Ralph C. Richardson, DVM, dean of Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, has announced his plans to step down, according to a university release. He will leave his position no later than July 2015 and will assume a faculty position.“I plan to continue in a faculty role with the college and the university, hoping to use my abilities in program building and my background in comparative medicine to continue strengthening collaborative programs that benefit K-State,” Richardson says in the release. “I have a real sense of urgency to see our plans for the future become reality, but I want the college and the university to have plenty of time to conduct an orderly search for my replacement.”
Richardson received his DVM from K-State in 1970. He completed in an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Purdue in 1973, a residency in small animal internal medicine at the University of Missouri in 1973, and a training program in clinical oncology at the University of Kansas Medical Center in 1978. In 1998, Richardson became the 11th dean of K-State’s College of Veterinary medicine after serving as the head of the clinical sciences department at Purdue, according to the release.Under Richardson’s guidance, enrollment in the veterinary program at K-State grew and more than $72 million has been raised in private support, which includes more than 150 new scholarships and seven permanently endowed professorships. The college’s early admission program was started in 1999 to ensure opportunities for K-State undergraduate students and enhance recruitment. Richardson also had a role in helping promote the Veterinary Training Program for Rural Kansas, which has a debt repayment incentive for graduates who work in rural practices in Kansas.
During Richardson’s time as dean the college also began a DVM/PhD program to provide alternate career paths, such as working in research laboratories or academia. The college is also a part of the university’s interdisciplinary master of public health program, which allows students to work in one of four areas of emphasis, including infectious diseases and zoonoses, according to the release.
Richardson also helped integrate K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine into university programs that protect the health of the nation’s livestock and help ensure food safety. Faculty members are involved in research at the university’s BioSecurity Research Institute, which provides an environmentally safe and secure location to study pathogens that threaten humans and livestock, according to the release. The college and faculty also played a role in the university’s selection for the site of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, a biosafety level-4 facility that will be located close to the college.