Columbus, Ohio — Three years after taking the helm of the nation's largest land-grant veterinary college, the dean of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine is stepping down.
The announcement came only a week after the college announced that its veterinary teaching hospital is facing an $850,000 deficit and will restructure the hospital's administration. But the decision to leave his post has nothing to do with the hospital's financial woes, says outgoing Dean Dr. Thomas Rosol.
"This is a very personal decision and it's something I've been thinking about for the past six months," Rosol says. "You try to find the right time and this seemed like a good time."
The announcement of Rosol's resignation came June 10 through the university provost. He was to step down officially on June 30, when Dr. John Hubbell, a veterinary-college professor and former associate dean of affairs who previously served as an interim dean, will take over until a permanent dean can be selected.
Rosol is credited with raising the college's national stature and earning the school a seven-year re-accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association, Provost Joseph Alutto says.
In addition, the veterinary college recently completed its strategic plan, landed a $5 million award for a public health project and developed a magnetic resonance imaging center, Rosol says. Since joining the university, Rosol helped secure about $10.9 million for the college, nearly $1.5 million of which was secured since he became dean in 2005.
Though he'll be leaving his post as dean, Rosol won't be going far. He was to become special assistant to the senior vice president for research, effective July 1. In that role, Rosol says he will work with the office of research and the office of technology transfer and commercialization to protect the intellectual property of university faculty and to commercialize ideas they generate.
In his new position, Rosol will be able to continue working as a professor in the department of veterinary biosciences and continue his cancer research in veterinary biosciences and the Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Although he has been working throughout his time as dean on his various research projects, Rosol says it had come to a point where he needed to choose either to put his research aside or continue his work as dean.
"I've have been able up to this point to keep my research project going," Rosol says, "But being dean takes enormous efforts. I'm at a crossroads."
As for the state of the college, Rosol says he is confident the school is well managed and will be back on sound footing soon with the new management plans to bring the veterinary hospital out of its deficit.
"I think we're really hitting on all cylinders now," Rosol says. "We're not going to skip a beat."
The college has been rebuilding its leadership team for three years, and Rosol says the team in place will make the transition to a new dean seamless.
"This will be almost imperceptible to the faculty, staff and students," he says.
In filling the interim role, Hubbell, who was associate dean for 10 years, says "I appreciate the confidence of the provost and will do my best to move the college forward."
There was no word from the college at press time as to when the search for a new dean will begin.