CVM Dean kills story about Oklahoma Veterinarian of the Year award winner as feud with alumni worsens

A distinguished alumnus, former faculty member and donor at the College of Veterinary Medicine was recently named "Oklahoma Veterinarian of the Year" by the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association, the state's highest honor for veterinarians, but the Dean of the College killed an article announcing the award in the College's official magazine, Vet Cetera, because he perceives the awardee as a "personal enemy," according to multiple sources with knowledge of the matter.

"An award like this is not about the Dean, it is about our College," a source told CVM Independent on the condition of anonymity because they fear retaliation from the Dean. "We don't have a lot of positive stories lately so it was about the most selfish thing you can imagine to keep news that can make a lot of people feel good about the program away from people. And [the honoree] has his name on a classroom, he is important to this College, you don't disrespect people like him."

Sources tell CVM Independent that it is highly unusual that the College magazine, Vet Cetera, would not publish an article about this year's winner. "We always have an article about this award - always," said one source, "it was not a mistake that there isn't an article this year because [the Dean] just hates [the honoree], but he hates everyone he thinks upstages him. Not a surprise."

Multiple sources confirmed information that CVM Independent has received over several months, including communications from inside the College, that appear to show the Dean harbors visceral animosity toward multiple prominent alumni, including former faculty, major donors, and award-winning individuals.  CVM Independent earlier reported that a group of 47 alumni sent a letter to the President of the University warning about their belief that the Dean's relationship with key alumni was worsening, and that his leadership had resulted in a toxic workplace that caused the mass exodus of many dozens of faculty and staff, the closing of multiple medical departments, and emerging legal liabilities.

Several people shared concern that the Dean is increasingly internalizing an irrational view that "people are out to get him" with one putting it this way: "It's selfish as hell, insulting as hell, like we can't celebrate our own people because one guy hates so many people. How do you hate Vet of the Year winners and Distinguished Alumni winners and people who did a lot of good around here for decades? What kind of insecurity makes a person see enemies everywhere like this?"

"It's delusional," another protected source shared. "[The Dean] won't even take calls from past winners of Oklahoma Veterinarian of the Year who are all OSU alumni because he thinks they're out to get him, because to him everyone is out to get him. It is not normal behavior."

While the University put out a detailed press release about the Oklahoma Veterinarian of the Year honoree, the College's official magazine did not, and the Dean did not provide a quote in support of the award winner in any story about the award.

CVM Independent was not able to speak directly to this year's Oklahoma Veterinarian of the Year honoree because he was out of the country, but was able to confirm elements of this story through multiple credible sources with knowledge of the matter.