Dean of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences resigns

Dean dedicated to raising funds for pharmacy school will return to faculty

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Dean of UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences James O'Donnell offered his resignation Wednesday. 

He will return to a "faculty role" as a professor of pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacology and toxicology, according to a Wednesday email from Provost A. Scott Weber and Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Dean Michael Cain. 

O'Donnell came to UB in 2013 after serving as associate dean for research and assistant vice president for health sciences research at West Virginia University. During his tenure, UB's pharmacy school improved in US News and World Report rankings of pharmacy schools, rising from 22 to 14. 

Weber and Cain did not explain why O'Donnell resigned in their email to the university community.  

O'Donnell previously called his work as dean a "privilege" and "gratifying" after UB earned recognition among the Top 15 highest ranked pharmacy schools in the nation earlier this year. 

Weber and Cain attributed increased faculty recognition and grant application submissions, a joint initiative to establish a research pharmacy with UB’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the appointment of two new SUNY Distinguished Professors and one UB Distinguished Professor to O'Donnell's strong leadership.

O'Donnell is continuing to lead an “ongoing comprehensive campaign for the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences to raise funds to support the school’s programs and students, recruit and support excellent faculty, and increase opportunities… to engage the larger scientific and professional communities as [the] school’s first two endowed chairs,” according to a UBNow press release. 

Weber and Cain asked the community to thank O'Donnell for his dedication to advancing UB's missions.

"Jim has been a dedicated dean, advancing each of UB’s teaching, research and engagement missions. He will leave the school well poised to build on this success for years to come,” the email said.

O'Donnell will step down at the end of the academic year. UB will begin the search for his replacement during the Spring 2021 semester. 

Elizabeth Napolitano is the senior news editor and can be reached at elizabeth.napolitano@ubspectrum.com or on Twitter @LizKNapolitano.

ELIZABETH NAPOLITANO


Elizabeth "Liz" Napolitano is the senior news editor for The Spectrum. She's an optimistic pessimist who found her love for journalism in Ecuador. She likes late night walks and reading Twitter threads in their entirety.