Levine The New Dean of UW Vet School

Jonathan Levine has been selected as the next leader of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. He is a professor of veterinary neurology and the head of small animal clinical sciences at Texas A&M University.

Levine will step into the role on August 1, 2024 as the fourth dean in the school’s 41 years history. He will replace Mark D. Markel, who announced last summer that he would step back from the position after 12 years of service. Markel will return to the faculty as a professor of large animal surgery. He will also continue to run the Comparative Orthopaedic Research Laboratory focused on musculoskeletal regeneration.

“We are looking forward to Jonathan Levine joining the School of Veterinary Medicine,” says UW–Madison Provost Charles Isbell. “Levine’s proven collaborative leadership style and program-building skills will help the school continue to be a leading center of education. It will help with clinical care and research that benefits both animals and humans alike.”

At Texas A&M, Levine’s focus areas were in neuroscience and neurology. His time there has given him an in-depth understanding of what it takes to build an impactful research and care program in an academic veterinary school. It also showed the importance of fostering an inclusive environment that values diverse perspectives.

“I am thrilled and honored to be stepping into this new role as dean,” says Levine. “I’m passionate about working together to address our challenges and expand opportunities while serving the diverse needs of the school and the public. I look forward to building on the great accomplishments of Dean Markel. I’m excited to help the school’s talented faculty, staff and students continue to make positive impacts.”

Levine earned his undergraduate degree and doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Cornell University. He also completed a small animal rotating internship at Colorado State University. He completed residency in neurology at both Texas A&M and the University of Missouri.

Since stepping into his role as a departmental leader, Levine has pursued further education in leadership, program development and inclusion from top institutions such as Duke, Harvard, and Purdue universities. He also served as interim director for Texas A&M’s Small Animal Hospital through the pandemic.

Levine’s research focuses on naturally occurring neurological diseases in dogs. This includes those especially with relevance to human spinal cord injuries and central nervous system tumors. He has also served as the president of the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians. This is an organization of veterinary colleges across the United States and Canada that works to enhance the quality of and advocate for veterinary instruction, service and research.

While he acknowledges that veterinary medicine and higher education currently face numerous challenges, he also believes this moment is one of extraordinary opportunities.

“Leaders who are successful program builders must develop collaborative, inclusive cultures that emphasize shared governance” he says. “I encourage feedback, open dialogue, transparency in the face of challenges and a distribution of leadership. With the new UW Veterinary Care addition and renovation, the SVM is well-positioned to grow its impact in education, research, and patient care. It’s set to continue to recruit outstanding students, staff, and faculty to campus.”

He adds: “By working together, we will be able to make advances in areas as diverse as infection and immunity, population health, teaching and learning, community outreach, patient care, and translational medicine.”