Auburn University veterinary professor, department head and alumnus Dr. Calvin Johnson has been named dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine after a national search, effective March 1, announced by Dr. Timothy Boosinger, Auburn provost and vice president for academic affairs.
“He has done an excellent job as a department head and during his time as acting dean,” Boosinger said. “His record is outstanding. We are excited that he will be leading the college in the coming years.”
Johnson, head of the Department of Pathobiology, joined the Auburn faculty as a professor in 2003 and was named department head in 2005. His experience also includes 11 years at the University of Florida.
“I am very honored to have been named dean and am enthusiastic about working with the faculty, staff, students and alumni to mold our programs to meet the needs of a 21st century global society, while preserving Auburn’s historical strengths in veterinary medicine,” Johnson said.
He becomes Auburn’s seventh veterinary dean since the college was established in 1907; the veterinary medicine program began at Auburn in 1892. He succeeds Boosinger, who served as dean for 16 years until 2011, when he was named Auburn’s provost. Johnson was acting dean for 17 months, followed by Fred Hoerr as interim dean for four months.
“The college has built a solid foundation through 121 years of exceptional education and leadership in veterinary medicine, including companion animal health, agricultural production medicine, biomedical research and the interface between animals, humans and the environment,” Johnson said.
“I look forward to building upon the successful leadership of Dr. Boosinger and all the previous deans. Among his many contributions, Dr. Boosinger developed a business model to construct state-of-the-art hospitals for large and small animals, and a premier educational facility that can accommodate expanded classes and novel instructional strategies. My goal is to continue building the program and to support the faculty in pursuing the college’s mission.”
A 1979 graduate of Auburn High School, Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree in 1983 and his veterinary degree in 1986, both from Auburn University. He earned his Ph.D. in veterinary medical science (pathology) from North Carolina State University in 1992.
“The Auburn brand of veterinary medicine is well recognized because of its commitment to an exceptional educational experience and a mutual devotion to student success,” Johnson said. “If we are effective as educators, then the citizens of Alabama, our educational partners in Kentucky and animal owners from the Southeast and beyond will all benefit.”
Johnson is chair of Auburn University’s Health Sciences Task Force and serves on numerous other university and college committees.
He is a diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, being board-certified in anatomic pathology, and in 2012 he was named Mentor of the Year by the national Student Chapters of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. His primary research areas involve the pathogenesis of feline immunodeficiency virus infection and veterinary immunology.
He and his wife, Mary, live in Auburn and have a daughter, Frances, an Auburn pharmacy student, and a son, Gardner, an Auburn civil engineering student. Johnson’s father, the late Wiley C. Johnson, was an emeritus professor of agronomy in the College of Agriculture. His mother, Elizabeth Johnson, is a resident of Auburn.