Dr. John Morris Named Interim Dean of the School of Pharmacy

Provost Mun Y. Choi and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Sally M. Reis today announced the appointment of Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor John B. Morris as the interim dean of the School of Pharmacy, effective July 1, 2013. Dr. Morris has extensive administrative and leadership experience, having served as the head of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences from 2002-2010 and is currently the assistant dean for research. A dedicated researcher and educator, he received the Faculty Service Award in 2011. In addition to mentoring graduate students in toxicology, he teaches in the Doctor of Pharmacy program as well as the extremely popular “Toxic Chemicals and Health” class for non-science undergraduates.

Dean Robert L. McCarthy praised the administration’s selection. “Dr. Morris is committed to the success of the School of Pharmacy and is an excellent choice to lead the school during this transition. His record of teaching and research speaks for itself, and his service on both the school’s Executive Committee and leadership team for the past decade provides him with a unique perspective on the needs of both our professional and graduate students. He was also instrumental in helping the school to secure two endowed chairs in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences.”

Dr. Morris himself is more humble about his accomplishments, preferring to discuss sports rather than his professional accolades. He credits the success of the school to a team effort. “Dean McCarthy is a great leader and energized our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and corporate partners. They have all helped us build an organization that attracts top-notch students and internationally-recognized faculty. I hope to continue the great traditions that we have established and look forward to working with our stakeholders to advance the School of Pharmacy.”

Dr. Morris received a B.S. in Chemistry from Allegheny College, Ph.D. degree in toxicology from the University of Rochester and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in inhalation toxicology at the New York University School of Medicine prior to joining the faculty of the University of Connecticut in 1981.

Dr. Morris’ research expertise focuses on the adverse health effects of air pollution. His work has received significant funding from the National Institutes of Health and the private sector. His research publications have received numerous awards including Faculty of 1000 recognition for his work on the effects of menthol in cigarette smoke. At the state level, he has served on the State of Connecticut Vietnam Herbicides Information Commission, Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering Study Committee on Asbestos in Schools, and as chairman of the State of Connecticut Hazardous Air Pollutant Advisory Panel, and has received the Volunteer Recognition Award from the American Lung Association of Connecticut. He has held several nationally elected offices in the Society of Toxicology and currently is the treasurer of the society. At the federal level he has served on numerous advisory panels for both the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He currently serves on two National Academy of Sciences review panels.