How do you view your first six years as dean of the UF College of Pharmacy?
We have undergone many changes in all our mission areas, which has made us an even better college of pharmacy. In the Pharm.D. program, we implemented a completely new curriculum, which puts us at the forefront of modernized pharmacy education. We completely disrupted the old way of teaching and curriculum delivery, and very few colleges of pharmacy had done that when we decided to do so. Our faculty were amazing throughout the process and were able to come to the decision very quickly about doing something different and developing a plan. From the time the curriculum task force was appointed in 2013, until we had a new curriculum approved, was less than nine months. The ability of the task force and faculty to think big and move fast was great.
We have also enjoyed unprecedented growth in new faculty during my tenure. In the summer of 2013, the college employed 72 full-time faculty, and six years later, we have 123 faculty in full-time positions. I’m really proud of that. We accomplished this in several ways. First, UF has capitalized on resources from the state, and the college has receive more than our fair share of those new resources. This helped us recruit some really amazing research faculty, who joined with our existing faculty to increase our annual research funding from $8.5 million in 2013, to nearly $24 million in 2018. We have also been very aggressive in not giving away the clinical services of our faculty for free. Under the leadership of John Gums, Pharm.D., associate dean for clinical and administrative affairs, we have created models where our pharmacist faculty’s activities are compensated, either through collaborative practice models with physicians or shared faculty practice models with hospitals. Our new practice model has allowed our clinical faculty to better balance their time between practice, teaching and scholarly activities. One of the things we sell to students applying to UF is that, by and large, our clinical faculty are spending 30-70 percent of their time in clinical practice, which is not the norm among most colleges of pharmacy, so that makes us special.
Finally, the culture in the college is really fantastic. The relationships that exist among faculty within and across departments is really productive. Our new curriculum has forced faculty who had never worked together to collaborate. I think our faculty, staff and students will agree that the spirit in the college is really positive.