Published April 9, 2020
Peter F. Regan III, a noted educator and psychiatrist who served as UB’s acting president during the period of campus unrest in the 1970s, died suddenly on April 5. He was 95.
A native of New York City, Regan pursued his undergraduate studies at Fordham, Idaho and Stanford universities. In 1949, he received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College.
Regan served in the Army as an enlisted man from 1943-46, going on to serve as an officer in the Army Medical Corps in 1951-52.
After residency training in internal medicine and psychiatry at Cornell/New York Hospital, he was certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He served as an assistant professor of psychiatry at Cornell until 1958, when he became professor of psychiatry and founding chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Florida College of Medicine.
In 1964, Regan joined UB as a professor of psychiatry and vice president for health sciences. He served as UB’s executive vice president from 1966-70, and was acting president from 1969-70 during a year marked by anti-war protests on the South Campus that required the intervention of the Buffalo Police Department.
After leaving the UB administration in 1970, Regan continued his teaching and research in the Department of Psychiatry. He spent two years (1972-74) on leave in Europe conducting an international study on education of the health professions for the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In 1979, he took on added responsibility as associate chief of staff for education at the Buffalo VA Medical Center.
In 1984, he was recruited to the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, where he was professor of psychiatry, associate dean of medicine and chief of staff at the San Antonio VA Medical Center. In 1987, he was appointed associate chief medical director for academic affairs in the Veterans Affairs Central Office in Washington, D.C., where he directed the VA’s half-billion dollar programs for undergraduate and graduate students in medicine, dentistry, nursing and health related professions.
After retiring in 1992, Regan returned to Buffalo, where he resumed work at UB as professor emeritus of psychiatry. In 2000-01, he served as interim chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina.
During his career, he served as a consultant for numerous organizations, including the U.S. Public Health Service, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Southern Regional Education Board, the New York Advisory Council on Community Mental Health Centers, and the New York State Governors Select Committee on the Future of the StateLocal Mental Health System. In Buffalo, he served on the advisory board of the E.J. Meyer Memorial Hospital (now the Erie County Medical Center), the board of directors of Child and Family Services of Erie County, Calasanctius School and the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy.
Regan was a life fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists, as well as a longtime member of the college’s board of regents and president of the college in 1991-92. He was also a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and a member of the Council of Academic Societies of the Association of American Medical Colleges (1987 to 2000) and a member of the American Medical Association. His publications include 50 articles and books on psychiatry and on education of the health professions.
Regan was predeceased by his wife of 68 years, Laurette, in 2017. They both enjoyed spending time with family, traveling, the theatre, dining, fishing and literature.
Among his survivors are his son, William Regan, retired director of university events; two daughters, Elizabeth “Suzy” Shallowhorn, a staff member in Organizational Development and Effectiveness, and Carol A. Regan, program administrator for the Residency Training Program in the Department of Psychiatry; and a grandson, James Thompson, who graduated from the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and is in his first year in UB’s psychiatry residency program.
A remembrance service will be scheduled at a later date. Memorials can be made to the SATB2 Gene Foundation.