College of Pharmacy Dean William H. Riffee to step down

Published: September 11th, 2012

Category: Memos

David S. Guzick, Senior Vice President for Health Affairs, President, UF&Shands Health System

UF College of Pharmacy Dean William H. Riffee has announced that he will vacate his position in June 2013, after 17 years at the college’s helm.

Dean Riffee is a stellar academic leader who has worked hard both at UF and at the national level to strengthen pharmacy education and the professional role of pharmacists in patient care.

On his watch, the College of Pharmacy has enhanced its curriculum and pharmacy research enterprise, expanded enrollment, broadened its global reach and impact, boosted financial support and solidified investment in infrastructure.

Since becoming dean in June 1996, Dr. Riffee has worked steadfastly and strategically in close collaboration with his faculty and staff to ensure that the college is keenly attuned and responsive to the needs of the patient population and the health care industry. As a result, graduates are well-equipped to help meet the health care needs of our nation.

The college has one of the highest enrollments in the U.S. — 1,200 first-professional-degree students each year. The graduate program, too, has grown immensely — more than 40 percent since 1997 — with 93 students at various stages in their training. National board examination scores of UF Pharmacy graduates remain considerably higher than the national average.

The college has extended its outreach and influence across the U.S. and internationally by establishing satellite campuses and professional and graduate distance education programs. The college has expanded from one campus in Gainesville to four around the state. Distance education initiatives include the largest-in-the-nation Working Professional Pharm.D. program, and expanded Master of Science programs in forensic science, health policy, pharmaceutical chemistry, clinical toxicology and medication therapy management , and the soon-to-be-launched program in clinical pharmacy.

Dr. Riffee is not just leaving the college in good academic shape, he is leaving it with a solid financial portfolio. The college boasts more than $42.3 million in revenue, and exceeded its $11 million “Florida Tomorrow” capital campaign fundraising goal. In addition, a substantial outlay of resources over the years has led to vast improvement in the college’s physical facilities. The new HPNP Building on the main campus, the research and education space at the new UF Academic Research Center in Lake Nona, the new UF Pharmacy building on the St. Petersburg College campus and renovations of the pharmacy wing of the Stetson Medical Sciences Building and at Shands Jacksonville are just few of the testaments to Dr. Riffee’s consummate leadership skills.

Dean Riffee earned his doctorate in pharmacology in 1975 from The Ohio State University. He later taught and conducted research at the University of Texas at Austin before coming to UF as pharmacy dean. He served as UF associate provost for distance, continuing and executive education from 2001 to 2005, while dean.

His research over the years has focused on behavioral effects and biochemical mechanisms of central nervous system stimulants. In recent years he has focused on the use of technology in education, developing ways to enhance online learning via mobile devices. This work has earned him a national reputation as an innovator in teaching technology.

Dr. Riffee is a member of the board of directors of the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education and speaker-elect of the House of Delegates of the American Pharmacists Association. He serves on several pharmacy and technology advisory boards and is a member of the American Society of Health System Pharmacists, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the Florida Pharmaceutical Association, and other professional societies.

Please join me in thanking Dr. Riffee for his invaluable service to the UF community, for the investments he has made in the lives of so many students — even those who have yet to enter the halls of UF — and for his contributions toward the health and well-being of patients across our nation and the world. We wish him greatest success as he moves on to new challenges.

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