University Affairs

Dirk Vanderwall Named Inaugural Dean of USU College of Veterinary Medicine

By Marcus Jensen |

Dirk Vanderwall (Source: Bronson Teichert/USU)

LOGAN, Utah — Dirk Vanderwall has officially been named as the inaugural dean of the Utah State University College of Veterinary Medicine. The appointment, which was announced by USU Provost and Chief Academic Officer Laurens H. Smith, will be in effect beginning July 1, 2024.

“It is with sincerest gratitude and greatest pleasure to announce that Interim Dean Vanderwall has accepted the position of dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine,” Smith told members of the college when he announced the hire. "Dirk has been passionately dedicated to the creation of USU’s newest college and has tirelessly led the efforts of many to make the college a reality and an immense source of pride for our university. He is laser-focused on a future for the college that offers huge opportunities and potential for faculty, student and staff success. I have great respect for him as an academic leader and have no doubt he will lead the CVM on a positive trajectory.”

The USU College of Veterinary Medicine was officially approved by the Utah Legislature in March 2022, becoming USU’s ninth college. It will be the state’s first four-year veterinary school. USU anticipates admitting its first four-year cohort starting in fall 2025.

“The first dean of a new college is critical in setting a successful trajectory for years to come,” said USU President Elizabeth R. Cantwell. “Dean Vanderwall has proven he is the right leader for the USU College of Veterinary Medicine, and I am pleased he has agreed to take on this exciting challenge.”

Vanderwall has been serving as the interim dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine since August 2022. Prior to this position, he served as head of USU’s Department of Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences and associate dean for the School of Veterinary Medicine.

He passionately championed the creation of Utah's sole independent four-year veterinary medical program at USU, earning recognition as the 2023 Veterinarian of the Year by the Utah Veterinary Medical Association.

Vanderwall was recruited to USU in 2012 with the start of the Washington-Idaho-Montana-Utah (WIMU) Regional Program in Veterinary Medicine, a collaboration with Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He initially taught equine reproduction in USU’s Department of Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences and what was then USU’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

Vanderwall holds a doctorate degree in animal physiology from the University of Idaho and a doctor of veterinary medicine and a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Cornell University.

Dirk Vanderwall demonstrates the use of a stethoscope on a horse as students watch. Vanderwall's medical specialty is equine reproduction. (Source: Levi Sim/USU)


Marcus Jensen
News Coordinator
University Marketing and Communications


Amanda DeRito
Associate VP of Strategic Communications
University Marketing and Communications


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