LAWRENCE — Brian J. Barnes is the new associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy, the school announced Monday. Barnes will replace Ron Ragan, who earlier this year accepted a dean's position at a new school of pharmacy in High Point, N.C.
Barnes earned his doctor of pharmacy degree from KU and joined the school of pharmacy faculty in 2002. He was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2009. He holds two faculty appointments, one with the Department of Pharmacy Practice and one within KU's School of Medicine. With support from the Medical Center's Cardiovascular Research Institute, Barnes led an interdisciplinary, collaborative research group for the Mid-America Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery service at the University of Kansas Hospital.
He completed residency training in pharmacy practice and critical care at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St Louis. He has also completed a National Institutes of Health K30 program offered by the KU School of Medicine Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health. He is currently a senior administrative fellow at KU.
In his new role, Barnes will oversee the school's academic curriculum and direct its assessment programs. He will work closely with KU School of Pharmacy Dean Ken Audus to ensure that the school's curriculum and outcomes remain among the nation's most highly ranked.
"As a former student and faculty member, Brian has an appreciation of the importance of balancing clinical and basic sciences in the curriculum," Audus said. "I'm confident he will do a great job of further developing the school's assessment plan and providing the feedback we need to appropriately and continually update the Pharm.D. curriculum."
In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Barnes will continue to teach and conduct research within the school. He looks forward to the challenge of the added responsibilities.
"KU has positively influenced my career in many ways, including a solid basic science and clinical education, as well as opportunities for instruction and mentorship in teaching and research methods. I'm excited to be able to give back to the university by serving as an associate dean," Barnes said.
His familiarity with the school and its curriculum has allowed Barnes to make a quick transition from professor to associate dean and to identify early goals.
"We have several opportunities to further improve the exemplary educational experience we provide to our students," he said. "Examples include expanding our integration of technology in the classroom, exploring creative methods of instruction to promote application of knowledge, helping students bridge the conceptual relationships between basic and clinical sciences, and expanding our interprofessional educational initiatives."
Ragan's departure presented the opportunity for the school to reorganize some activities and responsibilities, including title changes for three key staff members. Associate Dean of Administration Gene Hotchkiss was named senior associate dean. Clinical Assistant Professor Joe Heidrick was named assistant dean of experiential learning, and Director of Finance and Human Resources Cheryl Holcomb was named assistant dean.