Three candidates interview for dean of A-State proposed veterinary college

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 289 views 

Three highly-qualified individuals from veterinary schools in neighboring states have completed the interview process as finalist candidates to become the next dean for the proposed College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) at Arkansas State University.

A-State began advertising in January for applicants and nominees. 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.

“We have been delighted to see such strong interest in this critically important leadership position,” stated Dr. Len Frey, executive vice chancellor for finance and administration and co-chair of the CVM search committee. “All three finalists have the potential to bring to Arkansas State University the leadership qualities necessary to guide us through the final steps to get the state’s only public veterinary college up and running.”

The finalists include:

Heidi E. Cox Banse, associate dean for educational strategy in the School of Veterinary Medicine at Louisiana State University since January 2022. An associate professor, Banse earned her bachelor’s degree in veterinary science and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University, and a Ph.D. in veterinary biomedical sciences at Oklahoma State University.

Martin O. Furr, professor and head of the department of physiological sciences since 2015 at Oklahoma State University, where also became senior assistant dean, clinical programs, in 2021. Furr earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at Oklahoma State, followed by a certificate of residency in large animal internal medicine at Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center at Virginia Tech, a Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, and master’s in health professions education at Michigan State.

Carolyn J. Henry, who has held dual appointments as professor of oncology in the College of Veterinary Medicine and School of Medicine at the University of Missouri since 2008. She served as dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine from 2018-2023. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Eastern Kentucky University and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at Auburn University, then later added a master’s in small animal surgery and medicine.

“Many thanks to Dr. Frey, co-chair Dr. Travis Marsico, and the committee for identifying exceptional candidates for this critical role for the university and the state,” said Dr. Calvin White Jr., provost and executive vice chancellor. “The caliber of the pool and the institutions they represent demonstrate the committee’s diligence and the uniqueness of the opportunity.”

White shared that next steps include discussions with stakeholders in the coming days.

The Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved A-State’s plan to establish a College of Veterinary Medicine and its outline for the school, including the potential for 40 new faculty and staff positions dedicated to the DVM program, at its July 2023 meeting.