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Olson Appointed Veterinary Medicine Dean

July 23, 2007

Story Contact:  Christian Basi, 573-882-4430,

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Neil Olson, associate dean for research and graduate studies at the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University, has been appointed as dean of the University of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine, MU Provost Brian Foster announced today. Olson will start the new position on Sept. 1.

“This is an incredibly important position on this campus and is a central component of what we do here at Mizzou as well as across the state,” Foster said. “We're very pleased that Neil Olson accepted the position. He received a very positive reception from both on and off-campus constituents when he came here for an earlier visit.”

Olson earned a bachelor's degree in veterinary science in 1973 and a doctorate of veterinary medicine in 1975 from the University of Minnesota. He also earned a doctorate in physiology from Michigan State University in 1982. He has been a faculty member of North Carolina State University (NCSU) since 1982.

Olson has held a number of administrative appointments at NCSU including director of graduate programs, director of the Summer Research Internship Program, and director of the Biomedical Imaging Center. He was appointed to his current position as associate dean in 1998.

“I'm very excited about this position, and I think that MU's College of Veterinary Medicine has many areas of strength that are especially important today including the faculty's expertise in infectious diseases, their work with outreach programs to the rest of the state and region, and the nature of their collaborations throughout campus and the nation,” Olson said. “This is the only veterinary college in the state, and I would like to see this college ranked in the top five veterinary schools in the nation in a short period of time. I'm looking forward to this exciting challenge.”

Olson said that he has plans to be on campus in mid-August to greet students and faculty members when they return for the fall semester. He also hopes to schedule visits with veterinarians throughout the state soon.

Olson received a National Research Service award from the National Institutes of Health in 1979. He also was awarded an Outstanding Scientist Award from Sigma Xi in 1986, received the Distinguished Scholarly Achievement Award at the NCSU Honors Convocation in 1986 and was recognized with the Basler Taler Coin Award in Recognition for Outstanding Research in Animal Health in 1993. Olson has served as a chairperson at the annual meetings of the Research Workers in Animal Disease and the Comparative Respiratory Society. He also was elected to the National Board of Directors for the Comparative Respiratory Society in 1985 and 1991. His research has focused on cardiopulmonary health and disease.