MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — The dean of Kansas State University's College of Veterinary Medicine has announced plans to step down by the middle of next year. The university said in a news release that Ralph C. Richardson will become a faculty member after leaving the job he has held since 1998. Richardson received his degree in veterinary medicine from Kansas State in 1970. Before returning to Manhattan to head the veterinary college, he served as head of the clinical sciences department at Purdue University. The Kansas State veterinary college has grown during Richardson's tenure from a graduating class of 79 students in 1998 to a current enrollment of 112 students in each incoming class. A precise timetable for Richardson's departure as dean will be announced later. The university says he plans to step down no later than July 2015.