Feb. 11, 2010

Veterinary medicine dean making career change in 2011

Dr. John Thomson announced he will retire from his post as dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, effective Jan. 1, 2011. He intends to remain on the ISU faculty, focusing on outcomes-based medicine and best production animal practices.

Thomson has served as dean at Iowa State since August 2004.

John Thomson


"It has been an honor, privilege and challenge to serve as the dean of the professional college at Iowa State and the first state-supported veterinary college in the U.S. We developed a plan in 2004 that built off of the college's rich historical foundation to regain full accreditation, improve facilities, hire and retain the highest quality faculty and to graduate outstanding veterinarians," Thomson said. "Our plan has accomplished about what it can under my leadership, and I feel it is time for new ideas and energy to continue the effort."

Under Thomson's leadership, the College of Veterinary Medicine regained full accreditation by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association, launched a new cooperative program with the University of Nebraska for veterinary education, and completed the $48 million Dr. W. Eugene and Linda Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center. Also, he facilitated acquiring the funding and planning for a $45.1 million expansion and renovation of the small animal hospital, which is expected to be completed in 2012.

"Dean Thomson has provided outstanding leadership of the college at a crucial time in the college's history. In addition to regaining accreditation and rebuilding the hospital, he has hired an impressive new cadre of faculty and administrators who have significantly raised the research and clinical profiles of the college, worked tirelessly to stabilize the college and hospital finances in a challenging financial environment, and worked with friends of the college to raise a record in private gifts," executive vice president and provost Elizabeth Hoffman said. "I have enjoyed working with Dean Thomson and look forward to continuing to work with him during this transition period."

Hoffman said a national search for Thomson's replacement will begin in March.

Iowa State President Gregory Geoffroy said Thomson's leadership has made a significant contribution to veterinary education and service.

"As dean, John Thomson has consistently demonstrated his commitment to each of the missions of the College of Veterinary Medicine: educating talented, dedicated veterinarians; conducting vital research; and sharing the expertise of the college throughout Iowa and beyond," Geoffroy said.

Thomson earned his D.V.M. degree from Iowa State in 1967 and was in private practice in Iowa for 20 years. He also served in administrative positions at South Dakota State University and Mississippi State University, where he was dean of the veterinary medicine college.