Stephanie Gardner has been named interim chancellor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), effective following the July 31 retirement of Chancellor Dan Rahn, who held the position for eight years.
Gardner is now senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost at UAMS, according to a press release from the University of Arkansas System.
Gardner has more than 26 years of experience at UAMS, starting as assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice in the College of Pharmacy. She became chair of the department in 1996, interim dean of the pharmacy college in 2003 and dean in 2004. She was named associate provost for society and health at UAMS in 2013 and oversaw development of an inter-professional education initiative that became a graduation requirement for all UAMS students, according to the press release. She’s been in her current position since 2015.
“Dr. Gardner has a complete understanding of the academic mission of UAMS and will work closely with Dr. Pope Moseley, (dean of the College of Medicine) and Dr. Richard Turnage (CEO of UAMS Medical Center) to ensure that the clinical enterprise continues its rapid progress,” UA System President Donald Bobbitt said, according to the release. “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.”
Gardner served as a American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow in 2012-13 and has received an 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. She serves as a board member for the Arkansas Center for Healthcare Improvement and the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute. From 2010 to 2016, Gardner was a member of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education Board of Directors and served as president from 2014 to 2015.
“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, according to the release. “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.”
A search committee to find Rahn’s permanent replacement named two finalists for the position earlier this week: Wesley Burks, now executive dean of the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Danny Jacobs, executive vice president, provost and dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.
Detailed information about the search and the candidates’ professional backgrounds is available at this link.