Robert Blouin, Pharm.D., who for 14 years served as dean of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, was honored Nov. 30 with the unveiling of his official portrait.

Blouin served as dean from 2003 to 2017. During his tenure, the School increased external research funding by over 800 percent, doubled the number of full-time faculty, founded the Eshelman Institute of Innovation and various new research centers, opened its Asheville satellite campus, and forged numerous research partnerships — all of which contributed to the School’s ascension to the top-ranked pharmacy school in the country.

“Throughout his 14-year tenure as Dean of the School, Bob was a transformative leader, innovator and visionary,” said Interim Dean Dhiren Thakker, Ph.D. “I have always appreciated the unique insight, the extraordinary vision, and the consistent devotion to service that Bob brought to every challenge.”

Blouin’s portrait, painted by Paul Leveille, was unveiled at a ceremony at the Carolina Club on Nov. 30.

Blouin is now the executive vice chancellor and provost of UNC-Chapel Hill. He is noted for his leadership of national discussions on issues of clinical pharmaceutical scientist training, particularly at the graduate level. He has been extensively involved in launching a transformation in the professional and graduate curricula at Carolina, coined the Educational Renaissance. His own research interests include studying the effect of disease and altered physiologic status on the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and metabolism of drugs.

Robert Blouin, Pharm.D.

Before coming to Carolina, Blouin was a faculty member and administrator at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy from 1978 to 2003. He earned a B.S. from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and his Pharm.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy.

Blouin continues to hold a position at the School as the Bryson Distinguished Professor. Now, his contributions to the School will be commemorated by his portrait, which will hang in the entrance of Beard Hall.

“Bob’s unique place in the history of this great institution is more than assured,” said Thakker. “With the formal dedication of this portrait, we pay fitting tribute to a legacy, and a shining example, that will continue to guide and inspire generations of pharmacists, researchers and educators, long into the future.”

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