Dean's Statement to the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Community

Published May 16, 2022


Dear SPPS Community:

I was shocked, but sadly not surprised, by the horrific mass shooting at the Tops supermarket on Jefferson Avenue. These incidents occur way too frequently for a civilized society. However, the hate that motivated the shooting today makes it an especially devastating act. Coupled with the fact that it occurred in our backyard, many in our SPPS family will be affected by this.

Many of you know that our school has a deep and longstanding relationship with Tops through our experiential education program and through our alumni who have worked in Tops pharmacies. We have been told one of the victims of the shooting, thankfully not a fatality, was a pharmacist. We will be communicating our sympathies, and our support, to our partners at Tops in the days to come.

Our school prepares students for careers serving others, and our host community is especially diverse, racially, religiously, and economically. When it comes to hate, we have a special obligation to be vigilant, and to push back forcefully when we see it. There is no more important issue for which we can ask the question “If not us, then who?”

Dr. Kal Desai, SPPS Director of Diversity Initiatives, will be offering Listening Sessions over the coming days and additional information on these sessions will be sent soon. I encourage you to reach out to Dr. Desai if you need to talk: Campus is also offering help to those who are grieving or traumatized through UB’s Counseling Services along with UB’s Intercultural and Diversity Center offering a safe space for the UB community.

Please be good to yourselves and kind to each other. Even small expressions of concern and caring do much for the healing process.

Gary Pollack, PhD
Professor and Dean