Ask the dean
In 2013, UF Health welcomed three new deans. In this issue, we talk to the College of Veterinary Medicine’s new dean, Jim Lloyd, D.V.M., about leadership and his plans for the college.
Q. Why did you want to come to UF?
The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine has a very strong reputation across the veterinary medical profession. It’s just an outstanding school with so many diverse aspects, being a part of both UF Health and the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. The new UF Small Animal Hospital is a magnificent facility that has allowed the college to reach new heights in patient care, and it has been exciting to learn more about the wide array of clinical services we provide to the referral community for pets, horses and food animals. In addition, our college has unique strengths in areas such as aquatic animal health, infectious disease research, wildlife and zoological medicine and shelter medicine, just to name a few. I’m looking forward to working with the college’s outstanding faculty, staff and students, as well as other groups such as our alumni and the practicing community, to enhance our core strengths in teaching, research and service.
Q. Describe your early experiences as dean of the college.
It doesn’t matter which leaf I look under or which door I look behind, I’m consistently and pleasantly surprised with the quality of the programs and the people at the college. I don’t think I could have scripted it much better. In spite of the economic roller coaster Florida and the University of Florida have experienced over the last few years, thanks to recent legislative actions, central UF support and prudent leadership under the previous dean, I arrived to find a college that has a solid financial foundation to build upon. That being said, we wouldn’t be here without the many sacrifices and concessions that faculty and others have made. It looks like the college is now on the upswing and I will do my part to keep the positive momentum going.
Q. What kind of leader are you or would you like to be?
I would like to be an engaged leader, an effective listener and an advocate for the college, its students, faculty and staff, and the veterinary medical profession. We need to do a consistent job in sharing the good stories about both the outstanding quality of educational, clinical, research and outreach programs we have here, and the exciting career opportunities that exist in the veterinary medical profession. In advocating, I want to help people understand what goes on here at the college and how we are making a difference in peoples’ lives. At the same time, I want to be effective in garnering continued strong support for the college and its programs from the university and other sources.
Q. What are the plans/priorities you have set for your tenure as dean?
In the short term, I just want to meet and start to build relationships with all of our many stakeholder groups. Long term, as I said earlier, I want to work with the faculty, staff and students, as well as key external groups, to identify the key strategic priorities for the college, and to build plans and programs around those. To me, leadership is about two things: preserving the core and leading change. My job as an effective leader is to identify the things we do well, to continue to do those things, and to effectively build on them as we lead the change that’s inevitable.