Berit P. Gundersen ’84, PharmD a well-respected professor, mentor and executive leader at the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy at University of the Pacific, has been named dean of her alma mater. Dean Gundersen has served the University for the past 36 years as a faculty member, program director, vice provost and, for the past year, the School’s interim dean.

“Berit has done a tremendous job leading the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy over the past year, and I am thrilled she will continue to serve as dean,” President Christopher Callahan said. “She has a deep understanding of our school and its students. I am confident she will continue to elevate the exceptional education our students receive to ensure Pacific is graduating the best-prepared pharmacists who go on to become leaders in their field.”

Dean Gundersen earned her doctor of pharmacy from University of the Pacific in 1984. She joined Pacific as an assistant clinical professor in 1986 and earned full professorship in 2005. During her tenure as faculty, she was instrumental in spearheading initiatives that developed a program for pharmacy students to become immunizers—one of the first in the nation. Additionally, her efforts helped launch a smoking cessation program further demonstrating the school’s commitment to patient care.

“It is an honor and privilege to work with our outstanding students, faculty and staff,” Dean Gundersen said. “Pacific has been my home for more than three decades and I am committed to building and expanding programs that support student success and cultivate leaders who are dedicated to patient care.”

Under Dean Gundersen’s leadership, the School recently announced an immersive, three-week pharmacy licensure preparation program. Rx for Success is the first program of its kind, aiming to better prepare students for the state and national exams required to practice as pharmacists in California.

Prior to serving as interim dean, she held various roles in the provost’s office from 2007 to 2018, including assistant provost and vice provost. During this time, Dean Gundersen played a key role in the founding of the School of Health Sciences and worked closely with faculty to successfully launch four new academic programs in 2020: social work, clinical nutrition, occupational therapy and nursing. Dean Gundersen also led the successful accreditation of Pacific’s entry level master of science in nursing program.

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