UB PharmD on probation

Students need more hospital hours or program will lose accreditation


UB’s PharmD program was put on probation on Feb. 6 for not offering students sufficient experiential learning opportunities to meet national standards. 

The Accreditation Council of Pharmacy Education determined that PharmD, UB’s clinical pharmacy program, did not offer enough chances for students to work in hospitals and on medical rotations. Some students did not get enough hours, while others did not get high-impact experiences in a hospital or pharmacy. 

ACPE accreditation assures the quality of PharmD programs. If the school lost its accreditation, some employers may not accept UB degrees obtained while the school is unaccredited. The program currently has 502 students.

The Spectrum reached out to roughly 40 pharmacy students for comments, only one spoke on the record. Two refused to give their name, one refused to comment, two referred responses to the dean and the rest did not respond in time for publication.

Pharmacy school Dean James O’Donnell said the school is correcting the error and that UB was in compliance with 23 of 25 ACPE standards. He declined to comment on the deficiencies in the experiential learning opportunities or to say how the errors in scheduling occurred. 

PharmD will remain on probation until ACPE approves the changes in the program, according to Rebecca Brierley, Assistant Dean of External Affairs. Last week, O’Donnell emailed students and said the department will fix its program to comply with the requirements. 

O’Donnell insisted the “issues are being addressed and the UB PharmD program remains compliant with all other ACPE accreditation standards.” He did not say how many rotations needed to be added or how many students are affected. He also would not say who put the program in place or why no one at UB recognized that the rotations were not compliant with ACPE standards. In an email, he called it “a personnel” issue. 

O’Donnell said the pharmacy school’s Office of Experiential Education has “a new leadership team” and is taking “steps” to restructure its curriculum “to ensure UB meets ACPE’s standards for all current and future students,” O’Donnell said.  

He stressed that the school remains accredited and “can continue to grant all degrees and admit incoming students.” Current students “will graduate, can sit for board examinations and take all licensure examinations,” he said. 

ACPE reviewed PharmD in October 2019. The Spectrum does not know if the school was aware of the deficiencies before the review or what the timeline is for UB to fix the problems. 

Eddy Pudim, a junior PharmD and Master in Public Health program candidate said he is not worried about the probation. 

“Honestly it didn’t really phase me at all,” Pudim said. “I heard some other pharmacy schools in New York had the same issue during their previous accreditations, and as long as they made the necessary changes there was nothing to worry about.”

Hampton University recently lost its accreditation due to poor educational outcomes and lack of progression in February. The university received an eight-year accreditation in 2015 but was put on probation in 2017. The school is appealing the decision to remove its accreditation and will be placed back on probation until a decision is made. A letter was sent to students saying that the degrees earned until 2023 will still be considered earned at an accredited institution.

The news desk can be reached at news@ubspectrum.com.


Alexandra Moyen is the editor in chief of The Spectrum.


Reilly Mullen is the managing editor for The Spectrum. She double majors in English and political science. She enjoys arguing with frat boys and buying cool shoes.