UH BOR approves change of status for College of Pharmacy

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Alyson Kakugawa-leong, (808) 974-7642
Dir, Media Rel, University Relations
Posted: Aug 25, 2014

The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents (BOR) approved a change of status from “provisional” to “established” for the PharmD degree offered at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) in a meeting on O`ahu August 21.

“When the College of Pharmacy gets a cold, UH Hilo gets pneumonia, so we are obviously pleased with the committee’s results,” said Matt Platz, UH Hilo vice chancellor for academic affairs. “Even though this process is required for all new programs at the University of Hawaiʻi, we take our role in reviewing programs very seriously. The College put together an outstanding package of support and made it easy for me to endorse the change in status.”

The BOR Committee on Academic Affairs recommended the approval on August 7. Established UH programs must perform regular reviews every seven years.

The PharmD program is designed to prepare students for a career as a pharmacist after passing a national board examination and successful completion of licensure requirements in the state where they will practice. In addition to acquiring extensive experience in the practice of pharmacy, the rigorous curriculum is rooted in basic, biomedical, and pharmaceutical sciences, designed for students to acquire knowledge of the scientific underpinnings of the profession.

The four-year professional program has had 341 graduates since acquiring full accreditation status in 2011. Of those graduates, 97 percent have passed their licensure exam. As of June 2014, graduates from the Class of 2014 have been hired for jobs that require a PharmD degree in eight states as well as Guam and Saipan at various retail chains, community pharmacies and hospitals.

As of January 2013, 95 percent of the graduates from the Class of 2011 and 73 percent of the Class of 2012 reported that they were working in a job that required a PharmD. As of the end of May 2013, a record 11 members of the Class of 2013 were selected for highly competitive pharmacy residencies in hospitals across the US and Hawaiʻi. 

During the first four years since the College began in 2007, it stimulated more than $50 million per year in economic activity in the State, and faculty researchers have brought in more than $40 million in federal funding.

“Achieving this latest milestone shows we have continued to offer a first-rate education despite the economic distractions of the past few years,” said DKICP Founding Dean John Pezzuto, who led the College to receive funding from the legislature for a permanent building. “Student pharmacists can rest assured the training and education they receive at UH Hilo is second to none.” 

Last month, the American Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) extended accreditation for DKICP and found the College compliant with all of 30 strict standards.

A proposal for the PharmD degree program was submitted by UH Hilo in 2006 to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), which accredits the University as a whole. WASC accreditation was reaffirmed in 2008.