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Youngquist Named Academic Affairs
Associate Dean

Dr. Robert YoungquistWhen 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 medicine.

“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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Last Update: February 29, 2012