Laura Molgaard, DVM

Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine
Laura Molgaard


Office Phone
Office Address

College of Veterinary Medicine Dean's Office 455 Veterinary Medical Center
1365 Gortner Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
United States


Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine (VPM)


DVM, Iowa State University

BS, Iowa State University

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Dr. Laura Molgaard became Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine in June of 2021 and acted as the Interim Dean starting in August of 2019.

She is a member of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) Competency-Based Veterinary Education Working Group. In 2018 this group published a groundbreaking framework and Entrustable Professional Activities that provide a modern, shared, core educational and assessment structure for veterinary graduates around the globe. The framework encourages schools to build on that core for their unique setting. It also sets out to help students know where they stand in their progress, anticipate the expectations for any given competency, and understand what they need to do to be proficient. She was the first veterinary representative invited to join to the International Competency-Based Medical Education (ICBME) Collaborators, a group of educational leaders in human medical education. More recently, she was invited to join the ICBME Executive Committee and serves as the only veterinary education representative.

Molgaard worked in veterinary private practice focusing on small animal patients for several years after earning her degree from Iowa State University in 1991. Her interest in education led her to teaching at a veterinary technician program for several years before joining the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997. After developing curriculum and teaching veterinary students for five years, Molgaard was named Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs in 2001. More recently, she was named Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs.

Molgaard’s research interests include the use of entrustable professional activities to improve the frequency and quality of coaching feedback for learners, competency assessment and selection for and development of non-technical competencies. She also is active in diversity initiatives including veterinary pipeline development, admissions, and culture/climate issues. Her passion for education is rooted in strong beliefs in the value of experiential education, the desire to support veterinary students in their development as professionals, and a passion for innovation in education. She was an early adopter of technology enhanced learning and created a hybrid course in 1999 and a comprehensive, interactive tutorial on physical examination of the canine patient in 2001. She also developed and implemented Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) in 2002 for students to practice history taking and other communication skills. The OSCE program was adopted by subsequent course coordinators and continues to this day. Molgaard continues to teach several courses, including classes in orientation and leadership within the University of Minnesota veterinary program, and professional development for future veterinarians.

She is the author or coauthor of numerous peer-reviewed academic papers, book chapters, and is a developer of technology-enhanced learning products. Molgaard also is a frequent presenter at international, national and local conferences on veterinary and interprofessional education.

In 2019, Molgaard was awarded the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association’s Outstanding Faculty Award at the statewide organization’s annual meeting. She was inducted into the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center’s Academy of Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in 2015. The University of Minnesota presented Molgaard with an Access Achievement Award in 2012 for her efforts to advance access on campus and foster an inclusive environment for students with disabilities.

Awards & recognition

  • MVMA Outstanding Faculty Award, 2019
  • Academy of Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Academic Health Center, University of Minnesota, 2015
  • Access Achievement Award, University of Minnesota, 2012


Selected publications

  • Molgaard L. Transformational education requires sustained excellence. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 2023 Apr 1;261(4):583-. 
  • Molgaard LK, Chaney KP, Bok HG, Read EK, Hodgson JL, Salisbury SK, Rush BR, Ilkiw JE, May SA, Danielson JA, Frost JS. Development of core entrustable professional activities linked to a competency-based veterinary education framework. Medical Teacher. 2019 Dec; 41(12): 1404-10.
  • AAVMC Working Group on Competency-Based Veterinary Education, Molgaard LK, Hodgson JL, Bok HGJ, Chaney KP, Ilkiw JE, Matthew SM, May SA, Read EK, Rush BR, Salisbury SK. (2018) Competency-Based Veterinary Education: Part 1 – CBVE Framework. Washington, DC: Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.
  • AAVMC Working Group on Competency-Based Veterinary Education, Molgaard LK, Hodgson JL, Bok HGJ, Chaney KP, Ilkiw JE, Matthew SM, May SA, Read EK, Rush BR, Salisbury SK. (2018) Competency-Based Veterinary Education: Part 2 – Entrustable Professional Activities. Washington, DC: Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.
  • Molgaard LK, Read EK. Learning through Peer-assistance and Coaching, In: Hodgson JL, Pelzer JM. Veterinary Medical Education: A Practical Guide. Wiley. April 2017.
  • Molgaard LK, Root Kustritz MV, Rendahl A. 2015. Closing the Loop: Using evidence to inform refinements to an admissions process. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. 42 (4): 297-304.
  • Molgaard LK and Lewis RE. 2008. The use of a structured interview guide in veterinary college admissions, Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 35 (3): 460-465.