Veterinary Science and Microbiology 2021 Strategic Plan
The primary mission of the Department of Veterinary Science and Microbiology is to function as the center for discovery, application, and dissemination of knowledge in the veterinary and microbiological sciences, for the college, university, state, and region. Irrevocably tied to this is education through high quality baccalaureate and graduate (MS and PhD) degree programs and training of research scientists. Equally important is the delivery of veterinary diagnostic and extension services. The research, education, service, and extension activities of the department respond to state, national, and global needs, focusing upon opportunities in human and animal health and food safety.
A radically different paradigm of organization is envisioned by 2021. This could include the merger of several departments within CALS into a School (name to be determined later) as well as the creation of a Professional Veterinary Degree Program that would permit students to complete a DVM degree within 5 years of enrollment into the University of Arizona as a freshman. High quality baccalaureate and graduate degree programs will still be an integral component of this new structuring along with pathways that will provide students with more opportunities for career options.
In order to fulfill our vision and purpose, departments aligned with our interests, such as Animal Sciences and possibly Nutritional Sciences, will have to develop a plan for reorganization that will preserve individual unit's majors and interests while at the same time taking advantage of shared interests to enhance the vision of a "One Health." A School with subdivisions would best serve this purpose. Because this endeavor is likely to involve departments currently housed in outdated buildings, priority must be given to updating facilities, where appropriate. Additional faculty will have to be recruited to complement and complete this mission, especially if a Professional Veterinary Degree Program is developed.
Our greatest asset as a department and with those we most closely align is our shared interest and values in promoting health in animals and humans, a "One Health" concept. This concept is applied across the teaching, research and service components of our undergraduate, graduate and service programs. These values also are shared by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.