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Creating the Right Chemistry

Apr 15, 2007 6:00 PM

College of Pharmacy's Secret to Continuing Success

Technically, curriculum vitae summarize individuals' professional history and qualifications. But the Latin phrase for "course of life" is equally applicable to the U of U College of Pharmacy, where a history rich in faculty accomplishments accelerated its course last fall with awards bestowed from across the world as well as the campus.

Mauger isn't surprised. The College of Pharmacy has, for the past 31 years, ranked in the nation's top four pharmacy schools for the amount of research money awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Last year was no exception with the U ranked nationally at Number 2. Mauger credits the continuing success to a faculty persona the college has nurtured since early in its development.

"The tone for who we hire and what we expect of them--not only nice people who will be collegial, but those who have the potential and the drive to be successful in a competitive environment--was set many years ago by Ewart Swinyard," said Mauger, referring to the college's second dean. The first, L. David Hiner, Ph.D., is credited with creating the professional program and securing a building for the college. Harold H. Wolf, Ph.D., who served as dean from 1976-89, "was a visionary who reorganized the college and built innovatively on what Ewart began," said Mauger.

To define the characteristics of a successful faculty member, though, Mauger quotes Swinyard, who wrote in a 1976 article: " '...the quality of a faculty can be measured in terms of teaching skills, accomplishments in local and national circles, and ability to attract federal research grants and contracts.'

"It's an interesting academic genetics," noted Mauger. A Pennsylvania native who came to Utah from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, he began his 12th year as dean last October. When he joined the U, two of his predecessors and three of the college's founding department chairs were still on faculty. "I was the outsider to this successful genetic pool. I've tried to be respectful of that history. I've looked at my job as simply to sustain."

Judging from the number of recent accolades, the U pharmacy college is not only sustaining its success, but drawing national attention to its unique chemistry that has created a community of prize-winning faculty.

Read the complete article at Health Sciences Report

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