LITTLE ROCK — The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences honored retiring Chancellor Dr. Dan Rahn by naming a building after him Tuesday.
In a ceremony held on the top level of a parking deck within view of the building, Gov. Asa Hutchinson expressed appreciation for Rahn’s years of service at the research hospital, then watched with Rahn and the audience as new lettering was unveiled on the exterior of the building identifying it as the Daniel W. Rahn Interprofessional Education Building.
Formerly known as the Education III building, the structure was built in 2003 and houses the College of Nursing, the College of Pharmacy, the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health and part of the College of Medicine.
“The service that you have rendered to the state of Arkansas is extraordinary,” Hutchinson told Rahn. “You have kept your hands to the plow, you have worked hard diligently; you’ve come in here and really made a huge difference, not just for UAMS but for health care all across this state. And for that — your transformational leadership — we will forever be grateful.”
After the unveiling, Rahn said, ““UAMS really is a great institution, and I believe everyone knows that it is unsurpassed in its importance for the people of Arkansas, both today and in the future. Having my name attached to this institution is certainly one of the greatest honors of my life.”
Rahn is retiring July 31 after serving as chancellor since 2009. A native of Stroudsburg, Pa., he is a graduate of Yale University and the Yale University School of Medicine.
He came to Arkansas from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, where he served as president for eight years and as senior vice chancellor for health and medical programs for the University System of Georgia.
Under Rahn’s leadership, UAMS launched efficiency measures that saved more than $100 million, significantly increased its student enrollment and number of degree programs, added a Fayetteville campus and became the state’s only adult Level 1 trauma center.
Rahn has championed health care for underserved populations, including testifying before state lawmakers in support of the state’s hybrid Medicaid expansion program. The program has provided government-subsidized private health insurance to more than 300,000 Arkansans.
Stephanie Gardner, chief academic officer and provost at UAMS, will serve as interim chancellor until a permanent replacement for Rahn is hired.
A search committee has named two finalists, Dr. A. Wesley Burks, executive dean of the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Dr. Danny O. Jacobs, executive vice president, provost and dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.
The UAMS Foundation Fund Board and chancellor’s cabinet has established in Rahn’s name an endowment fund to support interprofessional education. More than $300,000 has been raised so far by members of the board and cabinet, according to UAMS.