2016-2020 Strategic Plan

Our plans to advance veterinary science and meet the anticipated needs of society build upon our history of innovation.

[Illinois veterinary students prepare a dog for a spay procedure]

Our Mission

We educate future veterinarians and biomedical scientists, make discoveries that improve animal, human, and environmental health, facilitate production of a safe food supply, and deliver outstanding clinical care.

Our Vision

We will be a pre-eminent public college of veterinary medicine, provide a transformative educational experience for our students, create and communicate knowledge that changes the world, deliver outstanding clinical service to our patients and clients, and pursue excellence in all our endeavors.

College of Veterinary Medicine Goals

The college strategic plan is closely aligned with the campus strategic plan. As part of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, our college aspires to be a pre-eminent veterinary college at a public research university with a land-grant mission and global impact. Our college, like our campus, focuses efforts using the framework of these four fundamental goals.

  • Expand and support nationally recognized research programs

    a. Increase the number of faculty with a strong focus on research and the impact of their discovery efforts

    • Hire outstanding and creative scientists who can contribute to the college’s research efforts by competing at the highest levels for grant support and by attracting talented graduate students

    • Use new hires as an opportunity to leverage current areas of research excellence and increase our competitiveness for large funding opportunities, including center and training grants

    • Contribute to the University’s interdisciplinary research initiatives by hiring faculty members in areas of strength that align with campus priorities

    • Create a unified basic sciences department that fosters research excellence

    • Hire an internationally recognized basic science department head who has an active, well-funded research program

    b. Provide incentives for building research programs that are competitive for large external grants

    • Provide college-level funding for stipends and tuition support for meritorious PhD students

    • Provide seed funds for meritorious investigator-initiated projects that are likely to attract significant extramural support

    c. Provide infrastructure to support research excellence

    • Provide sufficient resources to facilitate the conduct of clinical research trials

    • Support scholarly activity in clinical and diagnostic service units, especially discovery efforts that are aligned with areas of campus research strength

    • Provide assistance with grant writing and compliance activities for extramural applications

    • Provide financial support for research projects that promote collaboration between basic and clinical science departments within the college

    d. Promote college research capabilities at the university and national levels

    • Develop promotional materials that communicate our research capabilities and distribute them to key constituencies that are positioned to disseminate this information locally and nationally

    • Ensure that college fundraising campaign goals include support for research assistantships and projects


    • Number of faculty with a strong focus on research
    • Number and dollar amount of submitted grant applications
    • Sponsored research expenditures
    • Number of active grants, patent applications, and center or training grant applications
    • Number of PhD and MS thesis students and degrees awarded
    • Funds raised by the Office of Advancement to support discovery

    [Dr. Sanitago Gutierrez and horse]

    [Research Day poster]

    [Jing Yang]

  • Provide transformative veterinary and biomedical educational experiences in a vibrant and diverse learning community

    a. Foster student engagement and promote creativity in learners by nurturing efficiency, innovation, collaboration, and scholarship in educational practices

    • Establish a learning strategy support team to help faculty and staff develop, apply, share and evaluate learning strategies efficiently and effectively

    • Ensure faculty oversight and input on resource management of teaching and learning activities

    • Invest in resources (personnel, training, technology and infrastructure) that enable delivery of a learner-centered, state of-the-art curriculum

    • Optimize fiscal transparency in teaching and learning activities

    • Implement robust, efficient processes to review, update, and integrate course content; promote faculty ownership of team taught courses; optimize alignment of teaching, feedback, and assessment methods with desired learning outcomes; and evaluate success and satisfaction of stakeholders

    • Showcase instructional methods and achievements and link faculty/staff rewards and promotions to instructional effort and quality

    b. Enhance the recognized value of earning a qualification from the college by creating distinctive Illinois programs

    • Identify and promote current areas of Illinois educational reputation, and expand the scope of learning offerings that lead to distinctive qualifications for students and alumni, including certificate and master’s degree programs

    • Foster collaborations with other colleges on campus and explore the potential for combined DVM degrees and shared faculty/staff hires

    • Explore the development of fast-track preveterinary degree programs designed to attract high-achieving students and address increasing DVM student debt

    • Identify mechanisms for increasing the accessibility of veterinary education at Illinois to under-represented learner populations

    c. Increase the teaching and learning portfolio of the college

    • Establish pre-eminence as a source for online veterinary education, including delivering postgraduate certificates (with discounts for alumni), and open online courses, targeting veterinary and non-veterinary audiences, such as wildlife/zoo/conservation medicine, animal rescue, veterinary public health, imaging, population medicine, clinical pathology, and infectious disease epidemiology

    • Explore partnerships with other campus units to develop new markets for college face-to-face and online learning activities (e.g., joint undergraduate veterinary/medical bioscience program, a professional master’s program)

    • Explore partnering in a World Organization for Animal Health twinning program with a suitable international college/school/faculty of veterinary medicine


    • Student:Faculty ratio in DVM and graduate programs
    • Number of faculty receiving awards for teaching excellence
    • Number of educational research publications
    • Number of faculty engaged in active learning, course development, and improving student assessment
    • Cost of delivering the DVM curriculum per graduate veterinarian
    • Faculty use of college’s learning support team
    • Number of DVM applications as a percentage of the national applicant pool, number of extra-mural student applications
    • North American Veterinary Licensing Examination passing percentage; percentage of enrolled students that graduate
    • 6-month employment rate for DVM and PhD/MS graduates

    [students in surgery rounds room]

    [beating heart app]


  • Provide excellent comprehensive veterinary medical and diagnostic services, public engagement and outreach, and continuing education programming at the state, national, and international levels

    a. Deliver outstanding clinical and diagnostic service

    • Recruit, mentor, and promote exceptional personnel committed to providing outstanding service in core veterinary specialties and ancillary services while highlighting current areas of strength

    • Support and expand state-of-the-art veterinary and diagnostic services

    b. Position the college as a premier source for veterinary medical education opportunities for veterinarians, animal owners, and the public

    • Expand the Executive Veterinary Program (EVP) offerings and introduce programs in key food-producing areas of the world

    • Develop signature stand-alone continuing education programs that highlight faculty and staff expertise and college initiatives

    • Enhance referral relationships through educational programming and events for referring veterinarians using the college’s clinical and diagnostic services

    • Develop educational opportunities for animal owners and other community constituencies on animal health and zoonotic diseases

    c. Develop integrated engagement and outreach programs

    • Offer events and programs to engage alumni, volunteers, and other stakeholders

    • Provide students with opportunities to interact with alumni and non-alumni veterinarians

    • Create comprehensive marketing plans for clinical and diagnostic services and college programs

    d. Explore establishing a center of excellence to facilitate integrative and innovative cross-discipline programing in wildlife medicine, ecosystem health, public health, livestock-based food production, and food safety

    • Identify possible locations for a cross-disciplinary training and education center and a clinical care facility for wildlife patients

    • Enhance existing, and create new, departmental shared courses and discovery outreach programs, including an integrated disease-monitoring system, to increase our impact on emerging diseases, livestock production medicine, and public health issues

    • Optimize training of students, community engagement, and education in wildlife medicine and ecosystem health

    • Strengthen the college’s Center for One Health Illinois by expanding its role in relevant teaching, research, and engagement activities across the college, in related initiatives across the university, and in public health agencies and human health institutions across the state

    • Develop a programmatic outreach to the Illinois and national livestock industry in ways that enhance the teaching, research, and economic development missions of the college


    • Caseload at the hospital, diagnostic laboratory, and Chicago clinics (total numbers and rate of growth)
    • Funds reinvested into clinical and diagnostic programs
    • Satisfaction measurement indices for clients, referring veterinarians, and program participants
    • Number of college events and total number of participants
    • Number of cash gifts and new donors

    [Dr. Tisha Harper in surgery]


    [Open House reptile exhibit]

    [Dr. Jen Langan with dolphin]

  • Promote a supportive, respectful, and productive working and learning environment

    a. Remain committed to a culture of inclusiveness, collegiality, professionalism, and service

    • Ensure open communication and transparency in organizational governance

    • Enhance and standardize mentoring and transparency around tenure and promotion

    b. Serve as good stewards of the college’s assets and resources, particularly personnel, who represent our most valuable resource

    • Align faculty and staff resources to best achieve the missions of the college

    • Mentor and reward faculty and staff by providing appropriate opportunities to ensure a fulfilling and rewarding professional career at the University of Illinois

    • Develop a long-range facilities plan to support the goals of the college

    • Develop a college-wide fundraising plan, in conjunction with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement, that is in alignment with college strategic plan goals

    • Develop a diversity plan that includes active recruitment strategies, outreach plans, and a funding component

    • Enhance collaboration with corporate entities

      • Expand and promote the capabilities for conducting clinical trials in Urbana-Champaign and Chicago
      • Engage corporate representatives and partner with industry to perform research and scholarship
      • Secure corporate support for residency programs

    c. Enhance the reputation and standing of the college

    • Develop a comprehensive college-wide marketing and communications plan to support college strategic goals and improve national rankings

    • Facilitate and promote faculty activities that elevate the reputation of the college nationally and internationally

    Stewardship Metrics

    • Number of faculty and staff in all units
    • Number/percentage of students, faculty, and staff from under-represented groups
    • Number of visits to college website homepage and key subpages
    • National rankings
    • Results of periodic internal climate surveys
    • Number of donors and value of annual donations
    • Number of invitations to present at international meetings and number of hours of lecture at international meetings
    • Number of faculty serving on editorial boards of peer-reviewed journals

    [Kris Engelking and Bryan Jones]

    [student and dean with cow]

Read the full strategic plan (as pdf)