SLU news

Christmas greetings from the deans of the VH faculty

Published: 18 December 2018
Greetings from Dean Kristina Dahlborn
Kristina Dahlborn, Professor at the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry, and Dean at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicin and Animal Science

Three years pass quickly and it's now 2 weeks left of my time as dean. It has been both fun and exciting to lead the VH faculty. Thanks to all you loyal and talented employees out there, your dean rarely need to worry. What you should worry about, however, are decisions by the vice-chancellor or the Board that can throw off the strategic plans taken at the faculty level.

What have we achieved during these 3 years?

Two new areas have been established, "Meat Science" and "Bioinformatics", with a professorship in each. Two cross-faculty platforms - "Future Animal, Nature and Health" and "SLU Aquaculture" - have been started, where VH has the main responsibility. We have built SLU Götala to a modern facility for beef and lamb production. Both Röbäcksdalen and Lövsta have had their rent reduced. We have accredited our veterinary program and we have doubled the number of animal nursing students. We are close to writing a new and better agreement with UDS. We have reached the 100 million mark in Fundraising revenues and the entire faculty's finances are balanced. THANKS TO YOU, DEAR EMPLOYEES! For the first time in several years, we are now becoming more VH:ers!

It will be exciting with both new faculty management and new vice-chancellor and I now leave warmly hand over the responsibility of our faculty to Rauni, her faculty board and group of deans!

 

Greetings from Deputy Dean Henrik Rönnberg
Henrik Rönnberg, Professor at the Department of Clinical Sciences and Deputy Dean at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science

 

 

Happy End and Good Beginning!

Last Deputy Dean letter. Melancholy? No I do not think so. I am thinking about all that has happened during these three years and how much is going on in the future! I went in with other (little naive and inexperienced) expectations than when I now finish this assignment. I have learned a lot about how the university is managed and staffed. Like it or not, it's a prerequisite for getting the right things done. I have also had the privilege of meeting significantly more competent employees than if I "just" had stayed at my own institution and specialized. The wonderful width and enthusiasm available at our faculty is a guarantee that VH will prevail for long! The strength lies in the skills and in the critical mass. Both of these parameters have (at last) increased to a minimum level I think. We have every chance of combining our amazing infrastructures with even more skills and students to increase our production of good research and well-educated graduates in our societal important sectors! However, in some specific programs, there is now a need in terms of space and without addition to both the premises and the teaching staff, it will not be good for anyone. It feels like we have a good dialogue with the SLU management about this and of course we will continue to ensure that we get good solutions in the big project that the "double the students vision" means.

Personally, I am very pleased about how U-Share has developed. We have a good group and there is a lot to gain from working closer to the UU in medicine and biochemistry. The exciting project of letting a PostDoc from us be 2 years in MedFarm and a corresponding product with us is a clear result of the work in U-Share. Here, a VD-student at VH gets the opportunity to do a PostDoc at another university (world class) without having to move! Very good for many reasons. In addition, competition is not likely to be as great as the application of e.g. VR. In addition, we have an opportunity to connect with new networks at UU both from the PostDoc we "get" and the one we "lend". More find out what we are here (also) and new sustainable research projects will surely be the result of this!

Talking about VR - we have a desperately demanding project in the process where we, together with UU, SVA and KI, will create a research center for large animal models that also involves spontaneous disease models in sports and pet animals at the UDS and also clinical cases on dental medicine. The work name is SWECCLIM Swedish experimental clinical center for large-animal innovative models. I am in a hurry on my way to Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gbg to see how they also may be involved.

During the Faculty Day, it became clear that we will be part of the competence center proposal sent to VINNOVA with the aim of antibiotic resistance (AMR). It is the UAC - Uppsala Antibiotic Center which will be the main partner and we have been there for a long time. AMR is a fate for humanity (and animal welfare) and here we have a very strong presence in VH both nationally and internationally! Sweden and SLU can make a difference here and from VH we are of course happy to receive support from SLU's highest management in this match!

The other day, the fine diploma came from EAEVE, which states that our veterinary program is accredited for the next 7 years! In this process, the relationship with UDS is particularly important. Work on a new agreement has taken a big step through Karin Östensson's work and the project will continue next year. I look forward to getting an even better relationship with UDS and that we can maximize the utilization of this amazing infrastructure while at the same time having the benefit of interacting with the great skills available there in the best possible way!

Yes, as you understand, nothing ended now, just because a new team will step in next year in the VH leadership! Welcome Rauni and Maggan! The university has at least 2000 years of history and so we continue next year to make VH / SLU smarter, better and (at least) as fun to work at!

 

Greetings from Vice Dean Anne-Marie Dalin
Anne-Marie Dalin, Professor at the Department of Clinical Sciences and Vice Dean responsible for education at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science

After nine years as Vice Dean for undergraduate education, I will next year hand over the assignment to a successor. When I look back, much has happened at VH since 2010. The most important events have been the opening of Lövsta's livestock research facilities in 2012, the relocation of education programmes from Skara to Uppsala in 2013, the moving into VHC in 2014, a new TU-vet programme 2016 and a doubling of the number of veterinary nurse students since 2014.

What has happened during the last three years? The veterinary nurse education is from 2018 a three year programme leading to a professional qualification and no longer to a general bachelor. We have new syllabi (education plans) for the animal science agronomist (from 2016) and veterinary programmes (from 2017). For the veterinary curriculum, there is still work to do on the course design for the clinical years. Much time has been spent on evaluations of programmes; Quality Assurance of the Master of Animal Science (2017), Animal Science agronomist (2018) and the international ESEVT (European System for Evaluation of Veterinary System for Evaluation of Veterinary Training) evaluation of the veterinary programme (2017-2018). The 22 November or veterinary education was “Accredited” - Thanks to everyone who has worked hard to reached that important goal!

The most important things now going on in education are SLU's vision to double the number of students over a ten year period, and the proposed shift of the five-year professional programmes to follow the Bologna model in full, ie the professional programmes are replaced by s 3 + 2 years curriculum, but still with the opportunity to acquire a professional qualification. For VH, this concerns the animal science agronomist programme. There will be many referral questions to address during the beginning of 2019. The current Faculty Board of Education remains until 31 March and I will be the Chairperson until then. Within SLU, central focus is now much more on student recruitment efforts than before. On March 6, for example, it will be "open house" at Ultuna for a large number of upper secondary school students. At VH, the "#Pluggadjur” campaign is now running, and students will be able to visit their home schools to inform about our programmes. The focus will be on the animal science programmes that have low search pressure, but all programmes need a broader recruitment.

Being a Vice Dean for undergraduate education means a lot of work, many meetings and sometimes "pragmatic " urgent solutions. I have always experienced good support from the faculty office and faculty employees, the students not to forget! I want to thank all who in various ways are involved in VH's education for the great work you are doing for us to maintain and develop a high quality. I hope you will all have a relaxing couple of days over Christmas - and New Year holidays – something you really deserve!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Anne-Marie

 

Greeting from Vice Dean Margareta Emanuelson
Margareta Emanuelson, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Animal Nutrition and Management and Vice Dean responsible for collaboration within the field of farm animals at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science

 

Much of the work done in the autumn, related to our collaborative work, has been done in cooperation with colleagues from all over SLU, which feels logical. One of the objectives is to develop the internal forms of cooperation. A project group has focused on creating an efficient organization that will lead to better internal collaboration. The final report will be submitted to Erik Fahlbeck on 20 December. I have been VH's representative in the project group, supported by Bodil Ström-Holst. An important part of the collaboration is to have a good knowledge of what is going on throughout the SLU. We think that some kind of database is required. We have looked at Chalmers' collaboration portal: research.chalmers.se and have been so inspired that SLU, most probably, will carry out a preliminary study in 2019. Chalmers' database will be a model.

A first proposal for a merit portfolio has been developed and a handful of the external collaboration specialists (samverkanslektorerna) have now tested to write their merit portfolio in accordance with the instructions. The "merit portfolio group" has also visited some faculty appointment boards (including VH's) and obtained their views on how they feel about handling the merit "Collaboration". The response from the boards are that they feel slightly unsure how to handle collaboration. But, to get full acceptance among the faculty members, we need a tool for measuring and evaluating collaboration. It seems like we are on our way.

The Guidelines for the external collaboration specialists are largely completed. What's new in the latest writing is that the collaborative assignments should be anchored at the Vice-Chancellor level, probably in the so-called Cooperation Council, SR. Strategies for which areas to be prioritized will also be developed during next spring of 2019.

VH will invest resources in 2019-2020 to enable three VH researchers to spend some time concentrating on economics and entrepreneurship. The aim is for VH to get more of these aspects into research projects and undergraduate education. The three researchers shall work closely with the Center for Corporate Governance, KCF.

SLU has been awarded the responsibility for coordinating a large, four-year SLF-Arla project, sustainable dairy production and consumption. Three out of five sub-projects are led by SLU researchers. Ola Thomsson has been appointed as the coordinator of the project.

The "collaboration checks" will resume from January 2019.

Happy Christmas to you all from Margareta

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Contact

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, SLU
dekan.vh@slu.se +46(0)18-67 10 00

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