Dr. Peter Eyre, dean of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine since 1985, resigned his office on Oct. 1, citing health reasons. Dr. Eyre also stepped down as president of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, Dr. Gerhardt Schurig, has been appointed interim dean until a permanent replacement is named.
In an e-mail sent to friends and colleagues, Dr. Eyre expressed sadness for leaving the college but was pleased with the friendships made and the legacy he leaves behind.
"It is perhaps cliché to say that this is the hardest decision I have ever made, but 18 years is certainly enough," Dr. Eyre wrote. "The College of Veterinary Medicine is now well positioned at Virginia Tech and I believe its future is secure.
"One of the greatest pleasures of the job has been the wonderful friendships with so many great colleagues."
Dr. Eyre remains on the college faculty and "wants to go back and be useful" after he's fully recovered.
Since his deanship appointment, Dr. Eyre has presided over the development of a $32 million enterprise that has graduated more than 1,500 veterinarians and established a national reputation for excellence in public practice veterinary medicine.
Dr. Eyre also oversaw the creation of the College Park, Md.-based Center for Government and Corporate Veterinary Medicine and led a series of initiatives that fortified the political and economic underpinnings of the partnership between Virginia and Maryland in the late 1980s.
Dr. Eyre recently led efforts to integrate the veterinary college as a working partner with Virginia Tech's College of Engineering and Wake Forest University in the School of Biomedical Engineering. He also helped craft a major affiliation with the veterinary college and the university's new Institute for Biomedical and Public Health Sciences.
For several years, Dr. Eyre served on the AAVMC board and has worked closely with the AVMA on legislative, business, and education issues.
"Peter Eyre has played an historic role in building a nationally recognized veterinary college and helping Virginia Tech develop an array of important new biomedical health initiatives," said Virginia Tech Provost Mark McNamee, PhD.
"His exemplary scholarship, prodigious work ethic, and sense of diplomacy have helped him lead in a way that invited partnerships and moved us all forward," Dr. McNamee continued. "We are profoundly grateful for his contributions and accomplishments and wish him well."