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Chapman Appoints New Pharmacy School Dean

Chapman University on April 15 announced Dr. Rennolds Ostrom as the permanent dean of its School of Pharmacy after serving on an interim basis for two years.

Ostrom has ambitious goals for building on the school’s recent rise in reputation from its start a decade ago.

“My vision is that we are a top 50 pharmacy school and top 25 in research funding,” Ostrom told the Business Journal.

The U.S. News & World Report’s most recent ranking rated the pharmacy school at No. 80, up from No. 99 four years ago.

Chapman launched the school in 2013, stating its mission is to inspire students to create new medicines, as well as to meet the demand for pharmacists by local hospitals, drug stores and pharmaceutical companies, both well-established ones like Johnson & Johnson and startups.

Chapman has the 18th highest rate of passing licensing exams out of the nation’s 140 pharmacy schools, he said.

It currently has about 250 students, with enrollment expected to expand by about 20% in coming years. The school offers high school graduates a program to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in five years, rather than the typical eight years.

It has 47 full-time faculty members, with plans to add more. Ostrom said he also aims to double the school’s annual research budget from its annual level around $3.5 million to $5 million.

“Some faculty members are starting their own companies,” Ostrom said. “Their research is generating patentable discoveries.”

Teacher Passion

Ostrom, a fifth-generation Californian, was raised in Chico where his parents were teachers at Chico State University.

He earned his Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of California, Irvine, and was a postdoctoral fellow and research faculty member at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

Why did he pick pharmacy as a profession?

“What I love is trying to discover how drugs work and find new research,” Ostrom said. “It’s like putting together a puzzle that you cannot see.”

In 2003, he joined the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, becoming a professor and then director of the Integrated Biomedical Sciences Program. When Chapman came calling, he was intrigued because of its emphasis on teaching.

“I’ve always loved teaching,” he said. “When you’re a successful researcher at a big research institution, you’re not encouraged to teach and instead to bring in the research dollars. Chapman has a tightly held belief that teaching excellence is the most important.”

Ostrom, who joined Chapman in 2016, has authored or co-authored more than 160 peer-reviewed articles and published abstracts, the school said.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.

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