College of Pharmacy dean to take provost post at TSU

College of Pharmacy Dean Sunny E. Ohia announced June 26 that he will resign and assume the position of vice president of academic affairs and provost at Texas Southern University, effective Sept. 12.

"With my position at TSU I will be able to deal with campuswide academic challenges and have the opportunity to make a difference at TSU," Ohia said.

Ohia joined the University of Houston as dean of the College of Pharmacy in October 2002. Prior to that he was the associate dean for administration at Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions in Omaha, Neb.

"As the dean, one of my top priorities has been to strengthen our research programs and increase our collaborations with other institutions. My future position will give me the unique opportunity to increase collaborations between the University of Houston and Texas Southern University," Ohia said.

Under Ohia’s leadership, research funding at the College of Pharmacy increased by as much as 400 percent and scholarships and endowments increased by 120 percent. Also, six new faculty members with National Institutes of Health grants have joined the college in recent years.

This fall, the College of Pharmacy will introduce a new degree program, a bachelor of science in Pharmaceutical Sciences. UH will be the only institution in Texas and one of only a few in the nation to offer this degree.

During Ohia’s term as dean, graduate student enrollment at the College of Pharmacy increased by approximately 70 percent. The college expects to offer a new doctoral program in Pharmacy Administration, now under review at the state higher education board.

A visible improvement at the college has been the renovation of laboratories, laboratory equipment and classrooms, funded by the UH Division of Administration and Finance.

"With the help of faculty members, staff, students and alumni, I have been able to make a positive difference at the College of Pharmacy and the University of Houston. So I am very pleased to leave the College of Pharmacy on solid ground," Ohia said.

The Texas Southern board of regents must officially approve Ohia’s appointment at its next meeting, scheduled for July 11. A successor for the position of dean has not yet been named, Ohia said.

Ohia obtained his bachelor of science and master of science degrees in Pharmacology from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. He received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom in 1986.

In 2007, Ohia and his wife, Dr. Ekanem O. Ohia, established the Ohia-Edet Memorial Endowment in memory of their parents Samuel Essien Edet and Iquo Essien Edet, and Joseph Nduka Ohia.

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