School of Pharmacy associate dean leaving KU for top spot with new program

University of Kansas School of Pharmacy Associate Dean Ron Ragan will leave KU this summer to take the top spot at a new school of pharmacy at High Point University in High Point, N.C. He will finish the academic year at KU, with his final day June 29. He will begin his new position in July.

Ragan has been with the KU School of Pharmacy since 1998 and has served as associate dean for academic affairs since 2004. Included in his many accomplishments at KU, Ragan developed and directed the school’s nontraditional Pharm.D., standardized client and programmatic assessment programs. He also oversaw the school’s professional curriculum.

In his new role as dean of HPU School of Pharmacy, Ragan will have the rare opportunity to build a school from the ground up before admitting the first class in 2015. His involvement in the KU School of Pharmacy’s new building project and recent expansion has given him valuable insight into that experience.

“The first major undertaking will be the building of the new pharmacy education facility, something I had the opportunity to be involved in here at KU,” he said.  “I will also hire the leadership team for the pharmacy school, including associate deans and department chairs, and oversee the assembly of the faculty.”

Although sorry to see him leave, KU School of Pharmacy Dean Ken Audus said he was not surprised that Ragan was selected to lead such a large undertaking.

“It says a lot about Ron and about the KU School of Pharmacy that he was selected to take on this challenge,” Audus said. “He should feel proud about what he’s accomplished here, and I’m confident he will make a great dean and build a quality program at High Point University.”

Ragan described his departure from KU as “bittersweet” but added that the the opportunity to help build a school from day-one was too large an opportunity to pass up.

“I feel that my experiences at KU have prepared me to join the administration and faculty at HPU. I have had the opportunity to work with a world-class faculty that includes internationally recognized scientists and talented clinicians working together to provide cutting-edge knowledge and skills for future pharmacists and scientists,” he said. “But there are currently 127 accredited schools of pharmacy in the United States. This means that there have been only 127 other deans in the history of U.S. pharmacy who have had the opportunity to do what I am undertaking.”

Audus said the search for a new associate dean for academic affairs is under way, and he hopes to have the position filled by the start the fall 2012 semester.