Michael D. Lairmore Davis, California Dean at University of California UC – Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Start date: October 24, 2011
Please describe your agricultural background.
I began my veterinary career as a dairy practitioner in New London, Pennsylvania. My clients included dairy farmers in the southeastern region of Pennsylvania, northern Delaware and Maryland. I enjoyed the work servicing a variety of clients and management types in a high-quality region for dairy production.
In this role, I learned the value of the veterinarian in the life of the dairy farmer and in the community. I come from a working-class background, and I am the first in my family to attend college. I grew up around a rural community of small farms and one of my first paying jobs was hauling hay for custom balers, where I learned the values and work ethic of farmers.
What education are you bringing with you to this position?
From 1974 to 1977 I attended the University of Missouri at Columbia, studying biology at the College of Arts and Sciences. I was accepted to the DVM program after three years. I earned my doctor of veterinary medicine degree in 1981 from the University of Missouri – Columbia.
I attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, from 1983 to 1987, where I received my doctorate in philosophy specializing in experimental pathology.
From 1987 to 1990 I pursued postdoctoral training in molecular retrovirology at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia.
Specialty board certification: In 1988 I received certification in anatomic pathology from the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. Then, in 1996, I received certification in virology and immunology from the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists.
What territory will you cover?
The territory for the job reflects the impact of UC – Davis throughout the State of California, nationally, and internationally. While much of the work will be at the main campus in Davis and the local community, I will visit and work with centers stretching from Bodega Bay to Lake Tahoe, the Central Valley and up and down the California coast. I will also represent the school at the national and international levels in various programs and events.
What are your new responsibilities?
As dean of the University of California – Davis’s School of Veterinary Medicine, my role will be to provide vision, strategic leadership, planning and coordination for the school, including instruction and research in six academic departments and organized units for teaching, research and service that include the Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension programs, Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center in Tulare and the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System.
What excites you most about working in your new role?
I am excited to work with the faculty, students, commodity groups, alumni and staff as we work together to build programs that positively impact the health of the animals and people we serve, while being good stewards of the environment and the economy of California. California is the leading dairy state in the nation; I look forward to working with the leaders in the dairy industry and also meeting some of the more than 1,600 dairy farmers as we work together on key issues important to all of us.
What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?
I will work with all of the constituents we serve throughout the state of California to build mission-focused programs from the strong foundations established at UC – Davis. Key goals will include the development of strategic programs in a time of limited resources, maintaining the outstanding educational goals of the school to produce society-ready veterinarians, serving as an integral part of the community and contributing to the health of the animals and people we serve while being good stewards of the environment and the economy of California. PD