Ralph Richardson announced his plans Tuesday to step down as dean of the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine no later than July 2015.
Richardson became the college’s 11th dean in summer 1998 after serving as the head of the clinical sciences department at Purdue University. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University in 1970.
Richardson said he announced his plans early, so the college and university would have plenty of time to search for his replacement.
“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,” he said.
“Dean Richardson has led the College of Veterinary Medicine during a time of great change in both veterinary medicine and higher education,” said April Mason, Kansas State University provost and senior vice president.
Under Richardson, enrollment in the veterinary college saw controlled growth from a graduating class of 79 students in 1998 to a current class size of 112 for each incoming class.
More than $72 million has been raised in private support for the college, including the creation of 150 scholarships and seven permanently endowed professorships.
Faculty members at the college are involved with research at the university’s Biosecurity Research Institute. The comprehensive biosafety level-3 facility provides alocation to study pathogens that threaten humans and livestock.
The college also played a role in the university’s selection as the site of the $1.25 billion National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), a biosafety level-4 federal laboratory.
“I could not be more proud of the faculty and staff in our college,” Richardson said. “We are truly like a family, and as I try to say frequently, we have accomplished the wonderful things that we have done because of the teamwork we have in the College of Veterinary Medicine and at K-State.”
Additional highlights during Richardson’s tenure:
• Mosier Hall was dedicated in honor of Jacob E. Mosier in 1999.
• Coles Hall was dedicated in June 2000 in honor Embert H. Coles.
• “A Kind Touch” bronze statue was dedicated in honor of Robert E. Kind in October 1999.
• Two lectureships, seven endowed research awards, three student fellowships and three student travel awards have been established among a long list of private gifts.
• U.S.-China Center for Animal Health is a training center for the improvement of Chinese animal health education, research, government interaction and industrial workforce. It also assists Chinese and U.S. animal health companies to access the U.S. and Chinese markets, with a specific goal of training 10 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students per year - six of these students are currently at the Kansas State University.