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PROFILE: New Trustee, Entrepreneur Sees UC As a Lifelong Resource

Candace Kendle brings to UC's Board of Trustees a combination not often seen. She's an entrepreneur who knows the university from many sides – as an undergraduate student, doctoral student, alumna and former faculty member who enjoyed a long academic career in higher education.

Date: 9/22/2003 8:00:00 AM
By: Marianne Kunnen-Jones
Phone: (513) 556-1826
Photos By: Courtesy of Kendle International
UC ingot UC's newest appointee to the Board of Trustees offers some advice to UC students and alumni: "Come back to your university. Stay in touch. It's a resource for life, not just for the four or five years you're there as a student."

Candace Kendle, PharmD
Candace Kendle is UC's new trustee.

This counsel comes from Dr. Candace Kendle, a woman who follows it herself, despite the fact that when she made these remarks, she spoke by conference call many miles from her home in Cincinnati and her alma mater, UC. Kendle is the chair and CEO of an international company she founded with her husband 22 years ago, often working for many weeks at a time in New Jersey, England and other parts of the globe. She returns to UC as often as she can – for football games, men's and women's basketball games, UC Foundation and UCATS board sessions, as well as meetings of the College of Pharmacy and College of Business advisory boards.

Beginning with her first Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 30, Kendle's presence on campus will be required even more often. She brings to the board a combination not often seen. As an entrepreneur, she heads Kendle International, a corporation that grew from a small, private enterprise to a publicly-held contract research organization (CRO) with offices on four continents and more than 1,500 associates worldwide. In addition to her business acumen, Kendle possesses UC expertise. She knows the university from many sides – as an undergraduate student, doctoral student, alumna and former adjunct faculty member who enjoyed a long academic career in higher education.
"I loved being a faculty member," says Kendle, who served as a full-time member of the professorate at the University of North Carolina School of Pharmacy and School of Medicine, at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine and at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Sciences. "I understand why someone chooses an academic career. From a teaching as well as a research perspective, being a faculty member is a very rewarding career."

She expresses awe at the wide range of research that can be found at UC, and she adds: "I think we need to remember that faculty members are significant stakeholders in the future of our institution. They are among the most precious members of the university community."

She especially credits one faculty member – former College of Pharmacy Dean Joseph Kowaleski – with helping her to navigate her baccalaureate years when she had no one else to guide her. Neither of her parents had the opportunity to get a college education. Although they supported her decision to go to college, they could not give her much advice about it. She first tried nursing school after graduating from Indian Hill High School in 1964, but quickly realized it was not a good match for a woman who wanted to pursue science and math.

She arrived to study pharmacy at UC in 1965. Women weren't permitted to wear pants to classes. "It was very different then. UC was a city school. The College of Pharmacy was almost exclusively men – there were only six women in my class."

Dean Kowaleski "had no reason to believe I could as a woman become a success as a pharmacist. I was a very immature young woman. However Dean Kowaleski essentially took me by the hand and helped me to get scholarship money, fill out forms and pointed me to the classroom."

She lived on campus or in a sorority house whenever she could afford it. "There were curfews in the dorms -- 10 o'clock during the week and 11 o'clock on Friday nights. The notion of co-ed dorms wasn't around yet."

"The wonderful part was being part of the change, especially for women. Those who started a few years after I did didn't have the experience of seeing how drastically something could change," she asserts.

Today, Kendle jokes that the university should change its name to "University of Cincinnatae, with the female Latin spelling" because of the progress women have made here recently. Kendle brings to three the number of women now sitting on the Board of Trustees. Dr. Jane Henney joins UC as vice president and provost for Health Affairs and on Oct. 1, Dr. Nancy Zimpher reports for duty as the university's first woman president.

When Kendle earned her bachelor of science in pharmacy in 1970, and her PharmD in 1972, also from UC, she never expected that she would one day start her own firm. The company she co-founded assists pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in conducting clinical trials, collecting data and monitoring trials for drugs on their way to FDA approval.

Her success and achievements have earned her recognition from Worth magazine, which named her one of the nation's top 25 female CEOs in December 2001. They have also won her recognition from UC, including the 2002 William Howard Taft Medal, the 2001 Arthur C. Glasser Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Pharmacy and the 1999 Distinguished Alumni Award given by the Center for Women's Studies.

As an alumna who espouses keeping up a lifelong relationship with a university, Kendle tries to live that philosophy within her own workplace. She doesn't just save her UC loyalty for campus visits. She encourages her associates to pump up rivalries during March Madness. "Everyone knows I am a big UC fan," says Kendle, whose love of athletics sparked her own sports interest about 10 years ago – competitive rowing. Often, she can be found, oars in hand, on the Licking River in Northern Kentucky or, when in New Jersey, on the Jersey Shore.

"I got up at 6 a.m. this morning. I biked and rowed for two hours. Then sometimes, I can't get to it at all. I'm not the most disciplined athlete in the world," says Kendle.

Her UC background is clearly evident at the company's main office. "A lot of UC alums and a few of my classmates work at Kendle. We have a lot of fun. During March Madness, we have a TV with the games on and everyone wears their school colors," says Kendle.

There's also a giant bobblehead Bearcat in the lobby area on the 15th floor of Carew Tower in Kendle's Cincinnati headquarters. It's the one that Kendle International made for the UC Alumni Association's Mascot Mania art celebration in 2002. Kendle and her company bought it back at the UC auction, because they couldn't bear to part with it. Adds Kendle on one final note: “Go Bearcats!” 

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