After nearly 20 years as dean of Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Ralph C. Richardson took on a new challenge in August 2015 by becoming interim dean and CEO of K-State Olathe.
He was appointed to the post by university Provost and Senior Vice President April Mason, who selected Richardson because of his strengths and leadership in the animal health area, knowledge of the Kansas City community and administrative acumen to help build on the education, training and research K-State Olathe provides to the Kansas City area.
Richardson became dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University in August 1998. he graduated from Kansas State University in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the university a year later. He then served two years as a captain in the Army’s Veterinary Corps. After leaving the Army, he spent a year as an intern at Purdue University before joining the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1973 as a resident in the small animal internal medicine department.
After practicing in Miami, Florida, Richardson was appointed an assistant professor of medicine in the department of small animal clinics at Purdue University in May 1976. He was promoted to associate professor of medicine in the same department, and then to professor of internal medicine and comparative oncology in July 1984. Richardson was appointed head of the department of veterinary clinical sciences in July 1987 and served in that capacity until he returned to Kansas State University as dean in 1998.
During his time at Purdue, Richardson developed an interest in human-animal comparative medicine, specifically the way naturally occurring cancer in companion animals could serve as animal models for human cancer treatments. As part of that research, he spent three months taking part in a training program in clinical oncology at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas.
Richardson is active in numerous academic, professional and scholarly societies. He is a double-boarded diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) in the specialties of internal medicine and oncology. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and the Veterinary Cancer Society, among others. He also sits on the board of directors of the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor.
Richardson has won several awards for outstanding undergraduate teaching, including a Norden Teaching Award, and he has twice won the Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Award. He was named the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association’s Veterinarian of the Year in 2003 and the Paws Veterinarian of the Year from the Indiana Division of the American Cancer Society in 1996.
Dr. Richardson and his wife Beverly have three grown children and live in Manhattan, Kan.