Dean lands job at historic New York pet hospital

The current top administrator at the Vet School will depart the University.

Mike Enright

When Jeffrey Klausner first came to the University Veterinary School as a graduate student in 1974, he wasn’t expecting to stay long.

“I thought I would be here for three or four years, then go back into practice from where I had come,” he said.

But he did stay, taking a position as an assistant professor.

“After graduating, I looked around for jobs, and the job here was as good as anywhere else, so I decided to stay here,” Klausner said.

Thirty-three years later, the now dean of the college is seeing his time come to an end – in a place he hadn’t originally intended to stay but is finding difficult to leave.

“It’s just a great place to work,” Klausner said. “I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to be here as long as I have.”

And after serving as the school’s top administrator for nearly a decade, the Baltimore native is heading back eastward.

Come July 1, Klausner will be the new president and CEO of the Animal Medical Center, one of the oldest and largest veterinary hospitals in New York City.

“It’s a great hospital,” he said. “They have very loyal clients and a great board of directors.”

AMC officials said they are pleased Klausner has decided to join the center.

“We look forward to Dr. Klausner’s leadership to further the mission to provide the highest quality veterinary care, excellence in research and superior learning opportunities in veterinary clinical sciences through our internship and residency programs at the Animal Medical Center,” the hospital’s search committee said in an e-mail statement.

Aside from a change in scenery, though, Klausner said that for the most part the oversight and leadership role he plans to fill at AMC will be similar to his work as a college dean.

“The scope is a little bit narrower – I won’t have pigs and cows and turkeys to think about – but the basic kind of work is very much the same as it was here,” he said.

While excited about his new role, Klausner said part of him is still sad to leave the University.

“What I’m going to miss are all the people,” he said. “I’ve hired a lot of the people who are here. I’ve known many of these people for over 30 years, so that’s really going to be the hard part (about leaving).”

The feeling is mutual, said Laura Molgaard, the vet school’s associate dean of academic and student affairs and one of Klausner’s hires.

“I am going to miss him a lot,” she said. “I think a lot of us will.”

Second-year vet student Jen Tuomi said Klausner recognized all the college’s students, even if he didn’t always know their names, and appeared to convey a genuine interest in their development.

“He really seems to care about the school and care about the students,” she said. “I think we can all be happy for him.”

Fellow second-year Katie Ptak said though she’s not personally affected by Klausner’s departure, she thought he’s done a good job.

“He was always looking for ways to improve,” she said. “He always asked for suggestions from students.”

Large animal medicine professor Trevor Ames, who has known the dean for about 28 years, attributed much of the vet school’s recent success to Klausner’s drive and leadership, which is also probably what AMC saw in him and why he will be missed.

“This is just another example of him seeking a new challenge, and I have every reason to believe he will be wonderfully successful,” Ames said.

Looking back, Klausner said he has no regrets about his time at the University, and he leaves with great memories.

“The fondest moments are when you meet somebody who you taught 10 years ago, and they tell you what an impact you had on their life and on their learning,” he said. “That’s probably the most rewarding thing that can happen to somebody in this environment.”