College of Veterinary Medicine

A conversation with Dr. Steven Marks, dean of Clemson’s College of Veterinary Medicine

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Dr. Steven Marks was named the inaugural dean of Clemson University’s College of Veterinary Medicine on July 20, 2023.

Marks comes to Clemson from North Carolina State University, where he served as associate dean and director of veterinary medical services and clinical professor of emergency and internal medicine.

He became founding dean following a nationwide search that began after the Board of Trustees officially approved the development of the new College of Veterinary Medicine to position Clemson as a national leader in veterinary education and research while supporting the University’s land-grant mission. 

The following is an interview with Dean Marks about how the College of Veterinary Medicine will fill a crucial need in the state and his previous ties to the University before becoming dean.  

What excited you about coming to Clemson and the opportunity to become dean?

I’m honored to be here in this role.

I am very excited about the chance to train the next generation of clinician-scientists and veterinarians at a University that has had an exceptional impact on our family. 

A first for the state, this college will create new opportunities to benefit the economy, retain top talent and serve our communities. 

What do you want people to know about this new college and how it will help students and South Carolinians?

Many people may not realize that there are more than 2,000 pets and livestock for every veterinarian in the state! This amazing statistic comes from the American Veterinary Medical Association and shows a real need that our state must meet to serve our communities.

Earlier this year, we also uncovered more eye-opening findings, including more than a third of South Carolina counties have fewer than five veterinarians and nearly half of the state’s counties have fewer than 10. Also, it’s essential that we keep talented students here and prevent them from going to other states to attend veterinary college. Right now, nearly 200 students in South Carolina are enrolled at 13 veterinary colleges outside of the state. The Clemson College of Veterinary can change this.

How was Clemson a natural choice among all the state universities to launch a College of Veterinary Medicine?

The College of Veterinary Medicine is  uniquely positioned to support Clemson’s land-grant mission.

In collaboration with our partners at the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, the College of Veterinary Medicine will leverage the University’s existing animal health programs and infrastructure to create a veterinary medicine workforce to fill a statewide shortage of veterinarians. 

You mentioned this University’s impact on your family. What are your ties to Clemson?

My son, George, was a four-year student-athlete and starting goaltender on the Clemson men’s national championship soccer team in 2021. 

We have this family connection with Clemson that is indescribable.