College of Veterinary Medicine; Office of the President; Office of the Provost

Clemson names Steven Marks founding dean for the College of Veterinary Medicine


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Dr. Steven Marks, associate dean and director of veterinary medical services and clinical professor of emergency and internal medicine at North Carolina State University, has been chosen to lead the College of Veterinary Medicine at Clemson University as its founding dean. The Board of Trustees approved the appointment on Thursday, July 20, 2023, and Marks will begin on Monday, August 14.

Image courtesy of
North Carolina State University.

As Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Marks’ research interests have included emergency and critical care, general internal medicine, cardiopulmonary medicine, and pain management. Marks has received numerous awards from NC State University, including the 2009 Pfizer Distinguished Teacher Award, the 2013 Zoetis Distinguished Teacher Award, the 2014 Outstanding Teacher Award, the 2020 Huffman Leadership Award and the Randy and Susan Ward Coat of Excellence. The Triangle Business Journal recognized Marks with its Healthcare Hero Award in 2021. He currently serves as the president of the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians.

We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Marks to this founding role for the College of Veterinary Medicine and are grateful for the state’s investment in filling this need for South Carolinians,” said Clemson University President Jim Clements. “We look forward to welcoming students to this program in the Fall of 2026.”

Dr. Marks’ commitment to enhancing student success while building a culture of discovery and innovation aligns with Clemson’s goals to improve South Carolina’s economy, retain top talent and protect animal and human health, while serving our communities,” said Clemson Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Robert H. Jones. “We are excited that he will serve in this historic role and provide steady and effective leadership beneficial to our state’s veterinarians, citizens and animals.”

Provost Jones also thanked experts in the veterinary discipline, Boyd Parr and Tim Boosinger, for their tireless work as advisors to Clemson throughout the new college development process. 

Boyd and Tim share a passion for higher education and purpose-driven service to the veterinary discipline and practice,” said Jones. “Their steadfast commitment in supporting our efforts to spearhead the College of Veterinary Medicine’s mission and vision is critically important as we aim to achieve even greater heights of excellence for the University.”

I’m thrilled to accept this new role. It allows me the opportunity to combine my passions of the human-animal bond and veterinary medicine to train the next generation of clinician-scientists and veterinarians at a University that has had an exceptional impact on our family,” said Marks, whose 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. The whole experience coming back is very special.”

Marks will ensure an inaugural 2026 College of Veterinary Medicine cohort by initiating American Veterinary Medical Association provisional accreditation, recruiting exceptional foundational faculty and developing a rigorous Doctor of Veterinary Medicine curriculum over the next year. Marks is also responsible for providing leadership, vision and strategic planning for the College of Veterinary Medicine’s future, including new facilities and academic programs.  

According to a recent feasibility study to support the development of the new college, Clemson found that 33 percent of South Carolina counties have fewer than five veterinarians and veterinary care is one of the fastest growing segments in the nation. 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 on June 22. The approval followed the completion of the FY24 state budget that included landmark funding to develop the new college and significant support from Governor Henry McMaster and the South Carolina General Assembly.

The College of Veterinary Medicine is important to South Carolina, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to play a part in positively impacting the people and the animals within the state,” added Marks.

Marks joined NC State University’s Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine in 2005 as a clinical associate professor and has served as a clinical professor since 2013. In 2014, he was named associate dean and director of veterinary medical services for the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine. Additionally, Marks has held positions at the University of Illinois, Louisiana State University, Colorado State University, Cardio Pet, Inc. and Washington State University. He was president of the Small Animal Internal Medicine Specialty in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine from 2009 to 2012.

Marks holds a Bachelor of Science in animal sciences from Texas A&M University and a Master of Science in veterinary medicine from Washington State University. Additionally, he is a Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgery and holds a Bachelor of Veterinary Sciences from the University of Liverpool. 

Joining him will be his wife, Dr. Dianne Dunning, also a veterinarian. In addition to his son, George, Marks has a daughter, Sydney, a rising senior at the University of Michigan.

The Clemson College of Veterinary Medicine plans to welcome its first class of veterinarians in the Fall of 2026 with the University leveraging its already existing animal health programs and infrastructure.

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