• Home
  • Director of KU's Animal Care Unit & University Attending Veterinarian

Director of KU's Animal Care Unit & University Attending Veterinarian

University of Kansas campus skyline

The University of Kansas seeks outstanding applicants for the position of Animal Care Unit Director and University Attending Veterinarian. The director leads a program that serves a vigorous and diverse research community studying basic biology, social science, translational medicine, and field research. The director will manage a growing facility and work closely with the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee, key stakeholders, and researchers to ensure integrated support for a high-quality program. Commitment to excellence in animal research, animal health and welfare, and regulatory compliance is required.

This is a full-time, 12-month position for a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with significant laboratory animal experience, strong leadership and communication skills, broad knowledge of regulations and standards for use of animals in teaching and research, and hands-on experience fulfilling operational, veterinary, and research needs of a laboratory animal facility.

The university encourages applications from members of groups underrepresented in higher education.

About the Animal Care Unit

KU Animal Care Unit Director Position Profile

The Animal Care Unit (ACU), a core laboratory and service unit of the Office of Research, is responsible for care of all teaching and research animals on the Lawrence campus. The ACU exists to advance the research and teaching missions of the university by providing faculty, staff and students training and support in the use of laboratory animals and by maintaining exemplary standards of animal care through effective resource management.

The ACU comprises more than 33,000 square feet of dedicated animal and procedure space dispersed in six buildings across KU’s Lawrence campus. Housing facilities are available for common laboratory animals, including but not limited to rodents, rabbits, fish, reptiles, and amphibians. Specialized facilities are also available.

KU adheres to the highest standards of animal care and maintains an Assurance with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare and is a U.S. Department of Agriculture registered research facility. The ACU has been accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International since 1982.

Position responsibilities

Facility management (30%)

  • Provides leadership and expertise on issues of facility design, maintenance, and planning, including emergency planning and budgeting. Works with IACUC and IO to ensure policies and resources are in place and with other university stakeholders to ensure adequate institutional support to maintain facilities.
  • Oversees day-to-day maintenance of facilities to meet the KU accredited program standards and needs, including sanitation, environmental conditions, supplies, security, and personnel safety.
  • Maintains related facility policies, procedures, forms, and records.
  • Oversees use of animal facilities, including coordination of investigator room assignments.
  • Ensures critical policies, procedures, rules, and cautions — including changes to the same — are communicated clearly to all staff and users.
  • Oversees ACU business functions, including procurement, personnel, contract services, animal census and usage, and billing. Provides required business information and works with Office of Research Fiscal Services to propose rates for per diems and services offered by the ACU.
  • Supervises clinical veterinarian, facility manager, and other key ACU personnel. and the public.

Health and well-being (40%)

  • Oversees husbandry operations, including housing, enrichment, breeding, quality assurance, and record keeping to ensure health and well-being of animals.
  • Oversees veterinary care program, including but not limited to preventative medicine and health surveillance; medical and surgical treatment; sedation, anesthetic and analgesic guidelines; handling and immobilization; and all related medical records. Has access to and authority to intervene in the care of any animal in the program as necessary to assure humane care.
  • Shares hands-on veterinary care responsibility with veterinary team, including on-call availability during evenings, weekends, and holidays, and coverage during leave.
  • Ensures continuing professional development and licensure of veterinary staff, as well as continuing education and training for animal husbandry and facility staff.
  • Provides consultation and training to investigators regarding experimental procedures and techniques.

Compliance (25%)

  • Participates in and works closely with the KU-Lawrence IACUC:
    • Reviews animal use statements (AUS) in collaboration with IACUC.
    • Approves specific AUS changes according to IACUC-approved Veterinary Verification and Consultation (VVC) procedures.
    • Consults with investigators on development of AUS.
    • Advises IACUC on all matters relating to animal welfare, facilities, and regulatory requirements, including but not limited to developing and implementing training programs for IACUC members and personnel working with animals, overall program development and continual improvement, and emergency preparedness.
    • Acts as a primary responder to reports of concern and unanticipated or adverse events that result in animal welfare issues.
    • Participates in the Committee for Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Research Animals (COHSCURA).
  • Serves as primary contact and coordinator for regulatory inspections and accreditation visits.
  • Cultivates a culture of safety and compliance among ACU staff and KU researchers.
  • Maintains compliance with all policies for the Drug Enforcement Agency and Board of Pharmacy, including acquisition, storage, inventory, record maintenance, and accurate licensure for management of controlled and non-controlled drugs.

Other duties as assigned (5%)

Required qualifications

  1. DVM or equivalent degree from an AVMA Council on Education-accredited veterinary college or school and eligibility for licensure to practice veterinary medicine in the state of Kansas.
  2. Diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM) or ACLAM board-eligible with the requirement to successfully obtain ACLAM certification within two years of starting the position.
  3. Three years of experience serving as a laboratory animal veterinarian.
  4. Previous experience working with an IACUC to develop, implement, and maintain an animal care and use program that met regulatory requirements and accreditation standards.
  5. Supervisory experience and knowledge of financial management for animal care and use facilities.
  6. Excellent written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills as demonstrated in application materials, work experience, references, and the interview process.
  7. Knowledge and understanding of all applicable federal regulations, standards, and guidelines for all vertebrate animals used in teaching and research, including familiarity with AAALAC-International accreditation standards, as demonstrated in work history and credentials.
  8. Experience in the use of office management software such as Microsoft Office.
  9. Ability to lift 50 pounds.
  10. Ability to work evenings, weekends and holidays as needed on an on-call basis.

Preferred qualifications

  1. Three years of laboratory animal facility management experience including supervisory responsibilities.
  2. Experience with financial planning for a laboratory animal facility and ability to use business information for performance metrics.
  3. Hands-on experience with aquatic species and reptiles and familiarity with scientific goals and techniques for animals use in basic biology, social sciences, translational medicine, and field research.
  4. Demonstrated success in establishing positive relationships with investigators and other key stakeholders.
  5. Experience supporting a culture of safety and compliance among all parties to an animal care and use program.
  6. Experience developing and presenting training programs and providing consultation regarding use of animals in research and education.
  7. Demonstrated understanding of the needs of investigators pursuing diverse lines of research involving the use of animals.
  8. Experience conducting laboratory animal research, as demonstrated by authorship of research publications.


A complete application includes an online application, cover letter, resume highlighting pertinent experience relative to the required and preferred qualifications and contact information for three professional references. Only complete applications will be considered.

Apply online

Application review begins March 13, 2021 and will continue until a qualified applicant is selected. To ensure first consideration, please apply by March 12, 2021.

Search committee

The search committee is chaired by Matt Riegel, clinical veterinarian in KU's Animal Care Unit. Other members include:

  • Kendra Clark, animal facility supervisor, Animal Care Unit
  • David Davido, professor, molecular biosciences
  • Susan MacNally, director of research integrity, Office of Research
  • Rob Moyle, professor, ecology & evolutionary biology, and ornithology curator, KU Biodiversity Institute
  • Adam Smith, assistant professor, pharmacology & toxicology

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities.