Ross replaces dean who extended global research

Published on
information-circle This article is more than 3 years old

Dr. Elaine Watson stepped down as dean of Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine this past October. Dr. Guy St. Jean, an associate dean at Ross, is filling the position in the interim.

A press release from the veterinary school says Dr. Watson left to pursue other professional opportunities. No further information was provided.

Dr. Watson joined Ross as dean in February 2012. During her brief tenure, she directed a strategic refocus of RUSVM’s priorities by extending its global reach from both research and recruitment standpoints.

Dr. Watson
Dr. Elaine Watson
Dr. St. Jean
Dr. Guy St. Jean

The veterinary school entered into various agreements with partners in Europe, the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Asia under Dr. Watson, with the goal of undertaking high-impact research projects. For example, in November 2012, Ross began a partnership with Moredun Research Institute in Scotland, which supports a number of projects and postdoctoral fellowships particularly focusing on endemic and exotic zoonotic diseases.

The veterinary school launched four research centers in April 2014 to support the university’s new mission: The One Health Center for Zoonoses and Tropical Veterinary Medicine, the Center for Integrative Mammalian Research, the Center for Conservation Medicine and Ecosystem Health, and the Center for Research and Innovation in Veterinary and Medical Education. Last year, 48 percent of students chose extracurricular research experience.

In November 2014, Ross broke ground for the next phase of its research program—the construction of the 19,000-square-foot Research and Pathology Building.

The $9.5 million project will result in a 14,000-square-foot research building with capacity for 50 researchers and graduate students, with an adjacent necropsy facility (5,000 square feet). The building is scheduled for completion in 2017. Research facilities at the veterinary school already include laboratory space housing equipment for surveillance and diagnostics, and pathology and histopathology.

Dr. Watson also was instrumental in the addition of a postgraduate program in 2013. The veterinary school offers master’s and doctoral degrees in public health, global animal health, tropical animal health, conservation medicine, veterinary education, and other research areas. Ross also offers an online master’s in one health.

Finally, the veterinary school also began to focus on recruiting more international students under Dr. Watson. Ross signed a memorandum of understanding with Ngee Ann Polytechnic in Singapore in October 2014 to establish an international research internship program as well as provide a pathway for Singaporean students to obtain a veterinary degree at Ross. The 15-week internship program began this past February.

Prior to arriving at Ross, Dr. Watson, a professor of animal reproduction, had been dean at the University of Edinburgh Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Scotland since 2003. She earned her veterinary degree from the University of Glasgow and has doctorates from Edinburgh and Bristol University. Other positions she has held include ones at the U.K. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the University of Pennsylvania. In 1991, Dr. Watson returned to Edinburgh as head of reproduction and, in 1999, was awarded a personal chair in veterinary reproduction. She is a European specialist in equine reproduction.

Dr. Guy St. Jean will lead Ross’ veterinary school while an international search for a permanent dean is conducted. He has been a member of the Ross faculty since 1998, serving in various teaching and leadership capacities, including associate dean for student and alumni affairs and professor of surgery.

Dr. St. Jean currently serves on the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges advocacy committee.

While his career has been concentrated in academia, his veterinary experience began in private practice. Dr. St. Jean has been a faculty member at the University of Montreal, The Ohio State University, and Kansas State University. He received his DVM degree at Montreal and his master’s at Ohio State. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons with a focus in large animal surgery.

Related JAVMA content:

Ross, Edinburgh name new deans (Dec. 15, 2011)

Research in motion (May 1, 2011)