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News and Events
No Rest for the Retired:
Veteran Administrator to Step Down

Ron Haffey retires after 32 years of service with the CVMIn July of 1976 the United States was celebrating its Bicentennial and Ron Haffey was celebrating a new position as the administrative associate at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital. The 32 years that have passed since then have brought about enormous change, including the construction of Clydesdale Hall and the advent of computers. Haffey’s title, too, has changed several times over the years. On June 13, he will spend his last day on the job in his final role at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, as its administrator. He is retiring – sort of.

While many people view retirement as an opportunity to pursue their pastimes full time, Haffey will spend at least the first six months of his working. He has signed a six-month contract to serve as the hospital administrator for Great Lakes Veterinary Specialists, a Cleveland, Ohio practice that comprises veterinarians who are board certified in surgery, oncology, cardiology and internal medicine. There is also a 24-hour emergency service.

“It’s much the same thing as here, but in a different setting on a smaller scale,” he said of the position.

Haffey has experience with smaller-scale operations. He has witnessed first-hand the growth of the VMTH from an original expansion that created a cluster of clinics on the ground floor of the Veterinary Medical Building in 1977 to the construction of the teaching hospital housed in Clydesdale Hall in 1993.

“Back then there wasn’t the level of specialization as there is today.” Haffey said. “Practice was more general in nature. The things we’re doing today, we wouldn’t have dreamed of then, such as pacemakers and artificial hips. One of my greatest joys was to work with (former Associate Dean of Academic Affairs) Dr. Niemeyer and be a liaison between the contractor and the university for the building of Clydesdale Hall.”

While true retirement may still be at least six months away, he is already making plans for the joys that will replace the gratification of a job well done.

Haffey, a canoeing enthusiast, purchased a cabin at the Lake of the Ozarks and is in the process of renovating it. “Something about being near water has always relaxed me,” he said. He plans to fulfill that love for water by rafting the top 10 whitewater rivers in the North America – he already has six of them in the bag – and he hopes to visit as many of the country’s 131 national parks as he can.

However, retirement won’t be reserved strictly for recreation. Haffey plans to devote some time in Christian mission work; he hopes to assist children in Africa orphaned by the AIDS epidemic.

Facilitating care for orphans in Africa would represent a return trip for Haffey. He spent 12 days in South Africa on an AIDS mission trip last February. “I met some remarkable people trying to make a difference,” he said. Retirement could give him the chance to become a part of that difference.


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Last Update: February 29, 2012