Wayne Buff retired as senior associate dean in December of 2018, after many years of visionary service to the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy. He leaves an impact on the college through his years of dedication, guidance and vision in furthering its mission of providing high-quality pharmacy education to improve the health and wellness of communities.
Buff was born and raised in Lexington, S.C., and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from South Carolina in 1973. He started practicing community pharmacy at Westdale Pharmacy in West Columbia and eventually earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 1997. He continued to practice community pharmacy until 1999, and in January 2000, he took a position at the College of Pharmacy as an instructor.
I enjoyed working with students on rotation and as interns at the College of Pharmacy ... It opened opportunities that I did not anticipate.
“I enjoyed working with students on rotation and as interns at the College of Pharmacy,” Buff says. “It was something I liked, and the students responded well to me. It opened opportunities that I did not anticipate. Key people guiding my evolving roles at the College of Pharmacy were Gene Reeder, Dr. Mike Dickson, former Dean Farid Sadik (associate dean at the time) and Dean Julian Fincher."
“My initial responsibilities included helping develop a practice lab experience for students, which we developed as a forward-looking experience and practice. This has been a long-lasting benefit to the college and the basic concepts of this are still in place.”
In addition, Buff handled the continuing education program for graduates and alumni, and taught a non-prescription drug products course, now referred to as self-care. These crucial efforts led to more work in administration, prompting Sadik to ask him to work in the dean’s office, where Buff became assistant dean for student affairs.
Buff served as interim dean for six months during the dean’s search in 2016, and then progressed to senior associate dean for the College of Pharmacy in 2016 when Dean Stephen Cutler began. Buff had also served as associate dean for curriculum and assessment.
“I have enjoyed the students and relationships in the College of Pharmacy, and even when working in community pharmacy I always had a desire to teach. So, it has meant a lot to me to be so very involved in the college for so many years, and I hated to walk away, but it was the right timing,” Buff says on his retirement. “Now, I will have the chance to devote time to my family and maybe even my artwork.”