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Tulsa: OSU vet students defend program, call Pickens' claims inaccurate

By JACLYN COSGROVE - Correspondent - Tulsa World Modified: February 24, 2009 at 5:34 pm •  Published: February 24, 2009
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OSU veterinary students defended treatment of animals in their care, following criticism of the school’s practices by the wife of oilman T. Boone Pickens.

The OSU veterinary school dean held a meeting Monday to discuss claims that Madeleine Pickens made in a story that ran the same day in The Daily O’Collegian, OSU’s student newspaper.

Pickens, wife of OSU alumnus and billionaire benefactor T. Boone Pickens, also told the Tulsa World Monday she planned to move her $5 million donation from the veterinary school after she learned of multiple practices with which she did not agree.

Michael Lorenz, OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences dean, addressed about 100 veterinary students and faculty Monday about the article.

In an e-mail sent to veterinary students, Lorenz said: “Rest assured that Mrs. Pickens has never made a gift or donation to the veterinary college. She did make an undesignated gift to the university.”

No one outside the school was allowed to come to the meeting.

Gary Shutt, OSU’s director of communications, said colleges are allowed to hold private meetings with their students. The purpose of the meeting was to address students’ concerns about what was said in the article, he said.

“They were concerned because they felt like the article damaged the reputation of the school,” Shutt said.

Kyle German, a third-year veterinary student, said most of the veterinary school, including faculty, attended the meeting. German said Lorenz, instructors and people from the veterinary clinic spoke at the meeting.

Lorenz also responded to the claims in a written statement.

“We understand and respect Madeleine Pickens’ concerns regarding surgical training and research practices at the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, which are utilized at most veterinary colleges in the country,” Lorenz said.

“Apparently, Mrs. Pickens was provided information which unfortunately, in many respects, is not factually accurate.”

German was one of the students who attended the meeting who also felt that the article was not accurate.

“It makes us [veterinary students] angry,” he said.

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