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Helped found vet school

Former dean Talbot dies in crash

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 4 - September 15, 1994

Richard B. Talbot, 61, founding dean of the Virginia/Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, died last week in a plane crash near Pittsburgh, Pa.

Talbot came to Virginia Tech in 1974 to plan and develop the veterinary college. "We are profoundly shocked and saddened by this terrible tragedy. Dick was a nationally recognized veterinary educator. He truly was a father figure in the veterinary profession and he was a good friend," said Peter Eyre, dean of the veterinary college.

Talbot and William Lavery, then president of Virginia Tech, are generally credited with making the unique joint veterinary-college concept a reality. "Dick and I labored for years getting approvals for the college. The school is a testimonial to his hard work since he helped form it literally from the ground up. While it looked bleak, he never gave up," Lavery said.

President Paul Torgersen served as dean of the college of engineering while Talbot was dean of the veterinary college. He said, "As a colleague and fellow dean, I have the greatest respect for Dick's professionalism and capabilities while he diligently worked to create a new school and a new concept."

Talbot stepped aside as dean in 1984 to return to teaching. He took leave from the university in 1984-85 and again in October 1987 until November 1989 to serve as the director of New Animal Drug Evaluation Office at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He was responsible for all new animal drug evaluations from companies seeking to market veterinary pharmaceuticals in the United States.

Since returning to the university in 1989, his research and teaching centered around pharmacological and toxicological information delivery systems. He was a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology. He was editor-in-chief of the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, editor and secretary of the American Veterinary Computer Society, and editor of Veterinary Pharmaceuticals and Biologicals, a standard reference work for veterinary medicine. He served on the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council Committee on Veterinary Medical Sciences.

Before coming to Virginia Tech, Talbot served as chairman of the Department of Physiology and Phamacology and later as dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia. Talbot began his career as a faculty member at Iowa State University.

Talbot was a native of Marshall County, Kansas. He received baccalaureate and doctor of veterinary medicine degrees from Kansas State University and a Ph.D. from Iowa State University. He was on the board of Hazleton Corporation, a leading life-sciences corporation.