Over 50 faculty, staff have left CVM in prior 2 years

CVM Independent News has confirmed that more than 50 faculty and staff members have resigned, retired or been terminated in just the last 2 years, representing an unusually high and unmitigated attrition rate compared to both CVM's previous steady-state as well as compared to other veterinary colleges. As a result, nine core hospital services have shuttered in recent years.

We confirmed these numbers by reviewing a list of departed faculty and staff, and cross-checking their departures via interviews with sources in a position to validate them.

"It's worse than you think," said one insider. "There was sort of a slow burn with people leaving for the past five or six years, but it's gotten way worse the past year or two."

We contacted personnel at other veterinary colleges to ask if they were also experiencing a similar mass exodus of faculty and staff.  None reported anything close to what CVM is experiencing.  In fact, most reported their teams had remained roughly steady during COVID and even grown in the most recent year. Some had hired directly from CVM.

Several dozen faculty, staff, alumni, donors and others have reported to CVM Independent that the primary causes of the retention and recruiting challenges include a toxic work environment, mistrust of Human Resources, poor reputation in the veterinary industry, and other major challenges.

In private meetings with alumni and staff last summer, Dean Carlos Risco acknowledged the toxic workplace at CVM - which he called a "low morale" problem -  and claimed that recruiting was slow because he is unable to find people who wanted to work in Stillwater.  Multiple interviewees have confirmed that Dean Risco, as recently as this summer, continues to maintain that the mass exodus of faculty and staff, combined with an inability to recruit replacements, is due in large part to an apparent dislike of Oklahoma generally across veterinary professionals.

"That's absurd," said a veterinarian who declined Dr. Risco's efforts to recruit her to work at CVM. "I don't care whether I work in Louisiana, Oklahoma or Timbuktu, I just want to work at a great school. I said no because I don't want to work for those people, not because I hate Oklahoma."