LITTLE ROCK (June 30, 2017) – University of Arkansas System President Donald R. Bobbitt has named Stephanie F. Gardner, Pharm.D., Ed.D., senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), as interim UAMS chancellor following the July 31 retirement of current Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D.
“The Board of Trustees and I join with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences community in thanking Dr. Gardner for taking on this responsibility,” Bobbitt said. “UAMS has made tremendous progress during Chancellor Rahn’s tenure in improving both its academic programs and in expanding the scope and quality of its clinical enterprise. Dr. Rahn has assembled an exceptional administrative team and there are a number of individuals in his cabinet who I felt could accept this responsibility. In the final analysis, I believe we have identified an excellent individual to lead UAMS during this interim period. Dr. Gardner has a complete understanding of the academic mission of UAMS, and will work closely with Dr. Pope Moseley and Dr. Richard Turnage to ensure that the clinical enterprise continues its rapid progress.”
Gardner has more than 26 years of experience rising through the ranks at UAMS since joining the campus as assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice in the UAMS College of Pharmacy in 1991. She became chair of that department in 1996, interim dean in the college in 2003 and dean in 2004, leading the College of Pharmacy through unprecedented growth and earning national prominence. She was named associate provost for society and health at UAMS in 2013 and oversaw the vast development of an interprofessional education initiative that became a graduation requirement for all UAMS students. In 2015, she was named senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost, providing strategic leadership for the academic and organizational operations of 73 academic programs across the campus’s five colleges and graduate school.
A prestigious American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow in 2012-13, Gardner earned Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She completed a research fellowship in cardiovascular pharmacology from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland in 1991, and earned a Doctor of Education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2001.
“I appreciate the trust that Dr. Bobbitt and the University of Arkansas System have placed in me to lead UAMS in the period between Chancellor Rahn’s retirement and the arrival of the next chancellor,” Gardner said. “I came to UAMS and Arkansas 26 years ago from my home state of North Carolina and have developed a deep love for this university and for the state of Arkansas. I am honored to serve in this position and will work to continue the progress made during Dr. Rahn’s tenure.”
Gardner’s many honors include the Arkansas Pharmacists Association Pharmacist of the Year Award, the Dale Bumpers AHEC (Area Health Education Center) Award and the Outstanding Dean Award by the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists. Gardner serves as a board member for the Arkansas Center for Healthcare Improvement and the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute. From 2010-16, Gardner was a member of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education Board of Directors and served as president from 2014-15.
Rahn, who became chancellor at UAMS in 2009, is retiring July 31. A search committee to find his replacement named two finalists for the position earlier this week. More information on the search, including resumes and cover letters for the finalists, is available at this site designed to keep the campus and public informed about the search.