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UH-Hilo pharmacy school founding dean resigning

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    Ken Lawson, manager of the Hawaii Innocence Project, teaches a few courses at the University of Hawaii's William S. Richardson School of Law. During his lectures, Lawson shares his past struggles with substance abuse. "He's an inspiration," said law student Matthew Cohen. "At least once a class, he's got some kind of story where he breaks out spontaneously and talks from his heart. It's always amazing. ... Everybody's always really excited to take a course from professor Lawson."

The founding dean of the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s College of Pharmacy will be leaving his post at the end of the year, the Hawaii Tribune Herald reported on Friday.

John Pezzuto sent an e-mail this week to friends and colleagues at UH-Hilo that he will leave the job he has held since 2006. He has been the college’s only dean.

"It has been a privilege helping you build this college over the past several years," Pezzuto wrote. "I am proud of our progress, and I am confident the future is bright. I will be here through the end of the year. You can be sure I will continue working to the utmost of my ability to continue building the college, and I will certainly do everything I can to assure a smooth transition."

The Legislature this year appropriated $33 million to the college after cutting funding last year.

The UH Board of Regents last year renamed the College of Pharmacy after the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye.

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