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New vet med dean discusses his priorities

August 7, 2012 By Terry Devitt

Newly appointed School of Veterinary Medicine Dean Mark D. Markel spoke with Inside UW–Madison about his priorities and challenges for Wisconsin veterinary medical education and scholarship. Here are some of his thoughts:

Inside UW: What do you see as your top priorities out of the gate?  

Markel: My goal is to carry on the outstanding traditions already in place at the UW School of Veterinary Medicine and to build upon them to enhance the education of our students, the clinical service we provide to our patients and the research we conduct designed to benefit both animal and human health.  My top priority will be to engage everyone at the school, and its many alumni, friends, referring veterinarians, and our partners in the agricultural industry to best determine how and where to focus our efforts in the coming decade to maintain and enhance our excellence in teaching, research and clinical service. 

Inside UW: What are some of the biggest challenges you expect to face?

Markel: Despite the advances in veterinary medicine in the past 100 years, the profession faces many challenges today and in the coming decades. These challenges have come to the forefront with the budget crises that most states and the federal government continue to face. These have negatively impacted the school’s ability to reward our outstanding faculty and staff, to fund our various research programs, and to minimize the debt load of our students.  It will be my job to stay focused on recruiting and retaining the most outstanding faculty, staff and students in this environment to help address these issues.

Inside UW: Do you see any new directions or initiatives for the school on the horizon?

Markel: The school needs to remain focused on its core mission of providing outstanding teaching, research and clinical service.   My goal will be for the school to critically evaluate each of these priorities and then implement strategies to enhance our leadership in these areas.  It’s too early to say what those strategies will be but central to any effort we undertake will be to recruit the most outstanding faculty, staff and students possible with the goal that they will serve as the future leaders in the veterinary medical profession.