Following a national search, M. Daniel Givens, a veterinarian, researcher, and educator, has been named dean of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (VMCVM) at Virginia Tech, effective June 1, 2020.

Givens currently serves as the associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn University, where he is also a professor in the Department of Pathobiology.

Virginia Tech Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril Clarke, who served as dean of the veterinary college from 2013 to 2017, announced the appointment earlier today. Givens will become the fifth dean of the veterinary college.

“Dr. Dan Givens is a highly respected researcher, clinician, and academic leader who brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine,” Clarke said. “His collaborative approach to working with university leaders and his commitment to excellence in regard to veterinary medicine and public health missions of the college will play a key role in helping to advance Virginia Tech's strategic partnerships and priorities.”

Givens will succeed Gregory B. Daniel, who has served as interim dean of the college since 2017, and will be returning to his faculty position in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences in the spring.

“I'd like to sincerely thank Dr. Greg Daniel for his outstanding leadership as interim dean and his steadfast advocacy in support of faculty, staff, and students,” Clarke said. “His intimate knowledge of our veterinary medical programs and personal commitment to serving the college have advanced its national reputation and facilitated formation of productive partnerships with other colleges and institutes at Virginia Tech.”

“I am very excited to continue and advance the college’s pursuit of excellence by serving stakeholders in this leadership role at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine,” Givens said.

The VMCVM has seen significant growth in its academic, clinical, and research programs and facilities in recent years, including a new bachelor of science in public health, as well as the Comparative Oncology Research Center, under construction on the Virginia Tech Carilion Health Sciences Campus in Roanoke, Virginia. In addition, plans are underway for an expansion and remodeling of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital on the Blacksburg campus, and ongoing renovation of facilities and growth in services at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Virginia. 

Garnering a reputation for excellence among prospective students, the college’s doctor of veterinary medicine (D.V.M.) program, which welcomed its 40th class this fall, has ranked second nationally in the number of veterinary program applicants for five consecutive years. The Class of 2023 received 1,853 applicants for 120 available spots.

Since joining the Auburn University faculty in 2000, Givens, a diplomate of both the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists (virology specialty) and the American College of Theriogenologists, has served in various roles, including acting head of the Department of Pathobiology and interim associate dean for academic affairs before assuming his current position in 2013.

His efforts in applied research in infectious diseases that affect reproduction of cattle have produced more than 85 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, five book chapters, two international patents, and numerous national and international presentations.

Givens has received multiple teaching awards, including the Carl J. Norden-Pfizer Distinguished Teacher Award and the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association Teacher of the Year. Employing a philosophy rooted in a respect for the individual learner and a desire to improve the quality of human and animal health, he continues to teach selected topics in food safety, theriogenology, vaccinology, evidence-based medicine, and virology.

An American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education site visitor since 2014, he enjoys opportunities to better understand factors that impact animal health and disease and competency of graduating veterinarians.

Givens completed undergraduate studies at Western Kentucky University and received a D.V.M. and a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences, both with academic distinction, from Auburn University.