Visionary Professor of Veterinary Ethics Receives Distinguished Faculty Award

Bernard E. Rollin’s contributions to the philosophy, biomedical sciences and animal sciences departments at Colorado State University earned him the university’s Alumni Relations Distinguished Faculty Award. Rollin will receive the award in a special ceremony on Friday, Feb. 17.

     Rollin, a professor, researcher and author at Colorado State, is a University Distinguished Professor and teaches in the philosophy, biomedical sciences and animal sciences departments. Rollin is the leading university bioethicist and is credited as one of the leaders who established the field of bioethics in the nation.  

     "In his years at Colorado State, he has served the university unfailingly and given each of his students a foundation on which to build a fabulous education and a passion to purse knowledge," said Ann Gill, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

     Rollin began working in the Department of Physiology in 1976. From 1976-1979, Rollin was awarded for excellence in teaching, research and service in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. He soon earned a joint appointment in veterinary medicine at Colorado State.

As a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Rollin taught the first philosophy course in veterinary ethics ever offered in the United States. The courses grew into a philosophy program that is required within Colorado State’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and which has significantly contributed to the university’s international prestige in veterinary medicine. He has helped other universities across the globe establish their own programs in veterinary ethics.

     Rollin serves as a member of and adviser to a national group of experts devoted to the study of humane animal ethics and developing solutions to animal problems. He was a principal architect in 1985 federal legislation on issues related to animals and society, and he has testified before congress about animal issues and ethics.

     In addition, Rollin consults extensively on animal ethics and the humane use of animals in research, advising groups including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, American Humane Association, Department of Defense, National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, multiple universities and government offices in foreign countries including Canada, England, New Holland, Africa and Australia. He also organized the National Western Stock Show Animal Ethics Committee.

     During his career, Rollin’s recognition has included the Harris T. Guard Award for excellence in teaching and the Veterinary Service Award by the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association, an award that is rarely given and which recognizes outstanding service to veterinary medicine in Colorado. He also was named to the Colorado State College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science Gallery of Distinguished Faculty in 1993; the Henry Spira Award for Animal Welfare from Johns Hopkins University Center for Alternatives on Animal Testing and the U. S. West Excellence in Education award.    

     "Bernie’s position is unique because he crosscuts so many areas of teaching and touches the lives of so many different students," Gill said. "He is well known and respected in his field."