New dean named for Veterinary Medicine at UI

New dean named for Veterinary Medicine at UI

URBANA — A veterinarian who started his academic career at the University of Illinois will return to be the new dean in 2014.

The university has hired Peter Constable, the current head of the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Purdue University, to be the dean of the UI College of Veterinary Medicine.

His appointment is pending approval by the UI Board of Trustees. Constable will assume the new position in January 2014. His salary will be $250,000 annually, according to the university.

A native Australian, Constable joined the UI College of Veterinary Medicine in 1993 as an assistant professor in the department of veterinary clinical medicine. Before he left for Purdue, he served as interim head of the clinical medicine department from 2004 to 2005.

"There's no doubt (the UI College of Veterinary Medicine) is a global leader in veterinary medicine," Constable said. "It's implemented innovative and exciting curriculum ... and it's got this tremendous clinical skills laboratory where students have a number of opportunities to practice their skills before they apply them on animals," he said.

Constable's two main areas of research have been related to cardiovascular diseases and ruminant diseases. He has worked with a variety of species over the years, but most of his work has been with cattle. At home, he cares for a rescue dog named Marigold.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the university and the town and very much look forward to returning," Constable said. "I'm very much a Big Ten person. I really enjoy living in the Midwest," he said.

He will replace Herb Whiteley who has been dean since 2001. When Constable assumes his new position, Whiteley will take a sabbatical and explore possible areas of collaboration between the vet school and the University of Illinois at Chicago's College of Medicine.

Whiteley, who has an adjunct appointment in the College of Medicine's Department of Pathology, said he will work with the Biological Resources Laboratory and provide pathology support for them.

In addition, "there's a large cancer group in Chicago and the thought is to try and provide pathology support for their experimental pathology work," Whiteley said.

Whiteley also hopes to identify other potential collaborations for veterinary medicine faculty with UIC College of Medicine.

"It's important for a college to have leadership changes, to bring new vision and ideas," Whiteley said. "It's a good time for the transition," he said, adding that the college completed its fundraising campaign and implemented its new curriculum that involves first-year students becoming involved in clinical cases.

In addition to his tenure at the UI College of Veterinary Medicine and Purdue College of Medicine, Constable has worked as a farm animal veterinarian in Australia and in England.

He earned his veterinary degree in 1982 from the University of Melbourne, Australia and completed an ambulatory internship and food animal medicine and surgery residency at Ohio State University. It was at Ohio State where he earned his master's and doctorate degrees. He is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the American College of Veterinary Nutrition.

"We are pleased to welcome Dr. Constable back to Illinois to lead the College of Veterinary Medicine," said UI Provost Ilesanmi Adesida in a release. "His broad knowledge of the field and commitment to the highest academic principles make him an ideal person for the job."

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