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|ULM names interim dean; Pritchard remains temporarily|
University of Louisiana-Monroe professor Greg Leader will serve as interim dean of the College of Pharmacy until the university hires a dean to replace Dr. Lamar Pritchard.
Pritchard announced his resignation in August. He recently rescinded his resignation, citing a change of heart.
ULM officials denied Pritchard's request, meaning Pritchard's tenure as dean of the College of Pharmacy has ended.
Pritchard will remain at ULM where he will spearhead ULM's reaccreditation process, when the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools visits the campus later this year.
In a prepared statement, ULM President James Cofer lauded Pritchard's leadership of the College of Pharmacy and his experience at the helm during the pharmacy school's reaccreditation last year.
"He is an extremely talented individual and I am pleased to be working with him even more closely in his new assignment assisting us with a number of important academic issues critical to the upcoming SACS reaccreditation process," said Cofer.
Pritchard announced about his desire to remain at ULM during a pharmacy school faculty meeting. He made his intentions known after Cofer and ULM Provost Stephen Richters spoke to faculty members about budget cuts at ULM.
After saying he had turned down a job offer in Utah and would like to remain at ULM, Pritchard handed Cofer a letter.
"Judy (Pritchard's wife) and I have concluded that we still have very important work to do on behalf of the great State of Louisiana and its wonderful citizens," Pritchard wrote in the letter. "Over the past few months I have received many communiqués from our faculty, students, alumni, supporters and statewide officials encouraging me to reconsider my resignation."
In the letter, Pritchard also wrote of the challenges he expected the college of pharmacy to face in the near future, especially the potential of budget cuts because of a statewide deficit.
"I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead for our terrific team," Pritchard wrote. "We will face the current tough economic challenges head on while doing all that we can to assist the great state of Louisiana in her ascent to become one of the greatest states in our country."
Pritchard's future at ULM remained uncertain for several days following the faculty meeting, as administration officials discussed their options for the school of pharmacy.
Late Friday, ULM officials announced Pritchard would remain at the school but not as the dean of pharmacy.
Cofer said that, though Pritchard came into the College of Pharmacy at "a critical time," Pritchard's continued leadership of the school was not an option.
"I truly appreciate his contributions to the restoration of the college and continue to respect his abilities," Cofer said. "After discussing the situation at length, Dr. Pritchard and I agree that his recent announcement to step down as Dean of the College of Pharmacy is in the best interest of the university and the College of Pharmacy."
Pritchard informed Richters he would remain at ULM as SACS coordinator, effective immediately.
"I feel that it would be in the best interest of all involved if I step down as Dean of the College or Pharmacy and use my talents to contribute to the University in other ways," Pritchard wrote. "I am pleased to accept your offer to work with you and the President on critical issues pertaining to the current SACS reaccreditation process. I feel that these areas will benefit from my expertise in developing program review, faculty and staff evaluation, and updating various policies & procedures."
Pritchard is the sixth dean to resign from ULM in recent years. He is the second individual to serve as dean of the college of pharmacy since 2001.
Richters announced Leader as Pritchard's replacement in an email to the ULM faculty on Monday.
"It is my pleasure to announce that Dr. Greg Leader has accepted the position as Interim Dean of the ULM College of Pharmacy," Richters wrote. "I am confident in Dr. Leader's ability to guide the ULM College of Pharmacy."
Leader is a 1986 graduate of then-Northeast Louisiana University's College of Pharmacy. He holds a Doctorate of Pharmacy from the University of Kansas.
Leader was appointed associate dean of academic affairs for the College of Pharmacy in 2003.
The controversy surrounding Pritchard's resignation and his attempt to withdraw that resignation triggered a statewide outpouring of good will toward Pritchard, including appeals for intervention to University of Louisiana System President Randy Moffett.
Moffett declined an interview request from The Ouachita Citizen, instead expressing his trust in the presidents of all eight ULS universities.
"College deans serve at will and these personnel matters are handled at the campus level," Moffett said. "I have the utmost confidence in all eight presidents and their top administrators to make appropriate personnel decisions that are in the best interest of our universities."
Following ULM's announcement that Pritchard would remain at ULM and step down as dean, Moffett issued a statement expressing his support.
"I am pleased the matter was resolved amicably, and the university will benefit from Dr. Pritchard's expertise in the area of accreditation," said Moffett.
Though Pritchard will remain at ULM, it is unclear for how long.
Pritchard has stated publicly that he declined a position in Utah. Also, Pritchard is an applicant for the presidency of Southeastern Louisiana University, the position formerly held by Moffett.