College of Veterinary Medicine searches for new dean

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Trotter Hall (Photo by Justin Wright | Collegian Media Group)

After two years as dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Tammy Beckham has resigned. Beckham accepted an offer to work for the Department of Defense in their Cooperative Biological Engagement Program, according to an email from Barbara Lutjemeier, executive assistant to the dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

The process of finding a new dean started right away, with executive associate dean Bonnie Rush appointed as acting dean. Currently, the college is undergoing the first stage of the dean replacement process, searching for an interim dean.

The search for interim dean is conducted within the college, and the timeline is short. Applications for interim dean were due Aug. 30, 2017. The applications are currently being considered.

Kansas State’s College of Veterinary Medicine is nationally renowned for its prestige. The search for a permanent dean will extend beyond the bounds of the university and be conducted nationally in order to find the best candidate for the position.

Applicants must be a doctor of veterinary medicine, and they must have some collegiate experience making them suitable for the position. The dean of veterinary medicine is in charge of overseeing activity in the departments, representing the college and acting as the point person for fundraising.

The members of the interim dean search committee were chosen by April Mason, provost and senior vice president of K-State. Mason selected professors from the College of Veterinary Medicine, as well as professors from other colleges, a student representative and a representative from the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Brian Niehoff, chair of the search committee, is also the associate provost for institutional effectiveness. Niehoff has been the chair for three previous interim dean searches.

“There are only around thirty veterinary colleges in the nation,” Niehoff said. “The relationship we have with rural and urban communities is very important.”

The College of Veterinary Medicine conducts research on numerous topics related to Kansas agriculture in addition to other research ventures, like studying cancer.

When asked about the timeframe for permanently replacing the dean, Niehoff said the acting dean can only operate for about a month, so the interim dean will be expected to be announced in late September or early October. Niehoff also said he hopes there will be a new permanent dean by the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.

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