The University of Arizona has hired a new leader for it pharmacy school, one who will earn substantially more than his predecessor.

Rick Schnellmann starts work Aug. 1 as dean of the UA College of Pharmacy.

He replaces longtime former dean Jesse Lyle Bootman, who is facing criminal charges over allegations he drugged and raped a Tucson woman at his home last year.

Bootman’s annual paycheck as dean was $287,000. Schnellman’s is 24 percent higher at $355,000.

The new dean is a “highly respected scholar and scientist in the field of pharmacology and toxicology,” said Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, the UA’s senior vice president for health sciences.

The fact the Tucson school landed such a talent “demonstrates the deep national admiration and respect for our College of Pharmacy,” Garcia said in a news release.

Schnellmann comes to the UA from the Medical University of South Carolina, where he chaired the pharmacy school’s department of drug discovery and biomedical sciences for 14 years.

He received his doctoral degree in pharmacology and toxicology from the UA in 1984 and has held editor positions with two peer-reviewed journals in the pharmacology field.

His research has focused on developing new drugs to treat diabetic kidney disease, spinal cord injuries and other conditions, work that has attracted more than $22 million in federal research grants since 1987, the UA news release said.

Schnellman’s hiring is the first infusion of new leadership blood in nearly 30 years for the UA’s pharmacy school.

Bootman was dean from 1987 until last year when the UA removed him from the post and banned him from campus in the wake of criminal charges.

Bootman has denied wrongdoing. He remains on paid administrative leave while his case is before the courts, earning a $253,000 professor’s salary, around $34,000 less than his dean’s pay.

Contact Carol Ann Alaimo at or 573-4138.