I begin this message by thanking the many people who have expressed their sincere support as I take on the increased responsibilities of the dean for this interim period. I very much appreciate your statements of confidence and offers to assist as the college moves forward.
The past weeks have been difficult for all of us, but I believe we have demonstrated exemplary professionalism amidst disquieting uncertainty. As individuals we have stepped up to unexpected challenges and collectively we have pulled together as an effective team. Again, my thanks to each of you for putting the needs of the college and our students at the forefront.
We will continue to focus on the college’s goals and moving confidently into the future. A major effort will be completing an honest and thorough self-study process in anticipation of our ACPE accreditation site visit that is now just 11 months away. This will involve all of us within the college and others from our broader community, including alumni, preceptors and board members. The self-study committee will seek input and feedback on our report. I look forward to collaborating with you in producing a report that clearly demonstrates the strengths of our curriculum, our faculty and our organization.
I am eager to work with members of the college family on a variety of projects in the coming months. I expect to evaluate issues affecting the college and develop plans with faculty, staff, students, preceptors and alumni as we hold a faculty retreat next month, assess our accomplishments, refine our strategic plan and identify our personnel and curricular needs. As some of our current leaders move on to new opportunities, we will also be filling key college positions in the coming months. Implementing the new ACPE standards and dealing with uncertain budgets will require us to come together and find creative solutions to our challenges. Many activities are underway that will help define the future of the college, including suggestions from a “deep dive” committee that has been evaluating our curriculum. The start of a PharmD class in Phoenix in August 2016 will also be an exciting new venture for us in our state’s largest metropolitan area.
We have important work ahead. At our college Homecoming reception a few weeks ago, I was reminded again of the thousands of reasons we have to do this work well. Engaging with graduates from classes that span decades and learning about their accomplished professional lives, we better appreciate the immense impact of our academic mission to prepare the best pharmacists of every generation.
The affection of alumni for our college buoys my spirit, and the commitment of our current students to continue our long tradition of implementing outstanding patient care in all healthcare settings renews my own dedication to our college. So – time to Bear Down, PharmCats.
John E. Murphy
*The University of Arizona announced in late October that Dean J. Lyle Bootman had been placed on leave. Dr. Murphy was named interim dean Nov. 3 by the UA senior vice president for health sciences.