Fant Presents "Vision 2016" in College of Pharmacy Address
At his state of the college address to faculty and staff of the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy on Jan. 18, 2012, Interim Dean William Fant, PharmD, presented an overview of "Vision 2016,” the college’s new strategic plan. The plan was developed by a seven-person team of faculty, staff and alumni and focuses on four key themes: viability, learning, discovery and visibility.
This new plan outlines steps necessary to strengthen and enhance the college’s professional doctor of pharmacy program and its master of science and PhD programs in pharmaceutical sciences.
Fant cited a recent government report, "Improving Patient and Health System Outcomes through Advanced Pharmacy Practice: A Report to the Surgeon General 2011,” which identifies and supports the expanded role pharmacists now play in direct patient care. Fant says, "We want to ensure that UC graduates are able to meet these changing responsibilities by providing them with the additional academic, clinical and research experiences needed to excel in their field.” He added that the college is already well known in the region for its academic collaborations with over 200 practice and research partners throughout the Tristate.
There are also innovations taking place in the classroom, as the finishing touches are being placed on a state-of-the-art clinical skills laboratory on the second floor of the Health Professions Building and plans are to renovate the remainder of the building over the next three to seven years.
The immediate goals, Fant says, are to reconnect the college with its alumni, increase research funding, increase enrollment through distance learning programs and seek out new funding. Over the next 18 months, his term as interim dean, Fant will lead the college through semester conversion, accreditation and the search for a new dean.
"We have an excellent faculty, staff and students and our primary goal during this time frame is to be in the position of attracting the best dean candidates to the college,” he said.
While UC pharmacy graduates have a 100 percent placement rate prior to graduation and students exceed state and national averages on the North American Pharmacy Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and the Multistate Jurisprudence Exam (MJPE), Fant says the college must continue to expand its offerings to meet the educational needs of its alumni and practice partners, which includes providing continuing education programing for these audiences.
"We have a number of decisions to make over the next one to two years that will shape the college in the future, but we intend to start out right away with low-cost items that make a big difference,” he says of the metamorphosis he envisions taking place by 2016.
The college, he says, will be led by its strategic plan, which he sees as "a living document that will be flexible and adjust to changes in the profession.”