Dr. Cyril R. Clarke, of Corvallis, Ore., has been named dean of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, effective Oct. 1.

Clarke currently serves as professor and dean of Oregon State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. He will succeed Gerhardt G. Schurig, who announced his plans to return to the faculty after 10 years as both interim dean and dean of the veterinary college.

Virginia Tech's senior vice president and provost, Mark McNamee, announced Clarke's appointment earlier today. 

“Cyril Clarke is a highly respected leader in veterinary medicine and education, bringing with him dean level experience and an impressive record of leadership and scholarly results. He brings perspective and experience that will serve the college, Virginia Tech, and the University of Maryland,” said McNamee. “He emerged as the leading candidate among an exceptional pool of veterinary college and school leaders, and is joining a passionate and accomplished team of administrators, faculty, staff, and students. I look forward to working with him to further enhance the strategic goals of the college.”

Clarke, a native of Johannesburg, South Africa, will serve as the fourth dean of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

He said of his new position, "The college has established a distinguished record of accomplishment in veterinary education, delivery of clinical and diagnostic services across a wide range of clinical specialties, and biomedical research in comparative health sciences. It is particularly well positioned to advance translational medicine and the concept of One Health, which recognizes the close linkage between animal and public health. The partnership involving two land-grant universities provides an excellent opportunity for further development of innovative and collaborative programs that meet the veterinary educational and animal health needs of Virginia and Maryland. I am excited to be given the opportunity to lead the college in its next phase of development."

The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine has seen significant growth in recent years with a new Infectious Disease Research Facility and Veterinary Medicine Instruction Addition. Plans are underway for a new Translational Medicine Building, which will provide for expansion of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, as well as research labs and training spaces for interdisciplinary research. 

Student interest is high with a strengthened curriculum and unique tracking system that sets the college apart from other colleges of veterinary medicine. Last fall, a record-breaking 1,220 prospective students submitted applications to the college, representing the fourth largest applicant pool in North America.

Clarke's efforts at Oregon State contributed to significant growth and enhancement of College of Veterinary Medicine programs, including the strengthening of clinical programs and student experiences. He was instrumental in the collaborative creation of the university's new division of health sciences, building relationships, and leveraging scholarship and research opportunities across several colleges and departments working in health and life sciences fields. He achieved positive results in fundraising, grew the research infrastructure, and developed significant relationships with international institutions working with veterinary clinical and research efforts.

A diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology, Clarke was a faculty member at Oklahoma State University from 1987 to 2007, where he also served as a department head and associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Veterinary Medicine. In 2007, he assumed the position of Lois Bates Acheson Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University. He also serves as a professor of pharmacology in the college's Department of Biomedical Sciences.

Clarke holds leadership positions in several professional organizations. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors for the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, serves on the AAVMC Strategic Planning Committee, and chairs its Data Committee. He is a member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board and a past president of the American College of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Clarke has been honored with the Pfizer Award for Research Excellence and the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association's President's Award, in addition to having been recognized with a Certificate of Excellence in Teaching.

He has been awarded over 40 research grants and contracts, including serving as principal investigator or co-principal investigator on more than $2.2 million in awards. He has directed six graduate theses and served on an additional 26 master's and Ph.D. advisory committees. He has over 68 refereed publications and has given numerous presentations at national and international meetings.

Clarke continues to teach clinical pharmacology to veterinary students and has a professional interest in instructional methodology. His research has focused on interactions between bacteria, antibacterial agents, and host defenses; drug disposition and pharmacokinetics; and biosensor technology development.

He received a bachelor of veterinary sciences degree from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, in 1981 and a Ph.D. in veterinary medical sciences from Louisiana State University in 1987. He obtained a master's degree in higher education from Oklahoma State University in 2000.

The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine is a leading biomedical teaching and research center, enrolling more than 500 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students, master of public health, and biomedical and veterinary sciences graduate students. The college is a partnership between the land-grant universities of Virginia Tech and the University of Maryland. Its main campus in Blacksburg, Va., features the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and large animal field services which together treat more than 79,000 animals annually. Other locations include the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va., and the Gudelsky Veterinary Center in College Park, Md.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Share this story