By H.W. “Ted” Matthews
After more than 23 years of serving as dean of the Mercer University College of Pharmacy, alumni and friends often ask me how I continue to stay energetic, optimistic and innovative. It’s a fair question because longevity in one position can often become static and stale amid an ever-changing profession and world. However, in order to remain competitive in pharmacy education and practice, we must always be looking for and embracing continuous quality improvement, a mantra I often repeat to my faculty and staff perhaps more than they wish to admit.
But before recently being asked this question, I never really thought about how I’m able to stay energetic and innovative as dean. When I thought about it, however, the answer became clear – I’m able to remain energetic because we recruit outstanding faculty and students who make my job immensely rewarding.
As an indication of this, I want to share with you just some of the accomplishments of our faculty and students last year alone.
2012-13 COP Accomplishments
- The College of Pharmacy was ranked the fourth best private pharmacy school in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report.
- Pharmacy faculty averaged almost two publications per faculty member.
- Almost 10% of all faculty are members of journal editorial review boards.
- 23% of faculty members in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences now have National Institutes of Health funding.
- Faculty submitted $4.6 million in grant proposals and were awarded $1.35 million in funded grants.
- Pharmacy faculty had 14 pedagogical abstracts accepted and presented at the annual meeting of the 2013 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.
- For all required courses in the pharmacy program’s curriculum, students’ overall rating of classroom teaching effectiveness of faculty was at 4.42 based on a 5.0 Likert scale.
- The College of Pharmacy conducts a Pharmacy Teaching Program (PTP) to all Atlanta area hospital-based pharmacy residents and current Ph.D. students. The primary goal of the PTP is to develop through practice the participants’ skills required to function in an academic setting.
- Two graduate students received the prestigious American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education Pre-doctoral Fellowship.
- Third-year pharmacy student, Mr. Thomas Sherrer, was elected to serve as President-elect of the National Community Pharmacists Association & Student Leadership Council.
- Pharmacy’s Kappa Psi student chapter was named the top ranking international college chapter of 2012.
- Pharmacy students participated in 32 international clinical rotations representing every continent in the world except Antarctica.
These accomplishments and others are the fuel that keeps me going.
H.W. “Ted” Matthews, Ph.D., is dean of the College of Pharmacy and senior vice president of Health Sciences, serving as CEO of the Mercer Health Sciences Center. His blog appears each month on the College’s tumblr page at http://MercerCOP.tumblr.com.