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August 01, 2021

Veterinary deans on the move

Leadership changes made at Florida, Louisiana State, Minnesota, and North Carolina State
Published on July 08, 2021

Four veterinary colleges recently announced changes in their leadership. New deans were announced at the University of Florida, Louisiana State University, and the University of Minnesota, and the dean at North Carolina State University will step down.

Dean appointed at University of Florida

Dr. Zimmel
Dr. Dana N. Zimmel

Dr. Dana N. Zimmel was appointed the permanent dean of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in June. Dr. Zimmel had served as interim dean since December 2019.

“During the past year and a half, Dana has worked tirelessly with her leadership team to ensure the safety of the college’s faculty, staff, and students along with the successful continuance of its research, teaching, and patient care missions,” said David R. Nelson, MD, senior vice president for health affairs at UF, and Scott Angle, PhD, vice president for agriculture and natural resources at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, in a joint statement.

The two administrators said it was important to keep leadership steady as the veterinary college approaches its next AVMA Council on Education accreditation site visit in 2022.

Dr. Zimmel was previously the lead administrator of the UF Veterinary Hospitals and served as associate dean for clinical services. Under her leadership, the hospital’s caseload nearly doubled, and the UF Small Animal Hospital earned accreditation from the American Animal Hospital Association in 2015.

Dr. Zimmel is an alumna of the UF veterinary college, and she previously worked in private practice in Ocala, Florida. She later taught at the University of Georgia and then returned to Florida in 2002 to teach at UF as an assistant professor. Her clinical interests include neonatology, exercise physiology, and endocrine disease.

Louisiana State University names new dean

Dr. Garden
Dr. Oliver Garden

Dr. Oliver Garden was announced as the new dean of the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine.

Pending approval from the LSU Board of Supervisors, Dr. Garden will assume his new role on Aug. 31.

“It is the honor of a lifetime to be entrusted with the deanship of the School of Veterinary Medicine,” Dr. Garden said in a press release. “I could not be more excited to be joining the LSU family, and I very much look forward to working with the students, staff, faculty, and alumni of this great academic institution to build upon our world-class programs in teaching, research, and public service.”

Dr. Garden is the current chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences & Advanced Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. He previously held positions at the Royal Veterinary College in London, the University of South Carolina, Cornell University, the Imperial College London, and Queen Mary University of London. Dr. Garden is board certified in small animal internal medicine.

Dr. Garden will lead the departments at the LSU veterinary college in the areas of comparative biomedical sciences, pathological sciences, and veterinary clinical sciences. He will also oversee the Veterinary Medicine Library, the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, and the Louisiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.

Dr. Baines
Dr. Joel Baines

Dr. Garden will succeed Dr. Joel Baines, who has served as dean since 2014 and will move into a full-time faculty position at the veterinary school.

With a research background in pathobiological sciences and more specifically in viruses in animals, Dr. Baines has been instrumental in guiding the university during the pandemic.

Researchers at the veterinary school worked with local hospitals to provide COVID-19 testing, and others did work to track the virus on campus, Dr. Baines reported in the veterinary school’s magazine last year.

Dr. Baines has overseen an accelerated program of research funding for the veterinary school and landed an $11 million grant to create the Center for Pre-Clinical Cancer Research. Dr. Baines also has raised funds for the new Stephenson Pet Clinic, which will expand pet wellness services and provide much-needed space for clinical care.

Dr. Baines has been an advocate for increasing diversity, moving research programs forward, and increasing the caseload and faculty numbers at the veterinary teaching hospital, he wrote in the magazine column.

University of Minnesota appoints dean

Dr. Molgaard
Dr. Laura K. Molgaard

The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine has named a new dean after a national search.

Dr. Laura K. Molgaard took over the position on June 21. She has served as interim dean at the veterinary college since August 2019. She has occupied other leadership roles and has been as a faculty member since 1997.

“I look forward to encouraging more of the great work that made this one of the world’s premier colleges of veterinary medicine,” Dr. Molgaard said in a press release. “I am fortunate to be starting from a position of strength and opportunity, and I’m proud to be the first woman to lead the College as dean.”

Before joining the University of Minnesota, Dr. Molgaard worked as a small animal veterinarian and taught at a veterinary technology program. She is a member of the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges Competency-Based Veterinary Education Working Group, and she is on the executive committee of the International Competency-Based Medical Education Collaborators, a group of educational leaders in human medicine.

She is active in veterinary pipeline development, admissions, and issues of campus climate.

North Carolina State dean steps down

Dr. Lunn
Dr. Paul Lunn

Dr. Paul Lunn, dean of North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, will step down in January 2022.

Dr. Lunn, who has led the veterinary college since 2012, is leaving to be dean at the University of Liverpool School of Veterinary Science.

During Dr. Lunn’s time as dean at North Carolina State, the veterinary college grew its class size from 80 to 100. The college has seen a rise in philanthropic support during his tenure, and research funding has doubled to over $20 million.

Dr. Lunn led several new construction projects at the veterinary college, including the Biomedical Partnership Center and an equine theriogenology facility. More projects are in the works, including a modern dairy facility and a new equine hospital.

More recently, Dr. Lunn helped lead an effort to make the veterinary college into a COVID-19 testing laboratory for the NC State community. He also made diversity and inclusion a priority within the veterinary college, and a diversity committee was formed during his time as dean.

Dr. Lunn was recently appointed as a member of the Racetrack Safety Standing Committee of the new Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority. He is the current president of the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges.