UHH pharmacy dean search could take awhile

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The search for a new dean at the University of Hawaii at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy has begun, but it could take until the end of the 2015-16 academic year, which has yet to begin.

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The search for a new dean at the University of Hawaii at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy has begun, but it could take until the end of the 2015-16 academic year, which has yet to begin.

Last month, John Pezzuto, founding dean of the college, left for a job as professor and dean at the Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Long Island University in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Pezzuto, who helped launch the UH-Hilo College of Pharmacy in 2006, announced his resignation more than a year ago. Initially, he intended to leave at the end of the 2014 calendar year, but later opted to extend his stay at the school “to ensure continuity of the program,” according to UH-Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney.

In an emailed response to questions, Straney said last week Susan Jarvi, College of Pharmacy pre-pharmacy program director and associate professor, was selected to lead a search committee to find a new dean.

“We are discussing with the college other members who will serve on that committee,” Straney wrote. “They will be responsible for recommending finalists to bring to campus for interviews.”

The makeup of the search committee will be finalized next month, once faculty members return from the summer break.

Straney said he expected advertisements for the position to appear soon. The search committee’s job will be to narrow the field of applicants to a few finalists who have displayed “a track record of success as an administrator, educator, researcher, fundraiser and leader.”

From that pool of finalists, Straney will recommend one candidate to the university president and board of regents for their approval.

Jarvi told the Tribune-Herald last month the new dean could come as early as the new calendar year, but likely would begin his or her duties next summer.

“The ads are about ready to go out. We’re hoping to have somebody in place January 2016, but it’ll more likely be like, July-ish, hopefully. (January) seems, at this late date, probably not likely, so it’ll probably be in the summer,” she said. “If they would be willing and everything works out, that would be great (for the new dean to start in January).”

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An interim dean for the college cannot be named until the board of regents approves Straney’s recommendation at a meeting later this month. Until that time, UH-Hilo Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Matt Platz will serve as the “administrator in charge” of the school, Straney said.

Email Colin M. Stewart at cstewart@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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