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Academic Health Center Oral History Project

About the College of Veterinary Medicine

Veterinary medicine courses have been taught at the University of Minnesota since 1888. In 1947, the Minnesota legislature authorized the establishment of a School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota, which was administered as a unit of the Institute of Agriculture. In 1957, the Board of Regents established the College of Veterinary Medicine as a separate administrative unit. In 1968, the College established the Department of University Veterinary Hospitals. In 1985, the College of Veterinary Medicine was formally incorporated into the Academic Health Center.

Please click here for a timeline of the College of Veterinary medicine.

Anderson, Robert K.

RK Anderson.jpgIn 1956, Robert K. Anderson came to the University of Minnesota with a joint appointment as a faculty member in the School of Veterinary Medicine and the School of Public Health. He served as the Associate Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine from 1965 to 1971. With Ruth Foster, he invented the Gentle LeaderĀ® Headcollar in 1982. In his dual roles in Veterinary Medicine and Public Health, Anderson co-founded and served as director of CENSHARE, the Center to Study Human-Animal Relationships and Environments, one of the first centers to train and promote companion animal therapy. He retired in 1985. He served as a professor emeritus in both the School of Public Health and the College of Veterinary Medicine until his death on October 12, 2012.

Jessen, Carl

Carl Jessen completed a pre-vet program at the University of Minnesota and earned his DVM in 1956. After spending some time in private practice, he decided to pursue his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. Jessen completed his Ph.D. in qualitative genetics and radiology in 1969 and took a position at the College of Veterinary Medicine in the Department of Surgery and Radiology. In the late 1970s, Jessen became Associate Dean of Planning and Vet Services for twenty years and served as director of the hospital for twelve years. He continues to be a member of the faculty.

Weber, Alvin F.

AlWeber.jpgAlvin F. Weber received his veterinary degree from Iowa State University in 1944, and his Masters in 1946 and a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1949 from the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Weber has been a faculty member at the University of Minnesota College of Medicine since 1949, serving as head of the Department of Veterinary Anatomy between 1965 and 1973.