Russell Melchert, dean of the UMKC School of Pharmacy, has been selected president-elect of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. He will assume that one-year role in July before becoming president of the AACP in July 2022.

The AACP is a national organization representing pharmacy education throughout the United States. It promotes the profession of pharmacy — the third-largest health care profession after nursing and medicine — while working to improve societal health through the advancement of pharmacy education, research, scholarship, practice and service.

“I am honored to serve the AACP with its 141 schools and nearly 7,000 members, all dedicated to educating tomorrow’s pharmacists,” Melchert said. “Now more than ever the world is recognizing the essential role pharmacists have in helping people live healthier lives. Pharmacists have been key in our battle against COVID-19, and the scope of our work continues to expand rapidly.”

Melchert is a member of the AACP Board of Directors and since 2018 the chair of the organization’s Council of Deans. As president-elect, he will be the chair of the strategic planning committee and serve on the finance committee and the board of the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education.

He will also take part in an executive leadership program in association management, be responsible for appointing committee volunteers and represent the association at district meetings.

Melchert joined the UMKC School of Pharmacy in 2010 as dean and professor of pharmacology and toxicology. He was also appointed interim dean of the UMKC School of Dentistry in September 2020.

Before coming to UMKC, he was a professor and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Arkansas. He earned his B.S. in pharmacy and Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Oklahoma. He was a National Institute of Environmental Health post-doctoral fellow at the University of Texas.

Well known in academic circles, Melchert has received more than 20 awards from students for his teaching in pharmacology. His research has been financed by the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health.

After his year as AACP president, Melchert will serve a year as immediate past president. He was nominated for the top posts from among active members of the association who hold the title of dean, associate dean, assistant dean or equivalent administrative titles.