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Lyon College names dean of Arkansas’ first veterinary school

By: - May 31, 2023 4:57 pm
Eleanor Green, founding dean of the Lyon College School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Eleanor Green has been selected as the founding dean of the Lyon College School of Veterinary Medicine. (Courtesy photo)

Lyon College has appointed the former dean of Texas A&M’s veterinary school to lead the Lyon College School of Veterinary Medicine, which will be the state’s first veterinary school.

Eleanor Green, professor emerita and dean emerita of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University, begins her official duties as founding dean on July 1. She will lead Lyon College’s request for accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education.

“Dr. Green is an innovative thinker with an impressive array of experiences in veterinary education, scholarship and policy,” Lyon College President Melissa Taverner said in a press release. “Her professional connections to a wide variety of fields in the veterinary industry will be critically important as we construct an integrated experience-based curriculum to deliver the foundational training and preparation needed by practitioners in the 21st century.”

Founded in 1872, Lyon College is a private, liberal arts institution located in Batesville. The Lyon College Faculty Assembly and Board of Trustees approved proposals last year to develop dental and veterinary schools in Little Rock with its partner OneHealth Education Group. 

“After devoting most of my career to veterinary education and academic administration, I am humbled and excited to be named founding dean for the Lyon College School of Veterinary Medicine in Little Rock, Arkansas,” Green said. “The opportunity to shape a novel program from scratch is irresistible.” 

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Agriculture is the state’s largest industry, adding around $16 billion to the state’s economy annually, according to the Arkansas Farm Bureau. However, Arkansas is one of 22 states without a vet school, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Five of those states are working to establish their own school.

Arkansas State University has also announced plans to establish its own veterinary college in Jonesboro. The ASU System board of trustees approved the initiative in March.

Graduates of the new schools could help address a shortage of veterinary professionals. Nearly 41,000 additional vets will be needed by 2030, and even with new graduates expected in the next decade, a shortage of nearly 15,000 vets will likely still exist by 2030, according to studies by Mars Veterinary Health.

“Lyon College is entering veterinary education at a time of profound need, challenge and opportunity,” Green said. “It is an exciting time to contribute to the advancement of veterinary education and health care in a world that benefits so much from its animals and the people who care for them.”

Green is currently senior adviser/consultant for Animal Policy Group and vice president of Iron Horse Consulting & Iron Horse Farm, LLC. She also serves on the advisory board of Mars Veterinary Health. Green received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Auburn University. 

Lyon College is pursuing accreditation with both the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education and the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation. Pending the accreditors’ approvals, inaugural classes could start as early as 2025.


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Antoinette Grajeda
Antoinette Grajeda

Antoinette Grajeda is a multimedia journalist who has reported since 2007 on a wide range of topics, including politics, health, education, immigration and the arts for NPR affiliates, print publications and digital platforms. A University of Arkansas alumna, she earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and a master’s degree in documentary film.