Prior to his recent appointment as dean of UNE’s College of Pharmacy, Robert L. McCarthy, Ph.D., was a professor of pharmacy practice and dean emeritus in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Connecticut (UConn). He was appointed the seventh dean of the UConn School of Pharmacy in 2003, after serving for sixteen months as interim dean. He was re-appointed to a second five-year term in 2008 and received the Outstanding Dean Award from the American Pharmacists Association–Academy of Student Pharmacists in 2010. McCarthy first joined UConn in August 2001 as head and professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice. He has also held faculty positions at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Northeastern University, and Boston University.
Under McCarthy’s leadership, the UConn School of Pharmacy made significant progress in becoming one of the nation’s premier colleges of pharmacy. US News & World Report ranked the school first in New England and 26th nationally. The first two endowed chairs and professorship in the school’s history were established, attracting elite researchers in the areas of pharmaceutics, toxicology, and pharmacy practice. This included the Pfizer Distinguished Endowed Chair in Pharmaceutical Technology, the first endowed chair established by the largest pharmaceutical company in the world at an American school of pharmacy and only the third it has supported anywhere in the United States. Scholarships to pharmacy students nearly doubled, reaching more than $170,000 annually. The funding of these endowed faculty positions and scholarships was part of an exceptionally successful development program that yielded more than $13 million and included the construction of a state-of-the-art pharmacy/biology building.
Other significant accomplishments at UConn included the development of new pre-pharmacy and professional curriculums. With guidance from McCarthy, the school developed international collaborations, most notably study abroad opportunities with institutions in France, Spain, and China. During his tenure, dual degree programs were established in business (Pharm.D./M.B.A.) and public health (Pharm.D./M.P.H.). Additionally, the school played a major role in public policy discussions relating to pharmacy through its establishment of the Connecticut Pharmacy Leadership Group.
McCarthy is past chair of the Board of Directors of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Technology & Education (NIPTE), a national consortium of 13 universities focused on research and education in pharmaceutical technology. He has been an active member of state and national pharmacy organizations, including the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), for which he served as past chair of the Section of Social and Administrative Sciences. He also served as national president of the Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society from 2010 to 2012 and was a member of visiting teams for both the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
McCarthy’s interests lie in the areas of health care policy, especially as it relates to pharmacy and pharmacy ethics. His scholarship has focused on the ethical issues facing pharmacy practitioners, including the right to medication and the impact of managed care as well as teaching and learning strategies in pharmacy ethics. He has taught courses in health care systems, health care policy, communication, biomedical ethics, and leadership. His most recent publication focused on ethics and patient privacy. He is founding editor and currently co-editor of McCarthy’s Introduction to Health Care Delivery: A Primer for Pharmacists; the sixth edition was published in 2016.
McCarthy earned his B.S. in pharmacy, M.S. in hospital pharmacy, and Ph.D. in law, policy and society at Northeastern University in Boston. He also completed an American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)-accredited residency in hospital pharmacy at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He was a 1999-2000 American Council on Education Fellow at Rivier College (now University) in Nashua, New Hampshire, a small, liberal arts institution.