URI dean leaving an improved program

When Donald E. Letendre leaves his post as the dean of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Rhode Island this fall, he will be leaving behind a program that is much better for his stewardship.
Of course our loss is the University of Iowa’s gain, and we wish him well. The state’s citizens owe him a special debt of gratitude for the leading role he played in getting a $65 million bond issue passed last year to fund the construction of a new URI College of Pharmacy building. The new facility will no doubt help attract top-caliber faculty and students, which will also increase the likelihood that breakthrough research will happen here.
He also raised the school’s national profile. When he came to URI in 2001, the program ranked 54th among pharmacy schools in the amount of federal funding it received. Today it ranks 19th. In real dollars, the school has gone from $500,000 in total outside funding (public and private) when he came to about $10 million today.
Letendre has set the bar high for his successor, but his improvements have made the job that much easier.

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