The University of Guelph has appointed a new dean of the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC). Prof. Jeff Wichtel of the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC), University of Prince Edward Island, will begin a five-year term Oct. 1.

The announcement was made today by Prof. Serge Desmarais, interim provost and vice-president (academic), who chaired the search committee.

Jeff Wichtel“Jeff has years of experience as an administrator, researcher and clinician, and understands the complexities of a veterinary college,” Desmarais said.

“He is passionate about veterinary medicine and has a vision for building on OVC’s reputation for excellence to help improve lives and health.”

In making the announcement, Desmarais thanked outgoing dean Elizabeth Stone for her contributions over the past 10 years, and acknowledged the participation and commitment of search committee members and the University community.

Wichtel will also hold a faculty appointment in OVC’s Department of Population Medicine.

“I am excited and humbled to be given this opportunity,” Wichtel said.

“Teaching, research, and service at OVC are truly world-class.  I am looking forward to working alongside the outstanding students, staff and faculty at OVC – a new dean could not ask for a better base on which to build.”

A faculty member in the Department of Health Management at AVC, Wichtel has been the college’s associate dean, graduate studies and research, since 2009.

He also served at AVC as acting dean, director of animal resources, department chair and chair of the Sir James Dunn Animal Welfare Centre.

Before joining AVC, Wichtel taught at Massey University in New Zealand and in the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University. Earlier, he was a resident at Iowa State University and a mixed animal practitioner.

He studies animal nutrition, disease, production and reproduction, and has specialized in trace element and vitamin nutrition in ruminants and horses.

As principal or collaborating investigator, he has attracted more than $2.5 million in grant and contract funding.

Wichtel has written more than 150 publications on animal nutrition, reproduction and disease, livestock production and veterinary education, and is an associate editor of the Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research.

He earned his B.V.Sc. and PhD from Massey University and is board-certified by the American College of Theriogenologists.