News

New Deans for Colleges of Pharmacy & Graduate Studies

Will focus on advancing students, innovation and research, and community health

Northeast Ohio Medical University recently announced that Richard J. Kasmer, Pharm.D., J.D., would serve as the University’s new vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College of Pharmacy, and that Steven P. Schmidt, Ph.D., would serve as the new vice president for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

Drs. Kasmer and Schmidt were both in leadership positions at NEOMED when each became candidates in the competitive search and interviewing processes for their respective new roles. Each will now serve in vice president and dean positions that were made available when their predecessors assumed similar positions at universities, coincidentally, in the state of Texas.

Drs. Kasmer and Schmidt started in their new roles effective July 1.

Dr. Kasmer has served in a variety of capacities during his more than ten years as a member of the NEOMED community. As a faculty member, he assisted in the development of new curricula, participated in accreditation activities and aided in the recruitment of new faculty members. As associate dean of the College of Pharmacy, he spent five years working towards improving operating efficiency while implementing new programs. In his most recent role as the College’s vice dean, Dr. Kasmer played a leadership role in admissions, strategic planning and developing relationships – both regionally with Ritzman Pharmacy and internationally with Anhui University in China.

Dr. Kasmer is a former clinical pharmacist who served as vice president and director of clinical operations at Collaborative Clinical Research, Inc., in Cleveland. He has a strong teaching interest in pharmacy law, ethics and professionalism. Dr. Kasmer received his Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree from Creighton University and served as a post-doctoral resident in ambulatory care at the VA Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Dr. Kasmer earned his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree at Cleveland State University.

A nationally renowned researcher, health care leader and academic, Dr. Schmidt served as interim vice president for research and dean of the College of Graduate Studies before the search process began. Prior to his interim role, Dr. Schmidt served as a chair of the NEOMED Board of Trustees and was a professor and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He also served as the associate dean of research in the College of Pharmacy at NEOMED where he was pivotal in the development of the University’s fifth research focus area, Neurodegenerative Disease and Aging.

Dr, Schmidt is a former vice president of clinical research and innovation at Summa Health in Akron.  During his 30-year tenure and under his guidance, research and clinical trials at Summa Health grew by 60 percent. Dr. Schmidt directed the in vitro fertilization laboratory at Summa Akron City Hospital when the first test tube baby in Akron was born. He also investigated how to create natural cellular linings on artificial blood vessels, thus pioneering the early stages of tissue engineering.

Dr. Schmidt received his Bachelor of Arts in Premedical Science and Master of Arts in Zoology from DePauw University. He earned his Ph.D. in Biology/Physiology from Idaho State University. The recipient of the American Heart Association Distinguished Researcher Award, Dr. Schmidt has been awarded five patents.