New dean of UNMC College of Pharmacy announced

by Kalani Simpson, UNMC public relations | October 31, 2018

Image with caption: Keith Olsen, Pharm.D.

Keith Olsen, Pharm.D.

Keith Olsen, Pharm.D., currently the dean of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy, has been named the eighth dean of the UNMC College of Pharmacy.

Dr. Olsen will begin Jan. 7, pending approval of his appointment from the University of Nebraska Board of Regents. An alumnus of the UNMC College of Pharmacy, Dr. Olsen was on the college's faculty from 1993 to 2015. He is a native Nebraskan and graduate of Wayne State College.

"We are confident that the ongoing surge in momentum at our College of Pharmacy will continue under Dr. Olsen, a national leader in pharmacy sciences, practice and education," said UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D. "We are delighted to welcome him back to UNMC."

Dele Davies, M.D., senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, concurred: "Dr. Olsen was one of our top pharmacy faculty members for more than 20 years, but now he also brings to the job the perspective of having been a sitting dean at a peer institution."

Dr. Olsen succeeds Courtney Fletcher, Pharm.D., who oversaw the rise of the college as a research powerhouse, and the planning, construction and opening of the UNMC Center for Drug Discovery and Lozier Center for Pharmacy Sciences and Education. Dr. Fletcher will remain on faculty and continue his research.

During his more than two decades on the UNMC faculty, Dr. Olsen rose to chair of pharmacy practice, and was named full professor based primarily on a robust research portfolio - while also earning the college's Distinguished Teacher Award multiple times.

At Arkansas, Dr. Olsen led a pharmacy school with approximately 480 students, 160 employees, including 13 residents, 22 graduate students and 72 faculty. The college also operates the Arkansas Poison and Drug Information Center and its Evidence-Based Prescription Drug Program (EBRx). He brings with him valuable executive experience in research, education, budgeting and alumni relations and development. He also was a critical care specialist for the UAMS Clinical Enterprise.

"I am honored to have been entrusted with this responsibility and am excited about the days ahead," Dr. Olsen said. "I believe my background in pharmacy education, clinical practice, scholarship and administration has prepared me for the unique leadership challenges and opportunities presented with this position."

An expert in critical-care medicine, he served consecutive terms on the Board of Regents of the American College of Critical Care Medicine. He currently serves as chancellor of that organization, the first pharmacist to do so.

Dr. Gold thanked UNMC's search committee, led by Kyle Meyer, Ph.D., dean of the College of Allied Health Professions, for its work toward finding a new pharmacy dean: "We are very grateful to Dean Meyer, and the entire search committee, for expediting this process and bringing four remarkable finalist candidates forward," he said.

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Randall Stingley
November 01, 2018 at 1:47 PM

Congrats well deserved

Anna Selden
October 31, 2018 at 10:55 AM

Congratulations Dr. Olsen!

Jeffrey Hines
October 31, 2018 at 9:25 AM

Congratulations Keith. Welcome back to Nebraska. It’s not for everyone!

Katina Winters
October 31, 2018 at 8:05 AM

Congratulations, Keith!

Matt Kelso
October 31, 2018 at 6:50 AM

Congratulations Keith!