Strategic Plan

Guiding Principles

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Student-Centered Experience

We recognize that the student journey from capable student to skilled professional is central in our curricular and co-curricular environments.  Academic, professional, and personal success of our students defines our success as a school of veterinary medicine.

Collaborative & Compassionate Community

We are a community that values input from all team members, ensuring we live our values of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  We will support each other and celebrate our successes.  We communicate our commitment to these values in a transparent manner, while at the same time recognizing there are opportunities for growth and always working to do better. 

Pioneering & Innovative Environment

We value and recognize our role in pioneering discoveries which advance animal and human health and wellbeing and sustain the environment we share.  We are committed to innovative and adaptive approaches to educating clinicians and scientists to serve the ongoing needs of our global society.

Ethical & Professional Culture

Ethical conduct and respectful communication are fundamental and crucial aspects of all SVM programs.  We strive to promote and sustain a culture of integrity, accountability, and mutual respect with shared goals for success of the hospital, the school, the university, and the veterinary profession.

Local & Global Impact

At our core we proudly embody the Wisconsin Idea – improving people’s lives through research, teaching, clinical service, and outreach. We not only serve the citizens of Wisconsin; our impact on the world is broad as we advance transformative discoveries with translational health benefits and train the next generation of clinicians and scientists. We strive to inspire diverse populations to pursue veterinary medicine as their career and support their success.

Strategic Priorities (2021-2025)

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Leading Educational Excellence

Goal Area 1:

Innovate the SVM curriculum and lifelong learning offerings to implement an adaptable, relevant, evidence-informed, and competency-based educational program to develop current and future veterinarians

  • Launch PREPARE graduates taskforce with representation from faculty, staff, and external stakeholders (alumni and organized veterinary medicine)
  • Explore educational research and scholarship and make recommendations for curricular framework
  • Examine current curriculum by utilizing results of the Holistic Curriculum Review Committee, formal and informal meetings with faculty and instructional staff, and current curriculum map, to identify best practices for teaching and learning
  • Create and share out the structure for the revised curriculum based on recommendations from PREPARE graduates taskforce
  • Perform course development and concurrent mapping focused on learning outcomes, assessment practices, instructional methods, and content, with revised curriculum beginning in fall 2023
  • Monitor and evaluate revised curriculum to ensure it is meeting stated goals (continuous quality improvement process) including outcomes assessment of any changes to the curriculum

Goal Area 2:

Identify and utilize educational scholarship and best practices in teaching and learning

  • Provide resources and financial support for professional development, conferences, and additional training, e.g., Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE), Association of American Veterinary Colleges (AAVMC), and other books/resources
  • Promote ongoing educational and assessment support for faculty and instructional staff, on campus (UW Teaching Academy, Delta) and SVM expertise (Dr. Lygo-Baker, etc.)
  • Follow a scholarly approach to teaching and actively communicate this throughout the SVM and beyond; recognize innovative teaching methods within the school, and disseminate these ideas throughout the school and beyond through publishing
  • Ensure a robust cadre of faculty, instructors, and support staff to coordinate, implement and sustain best practices (hire and retain)
  • Utilize best practices for the ethical use of animals in teaching
  • Reward teaching excellence, facilitate faculty promotion and appointment with teaching as an area of excellence and use of the ‘teaching professor’ title

Goal Area 3:

Focus on needs of current, past, and future students/professionals

  • Expand student clinical training experiences within the new and renovated University of Wisconsin Veterinary Care (UWVC) throughout the DVM curriculum
  • Model and institutionalize lifelong learning to provide competent and confident workforce to enhance animal, human, and environmental health

Cutting-Edge Research & Scholarship

Goal Area 1:

Grow SVM’s enterprise in basic, clinical, and translational research and expand its local and global impact to include enhancing research support infrastructure—people, services, and space

  • Provide comprehensive project lifecycle administrative support for faculty/staff-initiated research programs
  • Encourage expanded clinical and translational research
  • Increase internal funding available for clinical research and pilot investigation
  • Offer training to principal investigators, including junior faculty, regarding professional development opportunities, grant writing, and research administration policies, procedures, and processes
  • Identify professional development opportunities for junior clinical and tenure track faculty

Goal Area 2:

Recruit and retain highly productive and qualified faculty

  • Recruit faculty with exceptional research potential, including those in clinical departments, to compete at highest levels for funding and publication
  • Provide competitive retention packages and access to essential, shared services to retain outstanding faculty and staff
  • Evaluate shared equipment needs and manage their use with clearly defined financial support, maintenance, and operational strategies
  • Identify and prepare for future faculty needs in areas of high demand and minimal applicant availability, including “grow your own” strategies

Goal Area 3:

Support, train, mentor, and inspire the next generation of researchers (undergraduate, DVM, DVM/PhD, and graduate students, post-doctoral trainees, and junior faculty)

  • Attract and support outstanding and diverse graduate and post-graduate trainees
  • Maintain and expand training support through federal grants, non-profit foundation support and gift funds
  • Increase awareness of, and engagement with, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education and the Office of Postdoctoral Studies
  • Expand DVM/PhD program via strategic funding opportunities and gifts

Goal Area 4:

Support partnerships and strategic relationships with industry and other stakeholders

  • Increase engagement with campus Office of Business Engagement, WARF, and WID
  • Engage friends of the school, including industry partners, alumni and Board of Visitors members, to identify partnership opportunities
  • Stimulate and facilitate faculty research collaborations
  • Work with campus leadership to streamline processes for industry collaborations via agreement terms and conditions templates for clinical trials and clinical collaborations
  • Promote entrepreneurship and encourage SVM spin-off startups

Delivering Outstanding Animal Care

Goal Area 1:

Improve access to care

  • Address bottlenecks to workflow including personnel and structures to help increase caseload and improve patient care
  • Build connections with veterinary technician schools and colleges to develop a pipeline of qualified staff
  • Improve community access to primary care by expanding the Primary Care service and the Wisconsin Companion Animal Resources, Education and Social Services (WisCARES) programs:
    • Increase clinical and support staff in Primary Care to support a higher and expanded caseload; increase student exposure to this important educational service and reduce wait time to receive care
    • Increase clinical and support staff in WisCARES, both veterinary medical and social work, pharmacy and nursing staffing and increase veterinary medical and interprofessional student involvement to more overtly improve health care literacy and cultural humility in student education
    • Identify funding sources to support access to advanced care at UWVC, and for WisCARES and other clients with limited financial resources
  • Improve student education to be more communicative, collaborative, and relationship-focused with clients, rDVMs, clinicians, staff, and fellow students

Goal Area 2:

Further develop a positive and equitable environment within the hospital for clinicians, students, staff, and clients (animal owner and rDVM)

  • Enhance transparency of decision-making by engaging appropriate stakeholders
  • Support stronger communication skills by broadening awareness and understanding of the value of intentional use of communication skills to build professional relationships with clients and with colleagues. Provide resources and training on clinical communication skills for faculty, staff, and students.

Goal Area 3:

Promote mental health and wellness within UW Veterinary Care

  • Expand pool of non-medical support for clients and employees – continued development of veterinary social work support through collaboration with the School of Social Work and other mental health care providers

Goal Area 4:

Expand and improve hospital infrastructure, including state-of-the-art diagnostics and therapeutics

  • Support the generation of new knowledge to advance animal care and inform human healthcare
  • Promote new and better diagnostic, preventive and treatment options for animals, including a preemptive strategic approach to maintain and update high quality equipment
  • Support professional development of faculty and staff to help design and promote new therapeutics and diagnostics
  • Identify financial resources (program revenue, foundation, governmental, etc.) to more sustainably support these tools

Goal Area 5:

Optimize both client and staff/student experience (including rDVMs)

  • Improve student primary care education
  • Enhance collaborative relationships with rDVMs
  • Expand hands-on training opportunities for students

Goal Area 6:

Enhance outreach to improve animal care in the state of WI and beyond

  • Partner with key stakeholders, including the Dane Co. Veterinary Assoc., other UW schools, and state organizations, to improve animal care in underserved communities
  • Support the Food Animal Production Medicine team, and help it enhance its collaboration with campus and state agricultural industries
  • Support the Shelter Medicine Program to engage with local and national shelters

Thriving Organization

Goal Area 1:

Increase awareness of the School of Veterinary Medicine with internal and external stakeholders

  • Focus communication strategies to enhance the school’s visibility nationally and internationally
  • Continue to work with faculty, staff, students, clients, friends and alumni of the school to further engage them in our success

Goal Area 2:

Practice ethical and sustainable use of resources (physical, human, animal)

  • Provide mental health and wellness support for faculty, staff, and students
  • Continue focus on minimizing the use of animals required to achieve teaching and research goals
  • Identify innovative ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle physical and energy resources

Goal Area 3:

Increase organizational agility and adaptability to lead and meet new challenges

  • Engage faculty, staff, and students to address current and new challenges and opportunities as they occur through improved communication and collaboration

Goal Area 4:

Plan for integration of SVM expansion with current infrastructure

  • Ensure the FF&E coordination specialist partners closely with relevant staff to understand their needs to minimize service disruptions and best meet their equipment needs
  • Engage other schools of veterinary medicine that have had similar expansion projects to learn best practices to integrate current infrastructure and personnel into expanded operations (e.g. IT, Facilities, Hospital Staff and equipment)
  • Manage and minimize disruptions as the new building and other spaces are constructed and renovated
  • Work with SVM and other campus partners to determine optimal staffing and infrastructure for the opening of the SVM North building. These include but are not limited to hospital staff, FP&M, custodial, teaching resources, and research infrastructure (such as shared and individual equipment and animal facilities)

Goal Area 5:

Build financial stability

  • Continue work with UW-Veterinary Care to enhance its profitability
  • Continue focus on enhancing sources of revenue and stabilize expenditures to strengthen the financial position of the school

Vibrant Community for All

Goal Area 1:

Foster a diverse, equitable and inclusive (DEI) environment

  • Create a DEI-specific strategic plan aligned with the SVM strategic plan that engages constituents
  • Research best practices for a holistic student admissions process and make appropriate changes to the current structure
  • Research best practices for an inclusive and equitable faculty and staff recruitment process and make appropriate changes to the current structure
  • Communicate SVM and UW diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and encourage participation
  • Support the overall process of revising the curriculum with a focus on topics of DEI being infused throughout all four years of the SVM curriculum

Goal Area 2:

Encourage and model wellbeing through support of physical and mental health

  • Provide regular wellness activities for faculty, staff and students
  • Continue provision of annual mental health and first aid trainings
  • Strengthen partnership with the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) and utilize the best practices that are available
  • Encourage SVM leaders within the faculty, staff and student population to model healthy choices

Goal Area 3:

Amplify a collegial and welcoming community among students, faculty, staff and alumni

  • Acknowledge all members of the SVM community for their unique contributions
  • Ensure leaders model behaviors to support a vibrant community
  • Support school wide events, activities and communications that encourage a welcoming environment

Goal Area 4:

Utilize SVM climate survey to identify and address climate concerns or issues

  • Create initiatives based on survey results