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Jonathan Levine to become dean of UW–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine

April 1, 2024 By Elise Mahon
Headshot photo of Jonathan Levine

Jonathan Levine

Jonathan Levine, a professor of veterinary neurology and the head of small animal clinical sciences at Texas A&M University, has been selected as the next leader of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine.

Levine will step into the role on Aug. 1, 2024, as the fourth dean in the school’s 41-year history. He will replace Mark D. Markel, who announced last summer that he would step back from the position after 12 years of service to return to the faculty as a professor of large animal surgery. Markel will continue to run the Comparative Orthopaedic Research Laboratory focused on musculoskeletal regeneration.

“We are looking forward to Jonathan Levine joining the School of Veterinary Medicine,” says UW–Madison Provost Charles Isbell. “Levine’s proven collaborative leadership style and exemplary program-building skills will help the school continue to be a leading center of education, clinical care and research that benefits both animals and humans alike.”

At Texas A&M, Levine has served as professor and head of small animal clinical sciences, with focus areas in neuroscience and neurology. His time there has given him an in-depth understanding of what it takes to build an impactful research and care program in an academic veterinary school, as well as an appreciation of the importance of fostering an inclusive environment that values diverse perspectives.

“I am thrilled and honored to be stepping into this new role as dean,” says Levine. “I’m passionate about working together to address our challenges and expand opportunities while serving the diverse needs of the school and the public. I look forward to building on the great accomplishments of Dean Markel and to helping the school’s talented faculty, staff and students continue to make positive impacts.”

Levine earned his undergraduate degree and doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Cornell University before completing a small animal rotating internship at Colorado State University. He completed residency in neurology at both Texas A&M and the University of Missouri.

Since stepping into his role as a departmental leader, Levine has pursued further education in leadership, program development and inclusion from top institutions such as Duke, Harvard and Purdue universities. He also served as interim director for Texas A&M’s Small Animal Hospital through the pandemic, ensuring they could continue to see cases despite challenges imposed by COVID-19.

Levine’s research focuses on naturally occurring neurological diseases in dogs, especially those with relevance to human spinal cord injuries and central nervous system tumors. He has also served as the president of the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians, an organization of veterinary colleges across the United States and Canada that works to enhance the quality of and advocate for veterinary instruction, service and research.

While he acknowledges that veterinary medicine and higher education currently face numerous challenges, he also believes this moment is one of extraordinary opportunities.

“Leaders who are successful program builders must develop collaborative, inclusive cultures that emphasize shared governance,” he says. “To create such a culture, I encourage feedback, open dialogue, transparency in the face of challenges and a distribution of leadership. With the new UW Veterinary Care addition and renovation, the SVM is well positioned to grow its impact in education, research and patient care and to continue to recruit outstanding students, staff and faculty to campus.”

He adds, “By working together, we will be able to make advances in areas as diverse as infection and immunity, population health, teaching and learning, community outreach, patient care and translational medicine.”

Levine, his family and their dogs, Proton and Quark, and horse, Chase, are all looking forward to settling into Madison before the semester starts next fall.

About the UW School of Veterinary Medicine

The UW–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine has established itself as a leading center of veterinary medical education and research. It was founded, in part, to provide critical service to Wisconsin’s animal agriculture industry and today ranks among the top schools in service, research and outreach.

The school provides professional education and training leading to a doctor of veterinary medicine degree and a new class of 96 DVM students in 2023. In addition, the school provides undergraduate and graduate courses as well as research and training opportunities for UW–Madison masters and doctoral students through its comparative biomedical sciences graduate program.

Its basic and clinical research portfolios rank among the nation’s best, drawing top researchers and students from around the world. The school is home to UW Veterinary Care, which provides routine, specialized and emergency services for nearly 30,000 animals each year.

Critical new facilities for the School of Veterinary Medicine are nearly complete. Once open, they will offer more space for education and training as well as equipment, including a state-of-the-art cardio interventional suite.