Dr. Sue VandeWoude appointed CVMBS dean after 32 years at CSU


Colorado State University Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology professor Susan VandeWoude poses for a portrait May 2, 2019. Dr. VandeWoude was named the next Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at CSU back in August. (Photo courtesy of William A. Cotton/CSU Photography)

Samy Gentle, News Reporter

On Aug. 16 Dr. Sue VandeWoude began her appointment as the new dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, according to a SOURCE article.

VandeWoude received her postgraduate education in comparative medicine and specializes in veterinary virology. 


VandeWoude said she has been working at Colorado State University for 32 years, most recently holding the positions of CVMBS associate dean for research from 2011-19 and director of the One Health Institute from 2020-22. 

“In my associate dean role I was responsible for running and facilitating research and research training programs and finding research opportunities for faculty in the college,” VandeWoude wrote in an email. “As OHI director I organized interdisciplinary initiatives across CSU that examined issues at the intersection of animal, human and environmental health.” 

Before her time at CSU, VandeWoude worked at an animal veterinary clinic and then moved to doing research and clinical training at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 

Some of VandeWoude’s accomplishments include being named a University Distinguished Professor at CSU and being elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2019.

“My appointment as dean is the capstone to my career and my highest professional accomplishment,” she wrote.

“My career path has been meandering, and I’ve found my way by keeping my eyes and ears open for opportunities and following my heart,” VandeWoude wrote. “(As) dean of a great college like CVMBS, I’ll be a persistent and strong advocate for resources and opportunities to benefit our faculty, staff and students.”

As the new dean, VandeWoude said she will be leading more than 2,000 employees who make up CVMBS as well as 1,000 undergraduate students, 550 veterinary students, a veterinary teaching hospital and a number of graduate and postdoctoral training programs. 

Dr. VandeWoude is an accomplished scientist and outstanding mentor to many.” -Sandra Quackenbush, CVMBS associate dean for academic and student affairs

There was significant preparation leading up to VandeWoude’s new position appointment.

“The interview process was very thorough and rigorous: I went to meetings for two full days and met with many stakeholders to answer questions about my vision for the college and my approach to leadership,” VandeWoude wrote. 


“The day before I started my new position, I spent time going to each building I have worked at during my three decades at CSU and did some thinking about what each of those positions had taught me to help me be prepared for my current job,” she wrote. 

VandeWoude said her vision for the future of the college includes building replacements and renovations for a better environment for staff and students, as well as increased diversity, equity and inclusion efforts for communities that have been underserved in STEM and veterinary medicine. 

“My vision is to have everyone working at CVMBS believe they are at a place that cares about them and that they are contributing to the work that is the best in the world at what we do,” VandeWoude wrote. “I would also like to tell the story about our college and its fantastic accomplishments to stakeholders in the community, state and around the world.”

VandeWoude’s colleagues had positive thoughts on her new position and leadership.

“Dr. VandeWoude is an accomplished scientist and outstanding mentor to many,” wrote Sandra Quackenbush, associate dean for academic and student affairs in CVMBS.

“Throughout our time in our respective (associate dean) roles, Dr. VandeWoude was a steady and strong advocate for women in leadership and reliably offered thoughtful insights,” wrote Melinda Frye, associate dean for veterinary academic and student affairs. “She enjoyed facilitating collaborative networks and thinking creatively about unconventional partnerships. Importantly, I have always known Dr. VandeWoude to be a good listener, a kind person and highly invested in the well-being of others.”

“I have no doubt that the aforementioned approaches and traits will characterize Dr. VandeWoude’s tenure as dean of the CVMBS,” Frye wrote. 

Reach Samy Gentle at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @samy_gentle_.