sign up to be a part of this initiative to strengthen our networks around Auburn Veterinary Medicine.
Calvin M. Johnson, DVM, PhD
AU CVM Class of 1986