UNMC has announced the field of four finalists for the role of dean of the UNMC College of Pharmacy. The finalists will be in Omaha later this month through early next month for further interviews and public campus forums. These finalists are vying to succeed Courtney Fletcher, Pharm.D., who is stepping down after a decade as UNMC's pharmacy dean. UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., said he was impressed with the finalists the opening attracted and with the work of UNMC's search committee, led by College of Allied Health Professions Dean Kyle Meyer, Ph.D. "We are very grateful to Dean Meyer and the entire search committee for the search process and bringing four remarkable finalist candidates forward," Dr. Gold said. "Each of these individuals is truly outstanding, and we very much look forward to meeting with them." Dr. Meyer concurred, saying, "The outstanding national reputation of the UNMC College of Pharmacy generated considerable interest in the position, and the search committee is extremely pleased to present these highly qualified and accomplished candidates to Dr. Gold and the UNMC community." In the order of their visits to campus, the candidates are:
- Daren Knoell, Pharm.D., professor and chair of pharmacy practice, UNMC. Dr. Knoell returned to his alma mater, UNMC, in 2016 after two decades at The Ohio State University, where he eventually served as professor and chair of pharmacy practice and science. Dr. Knoell's visit is set for Sept. 18-19.
- Keith Olsen, Pharm.D., dean, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy. Dr. Olsen is an alumnus and was a longtime faculty member at UNMC's College of Pharmacy, where he eventually served as chair of pharmacy practice. He left UNMC in 2015 to become dean of the University of Arkansas' pharmacy school. Dr. Olsen's visit will be Sept. 20-21.
- Mary Hebert, Pharm.D., professor of pharmacy and adjunct professor of obstetrics and gynecology, University of Washington. Dr. Hebert is director of the UW Obstetric-fetal Pharmacology Research Unit. She completed her degree, residency, fellowship and early career at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Hebert's visit is Sept. 24-25.
- Mark Shaefer, Pharm.D., global medical lead, cabotegravir and mature products, ViiV Healthcare. Dr. Shaefer was on the UNMC faculty in the mid-80s through early '90s. He then began a 25-year career in pharmaceutical industry, which included working on viral research, overseeing HIV clinical trials and leading medical affairs. Dr. Shaefer's visit is Oct. 1-2.
More detailed information will appear in UNMC Today just prior to each candidate's campus visit. UNMC's College of Pharmacy has seen a surge in momentum in recent years, including steadily climbing the rankings of U.S. pharmacy-research powerhouses, cracking the national top 10 for the first time in annual National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for fiscal year 2017. The college is housed primarily in the state-of-the-art UNMC Center for Drug Discovery and Lozier Center for Pharmacy Sciences and Education, which opened in 2016. For more on the search, please click here