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Dean Knapp Announces Retirement

Knapp is stepping down after what will be an 18-year tenure as head of the nationally ranked Top 10 school and will take a one-year sabbatical.

By Jeff Raymond
November 14, 2006

David A. Knapp, PhD, professor and dean of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, has announced his retirement as dean, effective June 30, 2007. Knapp is stepping down after what will be an 18-year tenure as head of the nationally ranked Top 10 school and will take a one-year sabbatical.

He is nationally known for his studies of the pharmacy workforce, the quality and economy of drug use and pharmacy services, and pharmaceutical education. He founded the University’s Center on Drugs and Public Policy in 1988.

Under Knapp’s leadership, the School of Pharmacy was among the first schools in the nation to establish the four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy program in the early 1990s, as well as a major academically-based pharmacy residency program. During his tenure, the school expanded its research programs, with the founding of centers on Computer Aided Drug Design, Nanomedicine and Cellular Drug Delivery, and the Peter P. Lamy Center on Drugs and the Elderly.

The School’s faculty, professional and graduate student enrollments, clinical and public service programs, extramural funding, and facilities have grown significantly during Knapp’s administration. In a self-study report issued this January by a team from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, Knapp was called “a nationally recognized leader.” The report continued: “The School has received national attention for its progress in professional education, its service to the community, and its research and scholarship.”

In an announcement to the campus community, University of Maryland, Baltimore President David J. Ramsay, DM, DPhil, said of Knapp: “Under his dedicated leadership, and despite the challenges of inadequate space and budget, our School of Pharmacy has become widely recognized as one of the very best in the United States.”

Knapp has been elected to fellowship in the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Pharmacists Association, the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the American Public Health Association. He has served as president of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, which in 1986 awarded him the Volwiler Gold Medal for Outstanding Research.

He earned his BS in pharmacy in 1960, an MS two years later and a PhD in pharmacy administration in 1965, all from Purdue University. He began his academic career in 1964 at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, where he earned tenure and was promoted to associate professor in 1967. After a sabbatical year at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, he joined the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in 1971. He served as chairs of two departments and as associate dean research before being appointed acting dean in 1989 and dean in 1991.

“I have been discussing the timing of my retirement from the deanship with President Ramsay over the past several months,” Knapp said in a letter to faculty. “We agreed there is no ‘best’ time because the School is always in the midst of major initiatives. The President has endorsed our plan to expand our enrollment and help deal with the critical shortage of pharmacy graduates in Maryland while we build the Pharmacy Hall Addition.”

Ramsay appointed E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, to lead a search committee to find a successor for Knapp. Ramsay plans to announce the other members of the committee soon.