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Ohio State narrows dean prospects to three

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Apr 29, 2009
Columbus, Ohio -- The list of candidates to take over as the next dean of one of the nation's largest veterinary college has been narrowed to three.

The Ohio State University dean search committee has selected Douglas A. Freeman, DVM, MS, PhD, ACT; Howard Gelberg, DVM, PhD, ACVP; and Michael D. Lairmore, DVM, PhD, ACVP, ACVM as the three finalists in their already months long search to replace Dr. Thomas Rosol, who was named dean in 2005.

Freeman is a professor and the head of the Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences and the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic Services and North Dakota State University. A former director of the Great Plains Institute of Food Safety and American Council on Education Fellow, Freeman also has worked at universities in Massachusetts, Idaho, Minnesota and New Zealand in various capacities. He has been at North Dakota State since 2001 and also has worked in private practice and for a veterinary pharmaceutical company. Freeman now serves as the chair of the American Health Advisory Committee and is a past president of the American College of Theriogenologists. He visited the Ohio State campus April 13 and 14, having rescheduled a previous visit April 1 and 2 because of flooding in North Dakota.

Freeman earned his DVM degree from the University of Minnesota in 1983, his master's degree in theriogenology from the University of Minnesota in 1987 and his PhD from Washington State University/University of Idaho in 1991.

Gelberg has been a professor of pathology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine since 2006 and served as the college's dean for five years before that. He also has worked in various capacities for the University of Illinois and the University of Alaska. Additionally, Gelberg has worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, as a veterinary officer for the U.S. Department of Commerce in Alaska, and as a private practice veterinarian and hospital director. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American College of Veterinary Pathobiologists and the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians. Gelberg visited the Ohio State campus March 19 and 20.

Gelberg earned his veterinary degree from the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University in 1971 and his PhD in comparative pathology from the Graduate School of Cornell University in 1980. He obtained a certificate in business administration from the University of Illinois in 1998.

Lairmore currently serves as the chair of the Department of Veterinary Biosciences at The Ohio State University, where he began his career in academia in 1990. Prior to joining Ohio State, Lairmore worked in several research positions for the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health and other universities, and worked for two years at a dairy and small animal private practice. He has been heavily involved in research projects, obtaining grant funding and publishing during his time at Ohio State.

Lairmore earned his DVM from the University of Missouri in 1981 and his PhD from Colorado State University in 1987.

Lairmore, though already a faculty member, toured the Ohio State campus as a dean candidate March 30 and 31.

No date has been released for when the new dean will be chosen, but whoever takes over for Rosol does so at a trying time for veterinary education. Though Rosol denied when he stepped down from his post that the $850,000 deficit looming over the school's veterinary teaching hospital had anything to do with his decision, it is a problem the new dean will have to take over. Dr. John Hubbell, a professor at the Ohio State veterinary college and former associate dean of affairs, is serving as the interim dean and also helped finalize the school's new 5-year strategic plan. The plan will present challenges to the new dean, as it outlines plans for at least 12 new faculty positions and building a new teaching hospital. The strategic plan got its start two years ago, according to the school, but was just released in February, when the college announced its intention to switch from a quarter- to semester-based academic year.

The next step in the dean selection process will be to review the results of each candidates' campus visits, which includes reviewing surveys from veterinary college students and staff.