Youngquist Named Academic Affairs
Dr. Robert Youngquist came to Missouri it was with the intention
of completing a two-year residency before returning to Minnesota
to become a dairy practitioner. He never made it back. Now,
36 years later, as his career reaches what he calls “its
twilight,” the road he thought he would be following
has once again detoured.
MU College of Veterinary Medicine Dean
Neil Olson recently named Youngquist as the associate dean
of academic affairs. He will take over the position Sept.
1, replacing Dr. John Dodam, who has accepted the position
of chairman of the CVM’s Department of Veterinary Medicine
and Surgery – a post that Youngquist has filled in an
interim capacity for nearly two years.
“Both Dr. Dodam and I will have a
job and a half until Christmas,” Youngquist said. “We
need to spend a few days with each other, but neither of us
have had time. I imagine there’s going to be lots of
trips across the parking lot” as the offices are traded.
Youngquist said he does not anticipate
making drastic changes to the associate dean’s office.
His priorities will be recruiting good students, giving them
the tools to succeed and working with the faculty to make
sure the curriculum is up to date.
“The half-life knowledge (in veterinary
medicine) used to be seven years. It’s probably five
years now,” he noted. The curriculum must change to
meet the evolving needs of veterinary practice, he added.
Youngquist said one of his goals is to
increase the college’s outreach to prospective students
while they are still in high school to help guide their academic
choices and increase their potential. He also said the college
must be ready to address the looming shortage of veterinarians
facing the country, particularly those working in food animal
“The problem is we’re full,”
he said of the need to educate more veterinary students. “I
don’t know what the chances are for increased facilities,
but we’re planning in that direction. It certainly makes
sense to increase the class size of existing schools, rather
than build new ones.”
Youngquist was born in Odebolt, Iowa. He
earned a DVM at Iowa State University in 1971 and worked as
an associate veterinarian in Tyler, Minn., before pursuing
a residency in theriogenology at MU. At MU he has held the
positions of assistant professor, associate professor and
professor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery; coordinator
of the Food Animal Hospital; instructional leader in theriogenology;
director of graduate studies; and interim associate chairman,
associate chairman and acting chairman of the Department of
Veterinary Medicine and Surgery.
He and his wife, Bonnie, reside in Columbia.
They are the parents of two children and one grandchild.
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