Dean’s message: June 2024

Dori outside the College in October 2023.

Summer is finally here! Honestly, it took its own sweet time. The halls, parking lots and classrooms are all so quiet, crazy quiet. I feel heartened knowing many of our students are off for the summer, but also that others, faculty and staff, are slipping away for long weekends and even longer holidays. But there are areas where quiet is not at all the right word.

Summer is the time of construction in the Palouse and campus is no exception. Spring was spent planning for robust renovations of Bustad Hall. Our old DVM lab spaces that host pathology, bacteriology, toxicology (and many more) as well as an old computer lab are being transformed into new, more modern, modular spaces that will host DVM labs and many of our undergraduate labs, like molecular biology. There will be a new intermingling of our veterinary and undergraduate students. Other areas of Bustad Hall that used to host our Washington State Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab (WADDL) are being fully renovated for simulation-based education, communication labs and small group teaching spaces.

And Bustad Hall is not the only building getting transformed. The former animal health library in Wegner Hall is in the preplanning design phase for a student success center thanks to a very generous gift from college friends Rick and Kandy Holley.

This space has great light and will host small meeting rooms for student clubs and alumni events, a lactation/prayer space, group study space, individual study space and a break area. Finally, a first-floor space in our Biotech and Life Sciences building is getting some new “furniture solutions” (I have been immersed in facilities speak these past few months!) to make a collaborative home for our undergraduate advisors, coordinators and staff engaged in recruitment and outreach. This big lift is to try and do all we can before students “find their way back home” to us in August.

So, I will tell you just a bit about the new students coming our way. Our DVM admissions team has admitted 142 new students to the class of 2028. They mostly hail from Washington, Montana, Idaho and Utah — but we welcome students from all over. We received more applications than ever before: 2,410. It doesn’t take high level math to see that being admitted to veterinary school is still highly competitive. The average age of our incoming students is 23 and they have high academic marks (average overall GPA is 3.77). Women comprise 83% of the entering class (and, I get this question often, this mirrors our applicant pool where 84% are women). WSU is a bit unusual in that 43% of our students state an interest in mixed animal practice upon entry to vet school. We attract students who don’t want a species focused (tracked) curriculum. The remaining students state an interest primarily in small animal medicine (30%) and the rest include agricultural animal, wildlife, equine, shelter medicine and more. Students that are underrepresented minorities in veterinary medicine make up about 27% of our incoming class.

I hope you all find time to enjoy the summer and I look forward to seeing you in October for our 125th anniversary celebration.