History - Deans

WSU College of Veterinary Medicine Deans


Picture of current Dean, Dori Borjesson

Dori Borjesson

2020 – Present

  • Prior to joining WSU, Dr. Borjesson, a board-certified veterinary clinical pathologist, served as a professor in the Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology Department at University of California, Davis’s School of Veterinary Medicine beginning in 2006. She served as Chair of the department for 7 years.
  • Served as inaugural director of the Veterinary Institute for Regenerative Cures at UC Davis and directed the Clinical Regenerative Medicine Laboratory.
  • Actively engaged in teaching at the professional and graduate level and mentored residents and graduate students.  Served as chair of the graduate group in Integrative Pathobiology at UC Davis
  • Research focused on mesenchymal stem cells and immunomodulation. She and her team defined and developed naturally occurring animal models of disease to test cell therapies to improve animal health and inform human medical practice.
  • Over 110 peer-reviewed publications and has been the recipient of the Zoetis Research Excellence award.
  • Holds two provisional patents in the area of mesenchymal stem cells and immunomodulation.
  • Earned Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and a Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine (MPVM) from UC Davis in 1995.
  • Completed a clinical pathology residency at UC Davis in in 1999.
  • Earned a doctorate in Comparative Pathology in 2002.
  • Served as a faculty member at the University of Minnesota from 2002-2006.

Robert H. Mealey

Robert  H.  Mealey

2019 – 2020 (interim)

I have been a faculty member in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology since 2002, with a research emphasis on equine infectious disease and immunology, and a DVM education focus in infectious disease and immunology. In 2015 I was appointed as the Associate Dean for Research in the College of Veterinary Medicine, and in that part-time role worked within the college to help build our research enterprise by supporting our Intramural Grant Program, creating collaborative opportunities with other colleges, managing our summer DVM student research program, and supporting our multidisciplinary Functional Genomics Initiative.

For the last two years I have served as the Chair of the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, and have been privileged to lead and work with an outstanding group of faculty, staff, and trainees who are deeply dedicated to our missions of infectious disease research that impacts both animal and human health, exemplary teaching in the professional DVM curriculum, graduate student and residency training, and world class diagnostic service.

During the recent leadership transitions at WSU, I was asked to serve as Interim Dean for the College of Veterinary Medicine. Although this is not a role I was planning on, I felt compelled to accept it so that the CVM and the University could stay on track. To be clear, I am not a candidate for the permanent CVM Dean position, and thankfully, the outside search is well on track to have an outstanding new permanent Dean selected by the end of the year. In the meantime, I am honored to serve as Interim Dean and look forward to applying my leadership experience to continue our path forward. Working closely with our Department Chairs, School Directors, Associate Deans, faculty, staff, and our outstanding administrative staff, I will do all I can to ensure this is a successful time for the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dean Bryan Slinker

Bryan K. Slinker

2009 – 2019

  • Faculty member at the college for more than 25 years from 1992-present.
  • Association of Public and Land-grant Universities liaison for the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges from 2017 to present (seat on the Board of Directors of AAVMC).
  • Board of director at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Wash. serving on the Education Committee and the Animal Care Committee since 2010.
  • Executive associate dean and chair of the Department of Veterinary and Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacology, and Physiology (VCAPP), now called the Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience (IPN) from 1999-2008.
  • Research focuses on heart and cardiac muscle function, has more than 50 publications in books and scientific journals, and received an Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association.
  • Elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2008.
  • Assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Vermont from 1986–1992.
  • Elected as a Fellow of the Cardiovascular Section of the American Physiological Society in 1987.
  • Postdoctoral fellow at the Cardiovascular Research Institute of the University of California, San Francisco from 1982-1985.
  • WSU alumnus earning a DVM in 1980 (magna cum laude), and a PhD in 1982.
  • Earned a Bachelor of Science in Zoology (sum cum laude) from the College of Idaho in 1976.

Dean Warwick M. Bayly

Warwick M. Bayly

2001 – 2008

  • Originally from Melbourne, Australia.
  • Served at WSU for over 30 years
    • Professor of equine medicine.
    • Interim chair of Veterinary Clinical Sciences.
    • Associate dean for continuing education.
  • Past president of the World Equine Veterinary Association.
  • Past president of the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association.
  • Influential researcher in the area of equine performance.
  • Served as WSU Provost

Interim Dean Terry F McElwain

Terry F. McElwain (interim)

1998 – 2000

  • Earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1978 from the College of Agriculture, Kansas State University; summa cum laude.
  • DVM, 1980, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, summa cum laude, valedictorian.
  • PhD, 1986, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University.
  • Research explores global surveillance and control of infectious diseases.
  • Extensively involved in the advancement and delivery of educational tools for advanced training of laboratory diagnosticians in development countries.
  • Member of the National Academies Institute of Medicine.
  • Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists.
  • Professor of pathology and infectious diseases.
  • Served as the executive director of the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory until 2015.
  • Directs the WSU’s Animal Health Research Center.
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the World Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians.

Dean Borje K Gustafsson

Borje K. Gustafsson

1989 – 1998

We are saddened to share the news of the death in January 2020 of Dr. Borje K. Gustafsson, a former department head at our college and an international leader in veterinary education and theriogenology. We honor his commitment to veterinary profession. He will be greatly missed.

  • Served as interim dean for eight months before being appointed into the permanent position in April of 1989.
  • Strategic planning to accommodate unprecedented change was carried forward.
  • Oversaw the most fundamental curriculum reform in the school’s history.
  • Oversaw building the federally funded $22.7 million Animal Disease Biotechnology Facility and the $38 million Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
  • Became a faculty member of the University of Illinois’ veterinary program after leaving WSU.
  • Elected as a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture in 1997.
  • Received the “Peter Hernquist” Gold Medal of the Swedish Veterinary Association in 2002.

Dean Robert B Wilson

Robert B. Wilson

1983 – 1988

  • WSU DVM Class of 1961 (highest honors)
  • Served as chairman of the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology (1976 – 1983).
  • Served as the director of the Idaho program (Washington – Oregon – Idaho) from 1984 to 1988.
  • Received the Distinguished Veterinary Alumni Award (Excellence in Teaching and Research) in 2013.
  • Earned a Bachelor or Science degree from Utah State University.
  • Earned a PhD from the University of Toronto.
  • Held faculty positions at six universities.
  • Served as a visiting professor and scientist at six universities.
  • Long-time affiliate professor of the University of Washington’s Departments of Pathology and Oral Biology.
  • Received nine awards for excellence in teaching in his 31 years of instructing veterinary, pharmacy, medical, dental and graduate students.
  • His research focused on the interaction of nutrition and disease and animal models of human disease.
  • Held numerous consultancies in government and industry and served four years as a member of the National Advisory Research Resources Council of the National Institutes of Health.
  • Inducted by the House of Delegates of the American Veterinary Medical Association as an Honor Roll Member in 2007.

Dean Leo K Bustad

Leo K. Bustad

1973 – 1984

  • WSU DVM Class of 1949.
  • Became best known for his fascination with the human-animal bond.
  • Founder of the Delta Society.
  • Established the People-Pet Partnership.
  • He spoke eloquently and often about compassion and morality.
  • Reorganized the college of five departments to three.
  • Veterinary science building later named for Dean Bustad was completed in 1978 (took three years to build).
  • Recipient of the WSU Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1987.

Dean J A Henderson

J. A. Henderson

1963 – 1973

  • Received the McCoy Award, one of the most prestigious award made by the college, in 1989.
  • A Canadian by birth, he spent his entire professional career in clinical veterinary medicine in Canada and in this country.
  • As a farm boy from Manitoba, his main interests, according to his own description, were "baseball and draft horses."
  • Following his graduation from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1939, he earned an Master's of Science degree from Cornell University.
  • Remained in the northeast to be the director of the first cooperative artificial insemination center in North America.
  • From there he joined the faculty of the University of Illinois where, in his words, "my duties included everything from clinical work in the university’s flocks and herds to post-mortem room operator and lecturer on poultry diseases to unsuspecting farmers."
  • During World War II, he served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, beginning as a navigator and eventually being assigned to Cambridge University to advise that institution on their artificial insemination program.
  • Following the war, Dr. Henderson returned to Illinois for a brief period before moving on to the faculty at Ontario Veterinary College. He remained there for 17 years, the last 13 of which he served as Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Surgery.
  • Collaborated with D. C. Blood to write the book Veterinary Medicine, now in its seventh edition. Few veterinary students complete their DVM education without having become acquainted with this well-known work.
  • In 1963, he immigrated to the United States to become the Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University.
  • Leaving WSU, he retired to his native Canada. In his words: "Since then I have devoted my talents to gardening, chopping wood, fishing, clam digging, looking after a small stud of Norwegian fjord horses, and watching with hope, but small confidence, the Mariners and Seahawks on TV."

Dean Ernest Stone

Ernest C. Stone

1952 – 1961

  • Class of 1942
  • Had been chairman of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology.
  • Restored morale and presided over an era of significant growth in personnel and facilities.
  • Believed any dean would accomplish all he was going to accomplish in 10 years
  • After he resigned in 1961 he went to Pakistan to help create a veterinary school in Lyallpur, and was appointed dean of that new college.

John E McCoy

John E. McCoy


  • Chair of a faculty committee that served in lieu of a dean.

Dean Roy E Nichols

Roy E. Nichols

1948 – 1950

Dr. Roy E. Nichols, was awarded his first degree from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Toronto in 1933. His Master’s degree was awarded The Ohio State University.  He remained in Ohio as an Instructor in Surgery until he accomplished his Doctorate degree in 1941. Dr. Nichols next took a position with Purdue University where he was assistant professor in the School of Agriculture and associate professor in the Agricultural Experiment Station. In 1942, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and was stationed at the Army Veterinary School at the Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., as officer in charge of the animal unit, which made all typhoid vaccines. After his honorable discharge, he returned, having earned another degree, to his previous position at Purdue University. In 1943, the University of Toronto awarded him the DVSc which was an equivalent to a Ph.D. in the U.S. at the time. In May 1947, Dr. Nichols arrived at The State College of Washington to join the veterinary faculty bringing with him his wife, Carrie, and their two children, Bruce, 9, and Janice, 4.  Dr. Nichols served as Dean from 1948 to 1950.


Dean Earl E Wegner

Earl E. Wegner

1921 – 1947

  • Served as vice dean in 1920.
  • Lived in Pullman and traveled to Spokane every Friday afternoon to teach Veterinary Jurisprudence.
  • Graduated in 1908 and then practiced for a few months in Colville, Wash.
  • Joined the meat inspection service of the U.S. Bureau of Animal Industry in the fall of 1908 in Portland.
  • Joined the faculty in 1909 as an assistant professor of anatomy and surgery and remained until 1950.
  • Guided the college through some of its most difficult and formative years.
  • Tried to establish veterinary medicine as a true medical profession rather than just an adjunct to agriculture.
  • Grew up on a livestock ranch near Cheney, Wash.
  • President of the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association in 1916.
  • Represented Washington in the American Veterinary Medical Association’s House of Representatives from 1934 to 1940.
  • Represented the Seventh Executive Board District of the AVMA from 1945 to 1950.
  • Served on the Pullman City Council from 1924 to 1926.
  • Mayor of Pullman from 1926 to 1930.
  • Upon retirement from WSU he moved to Seattle and returned to equine practice.

Dean Sofus B Nelson

Sofus B. Nelson

1895 – 1919

  • A native of Denmark, an Iowa State College graduate, and a Spokane practitioner.
  • Postgraduate work at the Royal Academy in Copenhagen.
  • Appointed as State Veterinarian, professor of Veterinary Science, and member of the State Board of Health in 1895.
  • Lived in Spokane and divided his time between Spokane and Pullman (using two railroads and an electric interurban for transportation)
  • Established a curriculum designed to supplement agriculture courses and provide pre-professional training for students planning to transfer to other schools to complete a veterinary degree.
  • When he resigned as dean, he accepted an appointment by the then Washington State College president E. O. Holland as director of the Agriculture Extension Service.

Washington State University