Lorin D. Warnick, DVM. PhD, ACVPM, interim dean of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, has been named the Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine, effective May 6. His appointment was approved this week by the Executive Committee of the Cornell University Board of Trustees and ratified by the Board of Trustees for the State University of New York.
“Lorin is the ideal choice to lead the College of Veterinary Medicine as dean,” said Cornell Provost Michael Kotlikoff, in announcing the appointment. “He is a proven leader who has managed the college effectively and with great thoughtfulness since taking over as interim dean last year. He will keep the college on the cutting edge of best practices in veterinary medicine and scientific research.”
SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said, “Dr. Warnick’s experience will continue to be a great asset for the college’s faculty, staff and students as well as the medical community.”
“Dr. Warnick has already built upon the college’s foundation of academic excellence and community service,” agreed SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall.
Warnick assumed the post of interim dean Aug. 1, 2015, after Kotlikoff, the college’s previous dean, became provost. Prior to that, Warnick served as associate dean for veterinary education since 2007 and director of the Cornell University Hospital for Animals since 2012. As interim dean, Warnick has supported the college’s ongoing projects, including the preclinical class expansion construction project, which has involved renovating and replacing the center of the college to allow for a larger fall class in 2017. He has also continued a long-standing collaboration with the City University of Hong Kong to develop the first school of veterinary medicine there.
Though Warnick has been a faculty member in the college since 1996, he said, “Being interim dean has given me new insights into how the college operates and an in-depth understanding of the main issues we are facing.”
In his role as dean, Warnick said his overall vision is “to excel in our core missions of research, veterinary education, graduate education and service to the public.”
Specifically, on the research side, Warnick aims to make high-level faculty recruitments, especially in areas of biomedical research, where the college plans to promote collaborations across campus and with Weill Cornell Medicine.
In the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program, Warnick said he will continue to work on educational initiatives to improve preparation for the primary care small-animal practice. This will include completion of a new facility to house the college’s Community Practice Service.
In addition to clinical experience, “We want to better prepare our students to be engaged in business entrepreneurship and new technology, and really play a leadership role in the business side of veterinary medicine,” he said.
With the number of U.S. veterinary schools expanding, Warnick sees “recruiting the best DVM students,” with a focus on diversifying each class, as an immediate challenge. He said his administration will continue looking for ways to reduce student debt levels and provide a greater variety of career opportunities. Veterinary medicine affects human and animal health, covering food production and safety, public health, racing and performance horses, biomedical research, wildlife conservation and international development as well as companion animal care. “We would like to have our students prepared and to have options to participate in all of those different areas,” he said.
A professor of ambulatory and production medicine, Warnick’s research focuses on enteric bacteria that can cross species and lead to illness in humans. His work emphasizes Salmonella in dairy cattle. “We look at the Salmonella bacteria that are transferred from cattle to people, and try to determine to what extent the pathogens found in people came from livestock sources,” he said.
Another of his main research areas includes the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria and how much these microbes are shared between different host populations. Warnick said with the help of his lab team he plans to continue with research while serving as dean.
Warnick received a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University (1984), a DVM degree from Colorado State University (1988) and a Ph.D. with an emphasis on epidemiology and statistics from Cornell (1994). He is a diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.