Vet Med dean will resign by the end of the year

School will begin search process for Slinker's position over summer; Slinker retires at end of year



Bryan Slinker, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine discusses his time serving as the Dean on Monday in Bustad Hall. He has served as the dean for eleven years, and has recently announced his retirement.

JAYCE CARRAL, Evergreen reporter

The WSU College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) dean announced he will step down from his current position.

CVM Dean Bryan Slinker said he does not want to leave CVM with an interim dean. He said WSU will begin a search process for a new dean this summer and expects interviews for the position to begin in the fall.

“Whether I actually retire or not is not yet [determined],” he said. “I stated my intent to not be dean at the end of 2019, so that’s not a hard and fast timeline.”

Slinker said deans are the academic leaders of a college and are responsible for the teachers and students in the college. He said managing the budget is also a large part of his position.

Slinker said he became interim dean in 2008 and was then offered the dean position on a permanent basis.

“Eleven years is a long time to be a dean,” Slinker said. “I just think I need to do something else.”

Slinker said he attended WSU as a student from 1976 to 1982. He later returned as a faculty member in 1992.

Slinker said in 1999 he became chair of the Department of Physiology and Neuroscience.

He said CVM has grown remarkably during his time as dean. This includes occupying three new buildings and adding two departments into the college.

“We pride ourselves on having that community feel,” Slinker said. “Maintaining that culture gets harder as we get bigger.”

He said one of his main goals has been to maintain and strengthen the college’s teaching ability. Slinker said he created a teaching academy of faculty and annual special guests who work on ways to improve the learning environment they create.

“It’s not so much about classes and curriculum as it is how to do a better job teaching,” he said.

Slinker said some challenges he has faced include the geographical location of WSU.

“We are in a fairly remote location. We live in a relatively low population area,” he said. “It’s sometimes difficult to provide the caseload we need for our students’ education.”

Slinker said it is common for fourth-year CVM students to leave Pullman to further develop practical skills. Slinker said this led him to develop partnerships with the Seattle Humane Society and the Idaho Humane Society.

He said he had hoped to make more progress on integrating more advanced technology into the academic curriculum and programs.

Slinker said he is not certain of his future after leaving WSU.

“I’m worthless as a scientist, so research is not going to be part of that,” he said. “There’s a variety of things I’d like to teach. I want to stay engaged in the university.”

Slinker said he will continue to make progress with CVM, but is also aware that someone else will finish what he started.

“I do hope they continue wanting this vet school to be on the cutting edge of improving teaching and student environment,” Slinker said.