Gary Gugelchuk, PhD, has agreed to serve as interim president of Western University of Health Sciences following the retirement of Founding President Philip Pumerantz, PhD, WesternU’s Board of Trustees announced today.

Gugelchuk, a 29-year employee of WesternU who has served as the university’s Provost and Chief Operating Officer since February 2012, will begin serving as interim president following Dr. Pumerantz’s official retirement on September 8, 2015.

Dr. Pumerantz announced his retirement in April of this year, and will serve as President Emeritus after September 8. A national search for his permanent successor is underway. The search is expected to last into 2016.

“I’m very pleased we were able to find such a terrific candidate for interim president,” said Richard Bond, DO, chair of the WesternU Board of Trustees. “Gary is a very capable individual who understands how the university runs, and will provide us with excellent leadership as we pursue our next president.”

Gugelchuk has served in a variety of roles since joining the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) 29 years ago, including as a health professions faculty member, dean of the College of Allied Health Professions, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Senior Vice President for Executive Affairs, and Executive Vice Provost.

“Over the past 38 years, WesternU has grown to prominence regionally, and is poised to take its place on the national stage,” Gugelchuk said following the board’s announcement. “I’m honored to be able to continue Dr. Pumerantz’s legacy while the board completes its search for a new president.”