The Michigan State University Board of Trustees approved $10.6 million in renovations at the Veterinary Medical Center, primarily to replace heating, ventilation and air conditioning units installed in 1965. The improvements will bring the teaching hospital building up to 21st century standards, greatly enhancing the health, safety and educational experience for students, faculty, staff and veterinary clients.
The MSU College of Veterinary Medicine is ranked No. 1 among the six colleges of veterinary medicine in the Big Ten. It is ranked No. 8 in the world and No. 3 among the 30 veterinary schools in the country.
The college’s commitment to animal, human and public health isn’t seen only in the treatment room, but in MSU’s laboratories. As part of the university’s response to the pandemic, University Veterinarian and Director of Campus Animal Resources Claire Hankenson championed a personal protective equipment decontamination process using vaporized hydrogen peroxide that allows MSU to repurpose nearly 15,000 essential materials each day. MSU is the first and still the only public institution to receive authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to use the process to decontaminate N95 masks for health care workers.
Trustees also heard a presentation from Debra Furr-Holden, associate dean for public health integration in the College of Human Medicine, about the university’s public health program in Flint. Furr-Holden specializes in researching racial disparities in health care. Earlier this year, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appointed her to the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities.
“This is our fourth Board of Trustees meeting in a virtual format to complete important and necessary university business despite the challenges created by the pandemic,” said MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. “I’m proud of how they are maintaining the scholarly momentum of the university, our service to our communities and the academic progress of our students.
Other board activity included:
- Approval of Jabbar R. Bennett as vice president and chief diversity officer.
- Approval of Fiscal Year 2022 Five-Year Capital Outlay Plan.
- Acceptance of annual financial statements and contract terms.
The next board meeting will be Dec. 18.