June 2010

Joining the fold

This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the Academic Health Center at the University of Minnesota. The anniversary specifically acknowledges the reorganization of the health sciences units on campus into a new administrative structure that combined the schools and colleges of medicine, nursing, public health, pharmacy, and dentistry under the leadership of the newly created office of the Vice President for Health Sciences.

Notice, however, that the College of Veterinary Medicine is not apart of the original grouping?

In the document Health Sciences Mission Statement and Proposed Structure and Governance, approved by the Board of Regents on July 10, 1970, the relationship between the restructured Health Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine is described as close, but separate. The document explains that

“The Regents have authorized a unified organization of the health sciences that will bring together in a single administrative structure programs in medicine, nursing, public health, dentistry, pharmacy, and the University hospitals. Veterinary medicine which has related interests will be joined closely to this administrative unit.”

And continues

“The Regents recognize the multi-lateral relationships in which the College of Veterinary Medicine is involved. The affairs and activities of the College of Veterinary Medicine will be important to the Health Sciences and vice-versa. It is proposed that the Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine carry adjunct status in the Health Sciences to facilitate coordination and cooperation but that the status of the College otherwise remain as it is at present.”

The status of the CVM was a free standing professional graduate program led by a dean who reported to the senior vice president for academic affairs.

This organizational structure differs from the recommendations put forward by the External Committee on Governance of the Health Sciences in 1970 that encouraged the Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine report directly to the Vice President of Health Sciences.

When did the College of Veterinary Medicine officially join the Academic Health Center?

On September 13, 1985, the Board of Regents approved the recommendation of the Education Planning and Policy Committee to change the administrative reporting structure of the College of Veterinary Medicine so that it

“Shall be designated as a unit of the Health Sciences with a line reporting relationship to the Vice President for Health Sciences.”

This year actually marks two anniversaries: First, the 40th anniversary of the Academic Health Center, and second, the 25th anniversary of the full partnership of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Map it: Then & now

Day to day activities tend to undermine an appreciation for institutional history. The memory of what has come before is often lost to the slow, incremental changes that keep moving us forward. It is easy to forget that things have not always been this way, nor have they always looked as they do today.

In an attempt to better visualize the history of the Academic Health Center and the longer history of the health sciences on campus, the map below overlays photographs and documents from the archives onto a modern day map of the campus.

See Medical Hall (now Wulling Hall) in 1901; watch the growth of the University Hospitals from Elliot Memorial in 1912, the additions of Eustis, Todd, and Christian in the late 1920s, and finally the completion of the Mayo Memorial; and view the initial excavation for Unit A (Moos Tower) while reading the remarks given at the groundbreaking ceremony in 1971.

Interact with the map or follow it to a full page version that allows street views to better compare the then and now.

View Academic Health Center History Map in a larger map

The photographs and documents represent a sampling of material from the archives. Additional material will be added in the future. Check back to see the changes.