Kansas University Associate Vice Chancellor Brower Burchill said Monday that the university is desperate to hire a new dean of pharmacy.
If a new dean could be lured to KU, that person would be put to work immediately.
"I'm serious," said Burchill, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs. "As soon as we've identified someone who will come, we'll take him or her right away."
KU has been without a permanent pharmacy dean since early 1992. The vacancy was created when Howard Mossberg became KU's vice chancellor for research, graduate studies and public service.
Ronald Borchardt, professor of pharmaceutical chemistry, served as dean on an interim basis. He will leave the post June 30.
"He's a very active researcher and teacher," Burchill said. "He's given us two years of his time. He couldn't afford to do it longer."
Burchill said KU officials were negotiating with another member of the pharmacy faculty to fill in as dean for the 1993-94 academic year. He didn't identify that person.
A KU search committee this spring came up with two finalists for dean. Both turned it down, said David Shulenburger, vice chancellor for academic affairs.
"We talked seriously to two people," said Shulenburger, who added that both candidates cited personal commitments to their current university employers in turning down the job.
Burchill said the search committee's work was made more difficult by a national shortage of academic administrators in pharmacy.
"There are a lot of pharmacy schools searching for deans. There are not enough pharmacy administrators around the country," he said.
Burchill said lack of a permanent dean of pharmacy hampered long-range academic planning and fund-raising in the school.
"We're trying to minimize that," he said. "We have to continue to plan. The acting dean next year will have to be primarily committed to planning."