Hall of Fame Member Biographies

Robert Wesley Fulton

Robert Wesley Fulton appreciates that educational opportunities given to him were valued and he did his best to benefit from them. The son of a dry land wheat farmer in Kay County, OK and a mother who was a one-room school teacher before his birth and who returned to college at OSU while he was in public school were role models for his value of education.

Robert Wesley Fulton has devoted his professional career to understanding cattle infectious diseases and their control. A native Oklahoman, he graduated from Blackwell Public Schools, earned his B.S. and D.V.M. degrees from Oklahoma State University, M.S. degree from Washington State University, and Ph.D. degree in microbiology from University of Missouri, Columbia. He served in the U.S. Air Force Veterinary Services as Captain in Manila, Philippines and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. He is a Diplomate in the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists. His first faculty position after Ph.D. graduation was at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, where he served as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor from 1975 to 1982. In 1982 he and his family returned to his alma mater as Professor of Veterinary Virology with teaching and bovine virus research assignments. In 1984 through 1999 he served as a department head, with continued teaching and research. He maintained with colleagues and graduate students a strong research program in bovine respiratory disease, the number one disease of cattle. He is distinctly proud that during his time as department head he successfully recruited and retained excellent faculty with distinguished careers in research and teaching. Dr. Fulton maintained a sustained, prestigious and prolific record of scholarship until his retirement with 122 peer reviewed scientific publications, 125 scientific presentations at national and international meetings, five book chapters, and two patents. His writing continues in retirement. His research centered on viruses of cattle and is noted for the research documenting the most common virus of the bovine viral diarrhea virus group, BVDV type 1b. This was unique as vaccines with BVDV did not have this virus. He is internationally known for his work with bovine respiratory viruses and vaccines. He has shared his knowledge freely with other colleagues at other universities, USDA, and animal health companies. From his research and publications, he has received numerous awards. He was twice named the outstanding researcher in the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences and in 2010 Oklahoma State University awarded him Regents Professor and named him recipient of the Regents Distinguished Research Award. In 2006 he was named the Mccasland Foundation Endowed Chair for Food Animal Research. In 2015 the prestigious Academy of Veterinary Consultants representing feedlot veterinarians and private practice veterinarians recognized his contributions to the cattle industry; those veterinarians and animal health companies honored him by giving him the Distinguished Service Award. In the midst of tremendous activity in departmental administration, teaching, and research, he was also known for the advice and assistance he gave to veterinary students, graduate students, and newly hired faculty. The OHEHS is proud to have Robert Wesley Fulton as a member of the 2016 Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame.