Dr. Kashmiri Arora (center) poses with Fort Valley State University President Larry E. Rivers and Associate Vice President for Land Grant Institution, Mark Latimore, at the 2012 Retirement Banquet.
A highly regarded veterinary science professional is saying farewell to Fort Valley State University after more than three decades of service. Dr. Kashmiri Arora, a professor of animal and veterinary science, has been instrumental in the growth of the university's College of Agriculture, Family Science and Technology. After accomplishing every goal he set for himself and his department, the seasoned educator says he is now ready to enjoy retirement.
Arora joined Fort Valley State College under the leadership of former President C.W. Pettigrew on Sept. 1, 1979. As a young instructor, he was faced with the challenge of teaching students during the time of desegregation. Though the social pressures may have been overwhelming for some, Arora said Dr. Pettigrew's guidance helped him press forward.
"[Pettigrew] told me to make this job my mission," Arora said. "He said there will be problems, but he knew I could handle it. He showed confidence in me."
Arora began his undergraduate studies at Punjab University's College of Veterinary Science in Hisar, India and received a Ph.D. from Washington State University in Pullman, Wash. He then worked as a resident veterinarian at the University of Michigan. Arora served as head of Fort Valley State's Veterinary Science department from 1979 to 1991, where he helped transform the department. His accomplishments include stabilizing FVSU's veterinary technology department program from its infancy and transforming the program into a separate department within the College of Ag. He also established a four-year degree program in Animal Science.
During his tenure at the university, Arora has established a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Department of Agriculture- a current source of funding for the institution. He also jumpstarted an initiative with the Chancellor's Office to secure a building for the accreditation of FVSU's veterinary tech program.
"I enjoyed every step of it," Arora said. "If we keep going the way we've been going, we'll have no problem."
Dr. Seyedmehdi Mobini, head of FVSU's veterinary science department, says Arora will leave a great legacy behind.
"I've worked with him for the past four years as a department head. He has made tremendous contributions to this program," Mobini said. "He was instrumental in developing the veterinary technology program into what it is now, which is one of the signature programs at this university. He established a biotechnology laboratory in the department and actually procured the grant."
Dr. Oreta Samples, a former student and colleague of Dr. Arora's, said he served as an inspiration to his students. "He unknowingly was responsible for my [start] as a scientific writer," said Samples. "When there were no lab manuals available for classes, he asked me what I thought we needed to do, and I responded that we needed to write our own. He said 'Do it!' and I have been doing it ever since. Thank you, Dr. Arora. Whenever I put pen to paper, know that you will be remembered."
Dr. Arora said, "I have finally accomplished what I envisioned. I have done it and I am now ready to go home."