Dean Charlie Sands III of Samford University's McWhorter School of Pharmacy has resigned to accept an opportunity to establish a new pharmacy school in a restricted-access country in Asia.
Dean Sands, who has led Samford's pharmacy school since 2008, will remain a member of the Samford pharmacy faculty, but will take a one-year sabbatical beginning Sept. 1 to help start the new school in Asia.
Sands and his wife, Elizabeth, have served as medical missionaries to Asian countries on several occasions beginning in 1971 in South Korea. In 1991 they became faculty members at Yanbian University Medical College in Yanji, China, serving until 2002. Sands joined the faculty at McWhorter School of Pharmacy in 1997.
"We have been involved in a ministry among the Korean and Chinese people for many years, the majority of our adult lives," Sands said in a message to pharmacy faculty at Samford. "I catch myself thinking and even dreaming in the Korean, and even sometimes in the Chinese, language."
He said he and his wife recently had contemplated returning to the medical mission field when this "unique and exciting medical mission opportunity" opened up. "This is a very exciting opportunity to continue and perhaps complete the ministry in Asia which we originally received in the Lord," said Sands.
"Charlie Sands has inspired confidence in our faculty, staff and students during his time as dean at the McWhorter School of Pharmacy," said Samford Provost and Executive Vice President J. Bradley Creed. "Building on a strong foundation of pharmacy education, he has positioned the school for greater accomplishments as Samford launches the new College of Health Sciences.
"He has been a leader with a world vision for education, missions and preparing health professionals for service. I am pleased that he will return to Samford after his sabbatical as a faculty member where he will continue to have an impact on the lives of our students."
Dr. Creed appointed Dr. Michael Hogue, chair of the pharmacy practice department in the School of Pharmacy, as interim dean. Samford will announce plans later to conduct a national search for Sands' successor.
Sands said he would remain on the faculty in July and August to assist the interim dean.
The pharmacy school is one of Samford's oldest academic programs, dating to 1927. It currently enrolls approximately 500 students.