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UNC Chapel Hill names new provost to oversee academics

Bob Blouin, dean of UNC’s pharmacy school, will become the next provost at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Bob Blouin, dean of UNC’s pharmacy school, will become the next provost at UNC-Chapel Hill. UNC

Bob Blouin, dean of UNC’s pharmacy school, will become the next provost at UNC Chapel Hill.

The announcement was made Tuesday by Chancellor Carol Folt. Blouin will succeed Jim Dean in the provost’s role Sept. 18, when he will oversee the academic side of the university.

Dean, who has been provost for four years, will return to the Kenan-Flagler Business School faculty, after taking a research leave. He is the former dean at the business school.

During his tenure, Dean hired seven academic deans. With Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham, he led a review of processes involving athletes following UNC’s long-running athletic and academic scandal. He also was involved in efforts to satisfy the concerns of UNC’s accrediting agency after a period of probation due to the scandal.

Dr. Dhiren Thakker, associate dean for entrepreneurial development, will serve as the interim dean of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

Blouin takes over the role of the university’s provost after 14 years leading the pharmacy school. The school climbed in reputation with a $100 million gift from pharmaceutical entrepreneur Fred Eshelman in 2014. It was ranked first in the United States among pharmacy programs by U.S. News & World Report.

Blouin has directed the Eshelman Institute for Innovation, which is aimed at advancing research and health care. Before coming to UNC, he was a faculty member and administrator at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy.

In a statement, Folt said Blouin was well-positioned to help with UNC’s new strategy, dubbed “Innovation made Fundamental.” The university is also preparing to publicly launch a new multi-year fundraising campaign.

Jane Stancill: 919-829-4559, @janestancill

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