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OSU veterinary medicine administrator to become dean at Oregon State

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

STILLWATER, Okla.-- Dr. Cyril Clarke, associate dean for Academic Affairs at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, has been named dean of Oregon State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Clarke will assume his new duties on May 14, 2007.

Born and raised in South Africa, Clarke earned his veterinary degree at the University of Pretoria in 1981. He then practiced clinical veterinary medicine in rural and Swazi tribal communities for two years. The experience he received was mostly comprised of large animal veterinary care with an emphasis on cattle.

Clarke moved to the United States in 1983 to pursue a Ph.D. in veterinary pharmacology at Louisiana State University. Four years later, he came to Oklahoma State University, where he has served in various capacities for the past 19 years. His tenure included positions as professor, head of the Physiological Sciences department and associate dean for Academic Affairs.

“I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to teach and mentor students as well as conduct research relevant to animal and human health,” Clarke said.  

Clarke served as a member of a collaborative administrative team that has worked hard to promote growth and development of the academic and research programs of OSU’s Veterinary Center and the greater university. As chairman of a curriculum and effective instruction committee, Clarke first realized his interest in administration.  

“The committee was tasked with developing a plan to completely revise the curriculum,” he said. “While working through this project, I enrolled in a master’s degree in higher education here at Oklahoma State to learn more about aspects of academic administration.”

Clarke has published more than 70 research papers and acquired significant research grants in support of a variety of research projects focusing on antibacterial drugs and antibiotic resistance. However, he considers contributing to OSU students’ experience the most rewarding aspect of his time in Stillwater.

“To serve as a teacher and/or mentor to veterinary and graduate students has been a wonderful privilege,” Clarke said. “The legacy embodied in these students is very satisfying. To see their accomplishments and know that I played a role in helping them learn and grow means a lot to me.”  

“Cyril is eminently qualified for this position,” says Dr. Michael Lorenz, dean of the Veterinary Center. “He has tremendous administrative experience and has excelled in the classroom and in the research laboratory.”

“His appointment brings great honor to our college and reflects highly on the quality of administrators in our college,” Lorenz said. “We are indebted to him for his outstanding service to Oklahoma State University. Cyril will continue to wear orange, and he won’t need to learn a new university abbreviation since he is moving from OSU Central to OSU West.”

Clarke’s wife, Jean, is also a veterinarian and a research microbiologist with the Nomadics division of ICx Technologies in Stillwater. The Clarkes have raised their three children in Stillwater and Perkins. Stephen is a first-year law student at the University of Texas. Jennifer is a junior in biological sciences/pre-veterinary at OSU, and Peter is a first-year engineering student also at the University of Texas.

In his spare time, Clarke enjoys spending time with his family. Years ago, the family established a goal of visiting as many national parks in the United States as possible and, to date, has camped in 70 percent of the country’s national parks. Clarke has used the opportunities to pursue his personal hobby of scenic photography.

“I very much appreciate the communities of Stillwater and Perkins, and the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences—the staff, faculty and students,” he said. “We have developed wonderful friendships over the years within the veterinary family and the greater Stillwater community. It’s a great place to raise a family.

“I have a tremendously positive view of the Veterinary Center, in recognition of the quality of the academic program, innovative research and clinical and diagnostic service that advances the profession of veterinary medicine, and economic contributions made to Stillwater and the state of Oklahoma.”

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