Arkansas State University begins search for vet school dean

by George Jared ([email protected]) 988 views 

Arkansas State University is taking applicants and nominees for the next dean of its proposed College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM).

The dean will be chief administrative officer for the CVM, responsible for its missions in teaching, research and service. Primary duties will include oversight for all academic programs associated with the CVM, along with management of budget and other resources.

Applicants must possess an earned doctor of veterinary medicine degree or the equivalent, a demonstrated and robust research agenda, and a distinguished record of visionary leadership and excellence in administration.

The search committee is co-chaired by Dr. Travis Marsico, vice provost for research, innovation and discovery and executive director of the Arkansas Biosciences Institute. A tentative opening date of fall 2026 is the institution’s goal, provided all preparations and regulatory steps can be completed before then.

“We will be looking closely at those candidates who can demonstrate a record of commitment to fostering collaborative activities that lead to productive relationships with alumni, professional veterinary organizations, practicing veterinarians, and other public and private stakeholders,” said Dr. Len Frey, co-chair of the dean search committee. Frey is executive vice chancellor for the Division of Finance and Administration and chief operating officer at A-State.

The Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board (AHECB) approved the university’s plan for the veterinary school at its July 2023 meeting. Plans call for up to 40 new faculty and staff positions dedicated to the DVM degree program.

The plan approved by the state board also includes the program requirements and planned courses. A-State’s next steps involve securing approval by the national accrediting agencies associated with veterinary colleges, including The Higher Learning Commission and the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education, who will be making their initial consultative visit this July.

“The CVM appointee will be the 11th dean reporting to the Office of the Provost and is expected to be an active member of the Academic Deans Council,” said Dr. Calvin White Jr., executive vice chancellor and university provost. Adding, “the successful candidate will also work closely with community and government partners, faculty and staff to establish and implement the mission and strategic plan that will guide the teaching, research and service activities of the new College of Veterinary Medicine. I have charged the committee to find a visionary leader who understands the monumental undertaking of establishing the state’s first college of veterinary medicine, which is truly an inflection point in the history of our institution.”

As A-State has moved toward establishing the CVM, founding dean Dr. Glen Hoffsis has continued to guide the institution through the various stages, including planning for faculty, curriculum and facilities.

“Thus far, Arkansas State has progressed steadily toward meeting the accreditation and associated steps necessary before the veterinary school can open,” Hoffsis noted. “I have been very pleased with the level of commitment and support I’ve seen for A-State’s proposed plans.”