The Clemson Veterinary School’s new Associate Deans


Earlier this year, Clemson College of Veterinary Medicine named Dr. Nicki Wise, DVM, Ph.D., DACVIM (LA) Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. The position requires oversight of the DVM program to make sure accreditation requirements set forth by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council of Education (COE) are met. She will also manage admissions, recruitment, and academic affairs issues according to Stacia Harris and Laurie Haughey of the Clemson News.

Wise joins the Clemson College of Veterinary Medicine with extensive education and qualifications. She earned her DVM from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. under the USDA Agriculture Research Service. St. George’s University of Veterinary Medicine welcomed Dr. Wise to the faculty in 2014. There she served as an Associate Professor in the Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery. In 2019 she was promoted to Professor and then to the role of Associate Dean of Year Four Clinical Training.

Dr. Wise is excited to be a part of this new venture at Clemson University. Clemson’s CVM will be the first college of veterinary medicine in the state of South Carolina Acknowledging, the shortage of veterinarians for large and small animals statewide and nationwide, Wise looks forward to helping students coming into the program grow into the veterinary profession.

Nicki is from Walterboro and spent preschool through 12th grade in Colleton County. She attended First Baptist WEE program for preschool  and Colleton Preparatory Academy for K-12.  While speaking with Dr. Wise’s mother Ms. Bunny Caldwell, she revealed that Nicki was always driven. Self-disciplined and self motivated even at a young age, Caldwell comments she really did not have to constantly monitor Nicki to make sure schoolwork was getting done.  An occasional check-in and a “do you need anything?” was all that was needed, because she was getting things done quite well on her own. The strategy apparently worked, because Nicki was Valedictorian of her class. She didn’t just succeed in academics. Wise played basketball, softball, was a cheerleader, and was also elected Homecoming Queen.

Wise always wanted to be a doctor; she just never really said exactly what kind of doctor. She started her secondary education at College of Charleston in the marine biology program. However, after an internship with veterinarian Lori Campbell, Dr. Wise made the switch to the veterinary program. She was almost through veterinary school when Nicki decided to change her major to large animal care and surgery.

Dedication to the success of the Clemson College of Veterinary Medicine is a family affair. Dr. Brian Butler, DVM, MPH, Ph.D., DACVP has been named Associate Dean of Clinical Programs. Butler is married to Dr. Nicki Wise. He will be on the college’s leadership team and be in charge of clinical clerkships that are part of the curriculum students will take part in during years three and four of the program. These clinicals will provide the students with practical application for their courses. Butler will be responsible for recruiting and maintaining sites throughout the region where the clinicals can take place. Butler and Dr. Wise will work together to ensure smooth transitions from preclinical and clinical studies for the students.

Since 2013, Dr. Butler has been engaged in providing veterinary education. He graduated from St. George’s University in 2005 with a DVM degree. He then was involved in small animal practice for two years. Butler then attended the University of California-Davis where he earned a Ph.D. in comparative pathology following up with a residency in pathology at Cornell University. He is board certified with the American College of Veterinary Pathologists since 2015. Butler’s goal is to provide veterinary students with the opportunity to explore the career opportunities available in veterinary medicine and to help students transition from the classroom to clinical training.