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Leadership Changes


The college recently announced a leadership transition in the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) program. Dr. Mary Jo Burkhard, Associate Dean for Faculty and Staff Affairs, Inclusive Diversity, and Planning, will transition responsibility to Dr. Sue Knoblaugh and Ms. Sandra Dawkins. 


Dr. Burkhard is reducing her FTE to 0.75,  beginning May 1, 2021. By reducing her appointment, the college needed to identify areas of her position for which she would no longer be responsible. For nearly six years, her leadership and vision have helped us achieve a tremendous amount in the area of DEIB, including the college being recognized with the Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine for four consecutive years, 2017-2020. She has helped lay a strong foundation for the college and future leaders. To better reflect her changing responsibilities, Dr. Burkhard’s new title will be Associate Dean for Faculty Success and Planning.


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<p>Description automatically generatedDiversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging is one of the foundational principles of our Be The Model™ strategic plan and is vitally important to our programmatic advancement and excellence. As such I am pleased to announce that moving forward our college will be in great hands as it relates to DEIB leadership. Dr. Sue Knoblaugh and Ms. Sandra Dawkins will co-lead these efforts, serving as the Faculty Director and Staff Director, respectively, of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Program. Together, the two will co-chair the DEIB Committee and work to engage faculty, staff, students, alumni, the college’s Diversity Council, and others across the university, community and veterinary profession in this important work. In addition to these new roles, Sue will continue serving as the Chair of the Admissions Committee and Sandra as Director of Admissions and Recruitment. They can be reached through the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging email address ( For more information regarding our DEIB programming, initiatives and activities, click here.


Please join me in expressing our deepest gratitude to Dr. Burkhard for her commitment and contributions to advancing DEIB in our college and beyond. While her role will be morphing and she will be stepping away from formal DEIB efforts, she remains committed and will be intentional toward allyship efforts and will look for ways to support Sandra and Sue in their efforts. Please join me in congratulating and thanking Ms. Dawkins and Dr. Knoblaugh for their interest, commitment, leadership and involvement in continuing to enhance our DEIB initiatives and outcomes.

Last updated: 

Monday, August 16, 2021 - 11:15am