Dean Mark Stetter announces departure, leaves legacy of vision and expansion

Dr. Mark Stetter in graduation gown
Dr. Mark Stetter became dean of the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in 2012. (William A. Cotton/CSU Photography)

Dr. Mark Stetter, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, has announced that he will leave Colorado State University on Oct. 1, 2021, to take on the role of dean at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Mark Stetter on a construction site
Under Dr. Mark Stetter’s leadership, the college experienced a construction boom. (CSU photo)

A board-certified zoological veterinarian and international leader in wildlife research and conservation, Stetter came to CSU in 2012 from The Walt Disney Co., where he was director of animal operations. Under his leadership as the 10th dean since the college was founded in 1907, the college entered a period of growth powered by record-breaking fundraising of more than $370 million in donations – supporting scholarships, new buildings and renovations, research, and clinical service.

“I have been honored to serve alongside highly dedicated leadership, faculty, staff and students at our college and the university, and want to say a special ‘thank you’ to all of our donors for their philanthropic support over the years,” Stetter said.

Stetter’s tenure brought a new undergraduate umbrella program in biomedical sciences, the opening of the Fort Collins branch of the CU School of Medicine on the CSU campus, new construction across the college, a $45+ million research enterprise, creation of the CSU One Health Institute, and a focus on diversity and wellness for students, faculty and staff.

A national search for a new dean will launch this fall.

Building on a culture of excellence and compassion

“The CSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is an international leader in health research, teaching, and clinical services, and Mark Stetter’s strong leadership has played a key role in its success and in the powerful positive impact the CVMBS has in our community,” said CSU President Joyce McConnell. “Most recently, Mark has guided the college to create a solid strategic plan that will guide ongoing transformation. I look forward to a vigorous search for the next dean who can work with the College’s extraordinary faculty, staff and students to do even more for our world, and I thank Mark for his leadership and commitment to excellence.”

Colorado State’s highly ranked Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program leads the world in student applications, with over 3,500 applicants for 150 spots, and the award-winning James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital sees more than 45,000 patients every year. The D.V.M program launched a partnership with the University of Alaska-Fairbanks that gives the state’s students access to veterinary education and provides veterinary care in rural villages.

Dr. Stetter with a one-eyed dog
Dr. Mark Stetter visits with a patient at the CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital. (Xavier Hadley/CSU photo)

Through a collaborative process involving hundreds of employees, the college is creating a Veterinary Health System that transforms its service units into a comprehensive veterinary medical operation, delivering the highest levels of customer service, employee satisfaction, and advancements in medicine through clinical service, research, and innovation.

“Dean Stetter has set the stage well for the college’s continued success into the future. He is a thoughtful, strategic and compassionate leader, and a remarkable visionary who has driven the college toward unprecedented innovation and growth. I am grateful for his dedication to CSU and the talented faculty, staff and students of CVMBS he has served and elevated with such pride through his leadership,” said CSU Provost Mary Pedersen, who will appoint an interim dean.

Through the transition, the college will continue to be guided under the steady hand of Executive Associate Dean Colin Clay, Ph.D., backed by a strong leadership team that will continue to build on the college’s strategic initiatives.

“I am so proud of the many achievements we have accomplished: nine buildings in nine years, new programs from Mexico to Alaska and Japan to Denver. Every aspect of our mission has grown, and our local and global impact is tremendous,” Stetter told the college. “Thank you for everything you do and for continuing to create a platform of excellence and helping to improve the health of animals, people, and the planet.”

Deans’ List

two deans in a hallway
Dr. Nicholas Booth, left, with Dr. Mark Stetter in 2017. (CSU photo)

The CSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences traces its roots to the founding of the university, and veterinary courses were first offered in 1879. The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program launched in 1907, and has been guided by 10 deans:

Dr. George Glover, 1907-1934

Dr. Isaac Newsom, 1934-1948

Dr. Floyd Cross, 1948-1956

Dr. Rue Jensen, 1957-1966

Dr. Nicholas Booth, 1966-1971

Dr. William Tietz, 1971-1977

Dr. Robert Phemister, 1977-1985

Dr. James L. Voss, 1986-2001

Dr. Lance Perryman, 2001-2012

Dr. Mark Stetter, 2012-2021