|Volume 21, Number 2||Fall, 1994|
This fiscal year could be characterized by the implementation of the changes envisioned in the AAVMC Strategic Plan. This report will address the aims of the plan and the status of initiatives in these areas.
AIM 1: Liaison with Member Organizations
1. Establish an electronic communication network for member organizations and related groups. A fax machine was purchased in October. A dedicated telephone system was installed in December. The e-mail to all member institutions was operational in February.
2.Establish mechanisms to identify priority issues and facilitate action. The Executive Committee serves as the priority-setting committee. This Committee meets 3 times a year: at the AVMA Annual Convention in July; at the NASULGC Annual Meeting in November; at the AAVMC Annual Meeting in March.
In setting priorities, the Committee generally acts on the recommendations of the Strategic Planning Committee, the Executive Director, or the membership-at-large. Facilitation of actions has been enhanced by the formation this year of a grassroots network. The network utilizes expertise designated by the AAVMC Institutional Representatives in each member institution.
3. Prepare, administer and disseminate essential information of the association.
a. Comparative Data Survey. The survey was completed and distributed on time. Hatch Act funding was included for the first time. Rate-limiting problems in receiving the data was experienced with 3 institutions.
b. Annual Admissions Data. This report was also on time. Rate-limiting problems occurred with 5 member schools.
c. Central Admission Application. The Veterinary Medical College Admission Service has been contracted to the Education Testing Service (ETS) for the 1995 Admissions season. A committee of associate deans has been engaged in a series of planning sessions. Twenty schools will completely or partially participate.
d. Educational Symposia. The 13th Symposium on Veterinary Education was held at the University of Illinois-Urbana in May. There were just under 200 registrants. The Symposium was a financial and programmatic success. Planning is well under way for the 14th Symposium which will be held at the University of Georgia in July, 1996. Some speakers have been confirmed and the Theme, "International Veterinary Education," has been developed.
e. The Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. Two regular issues were published this fiscal year, but the year was highlighted by the publication of the first electronic edition. A new contract has been negotiated with the current publishers for a 2% increase in funding.
f. Surveys and Projects Assigned by the Executive Committee. The following surveys and/or special projects were completed: a series of VMCAS questionnaires; a series of questionnaires establishing funding levels and needs for Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) and related programs; the grassroots surveys; a survey of NIH funding in member institutions; a survey of medical waste incinerator usage and needs in veterinary medicine. Thirty requests to survey member institutions were received; twenty-one were rejected.
4. Receive and distribute reports or executive summaries from organizations that meet under AAVMC sponsorship. Twenty-two such reports were collected and distributed.
5. Support Common Nomenclature. Few opportunities for this arose, neither were an appreciable number precipitated.
AIM II: Influence Public Policy and Legislation and Educate the Public
1.The Executive Director will prepare an inventory of dean/college resources for contacts with various publics and agencies. This was done in conjunction with the formation of the "grassroots network" previously mentioned.
a. Exert leadership to influence public and professional policy and legislation. Direct interaction with Congress and key Executive Branch agencies has been increased. The inclusion of 1433 funding for animal health research ($5.5 million) in the administration budget came as a direct result of this. The re-inclusion of veterinary medicine in the Senate version of the Disadvantaged Minority Health Improvement Act also was an accomplishment. The inclusion of veterinary medicine in the CSRS Minority Scholarship Program likewise was a favorable development. The strength of these items comes not so much in terms of immediate tangible benefits, but in establishing the validity of veterinary medicine at every step in the political process where it is possible.
b. Facilitate requests for specific action from deans as directed by Executive Committee. Requests have been received and acted upon from all AAVMC Institutional Contacts. A review of telephone, e-mail and fax traffic revealed a fairly normal distribution of contacts.
2. Facilitate "grassroots" support from commodity groups, hospital clientele, producers, state veterinary medical associations and influential members of the general public. This is accomplished through the various coalitions AAVMC has joined or re-joined this year. These include Animal Agriculture Coalition (formerly Forum for Animal Agriculture); Animal Health Network (led by Animal Health Institute); Food Chain Coalition (led by the National Food Processors Association and the American Farm Bureau); Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research Funding; National Association of Biomedical Research; Georgetown University for Food and Nutrition Policy; International Food Information Center; Federation of Associations of Schools for the Health Professions; American Society of Animal Science; Food and Drug Law Institute, University of Southern California Regulatory Affairs Center; Agricultural Research Institute; Toxicology Forum; FDA Food Advisory Committee.
3. Maintain a presence in Washington and inform and assist deans with Washington business of AAVMC as well as individual agendas. Seventeen deans have actually visited AAVMC offices on business this fiscal year. Staff is required to return all phone calls, letters, faxes and e-mails on a same day basis. Staff also offers, in every case, to accompany deans on their Washington business calls.
4. Identify and use other appropriate constituents to influence public and/or legislative and executive processes. This is done at the Washington level through the aforementioned coalitions. At the state and regional levels, it is done in concert with the AAVMC Institutional Contacts. This has most often involved other university officials but has also involved the medical and agricultural communities.
5. The Executive Director, Executive Committee and Strategic Planning Committee will identify specific issues of interest to academic veterinary medicine. These issues will require coordination with other organizations such as the AVMA, Board on Veterinary Medicine (NASULGC) and other affiliates. This exercise was accomplished at the Hartsfield II Conference (Jan, 1994) and will be during the Critical Issues II Conference (Dec, 1994). In addition, we have continually worked with members of the Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions on the passage of the Senate version of the Disadvantaged Minority Health Improvement Act of 1994. We have cooperated with the AVMA, NASULGC and FASHP on FY 95 Appropriations; specifically research and education dollars. Finally, work has been ongoing with NASULGC and the Animal Agriculture Coalition on specific requests and ideas that would benefit veterinary medical education in the 1995 Farm Bill.
6. Develop educational brochures on the value of veterinary medicine to the various publics. This activity took the form of the production of the videotape "Veterinary Medicine and Human Health" which was released in Jan 1994 and was well-received. In addition, action alerts have been developed and sent to every member of Congress, describing veterinary medicine's role to human and animal health. Completion of the Research Priorities document for 1994 was also completed in conjunction with the AVMA Council on Research.
AIM III: Build Support for AAVMC Programs within AVMA, NASULGC, State Associations and Allied Organizations
1. Form a close working liaison with the AVMA and Board on Veterinary Medicine.
a. Improve relationships with AVMA and state veterinary medical associations. The most effective vehicle for this membership is in the AVMA House of Delegates. The appropriate preparatory steps are being made and admission is expected in July, 1995. This should provide more of a constructive relationship with the entire AVMA apparatus, especially the state veterinary medical associations.
b. Nominate AAVMC members to AVMA committee appointments and work through AAVMC to obtain recommendations from academic veterinary medicine for such appointments. This was not done in a coordinated fashion. University faculty participated as candidates in 5 of the 8 elections in which they were eligible; two of the 5 elections were won by university representatives. Of the 3 elections in which candidates from universities lost, 2 had only 2 university representative for each election, whereas private practice was represented by 3 and 4 candidates per election. In the other election lost by a university representative, it took 3 ballots to declare a winner. Five of 11 Council candidates were unopposed. Clearly, coordination is indicated.
c. Establish liaison with AVMA staff. This is slowly developing. The distance between Chicago and Washington compounds the difficulty. The Government Relations Division in Washington is, understandably a single-issue organization (Extra-Label Use). Productive relationships are developing between Scientific Affairs and Membership and Field Services.
2. Assign Deans to serve as liaisons with organizations having related interests. Deans have been assigned (by the President) to the AVMA Council on Education and the Educational Commission on Foreign Veterinary Graduates (actually a faculty member). Deans and/or their designees, department heads and others have been nominated to a number of advisory committees at USDA, DHHS and other areas.
3. Improve liaison between AAVMC and the Board on Veterinary Medicine and pursue unanimity. This has been successfully accomplished.
4. Coordinate the appointment of members of the Board on Veterinary Medicine and its committees with counterparts in AAVMC and AVMA committees and councils. The Chairman of the Board on Veterinary Medicine and the staff of NASULGC have consistently worked with the AAVMC office to assure the meeting of this goal and therefore the goal has been met. Currently, the Chairman of the Board on Veterinary Medicine serves as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee to ensure that the board's concerns and initiatives are heard.
5. Explore other opportunities for coalition or membership in AAVMC and AVMA committees and councils. Due to an initiative by the president, the departments of comparative medicine and AAVMC have been in consultation over the past year about membership. AAVMC's Institutional Representatives have modified the bylaws to facilitate membership, and solicitations are being sent to the comparative medicine departments. Overtures have likewise been made to the Mexican schools of veterinary medicine; the Executive Committee has directed that a deliberate pace be applied to this initiative.
AIM IV: Enhance Veterinary Medical Education by Sharing Innovative Ideas and Plans with Member Organizations
1. Establish linkages to extend innovations in veterinary medical education through the Curriculum Affairs Committee and by the Executive Director to actively coordinate and facilitate sharing of resources important to veterinary medical education. The Associate Deans for Academic Affairs have been active in this regard. Comprehensive symposia have been held at AVMA and at the AAVMC March meeting. The AAVMC office facilitates and provides support as needed.
AIM V: Make Strategic Planning an Ongoing Process
1. The Strategic Planning Committee will conduct continuous planning and prepare an annually updated plan for approval at each business meeting. The Committee has required quarterly reports from the Executive Director and has continually monitored the progress of the Strategic Plan in that and in other ways. The Committee also has reported on a regular basis to the Executive Committee.
2. The Strategic Plan will be implemented by the Executive Committee and the Executive Director. Because of the oversight of the Strategic Planning Committee, the Strategic Plan has been the principal focus of the Executive Committee and the Executive Director in carrying out their respective duties.
3. The Executive Committee will develop a system to assess accomplishments, deficiencies and approaches to emerging issues. This is currently being done on an informal basis.
AIM VI: Identify Funding Sources
1. The Executive Director will facilitate establishment of consortia to compete for available funding in targeted areas such as international programs, human and animal health and health of the ecosystem. There have been some preliminary discussions but there are no successes to report in this area. Maintenance of some pre-existing consortia has required some AAVMC resources.
2. The association office will review RFPs in targeted areas such as student scholarships, international programs and special project grants using a database developed by the AAVMC and member organizations. Notification of these programs has been through the bi-weekly dean's packet which contains basically these items. This mailing is intended to satisfy this aim. Alerts to these and related categories of funding sources are accomplished via e-mail.
Changes to the AAVMC Bylaws in 1994
The following items summarize the bylaws changes that received final approval either during the March or July 1994 AAVMC meetings.
- In order to cause less confusion and to be less cumbersome, the Executive Committee can now suggest changes in the dues structure to the Assembly during a regular meeting, at which time they can approve or disprove the recommendation by a two-thirds vote of the members present. It is no longer required that a first and second reading of the recommendation occur before final approval.
- In order for AAVMC to function more effectively and efficiently, a Strategic Planning Committee has been formed, and the Long Range Planning Ways and Means Committee and the Resource Initiative Committee has been abolished The committee will be composed of no fewer than 2 deans, 1 department head, chairpersons for the AAVMC standing committees with the exceptions of the Program and Nominations committee, and any other member that may be appointed by the Executive Committee.
- Based on the assumption that AAVMC will be expanding its membership to include Departments of Comparative Medicine, final approval was also given for a change in composition of the Executive Committee. The committee will now be made up of a president, president-elect, past-president, secretary, and 4 members representing each class of membership: The comparative medical departments, the schools and colleges; the departments of veterinary science, and the Canadian schools. The 4 members-at-large will be voted on by all institutional representatives, rather than each individual class.
- Additionally, there was a minor bylaws change made by renaming the Minority Affairs Committee, the Multicultural Affairs Committee.