UNCG Campus Weekly

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Bowles Will Recommend Against UNCG Pharmacy School

UNC System President Erskine Bowles will recommend against UNCG’s request to plan a School of Pharmacy in Greensboro. The recommendation is scheduled to be presented to the Board of Governors on Thursday, April 8.

Chancellor Linda P. Brady sent the following message to UNCG Board of Trustees members, Board of Visitors members, academic and community partners and friends of UNCG on Tuesday, April 6:

From: Linda Brady, Chancellor, UNCG
Subject: General Administration Report and Recommendations on Pharmacy

Yesterday afternoon President Bowles informed me of his decision to recommend against UNCG’s request to plan a stand-alone research-intensive School of Pharmacy in Greensboro and in favor of establishment of the UNC-Chapel Hill satellite pharmacy program in Asheville. These recommendations will be presented to the Board of Governors’ Committee on Educational Planning, Policies and Programs when the committee meets at 1:15 pm on Thursday, April 8, 2010 at North Carolina Central University (Room 225, L.T. Walker Physical Education Complex).

Recommendations from General Administration are as follows:

“Based on the report by the Visiting Team of Pharmacy deans, UNC GA recommends that UNC Chapel Hill be authorized to start up a satellite pharmacy program enrolling up to 40 students per class in Asheville with the following conditions:

1. Funding from the Buncombe County Commission: $600,000

2. Fund raising pledge by Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce: $2.5 million

3. Mission Hospital provides 1 to 1 support on average for Clinical Faculty and Residents embedded at Mission Hospital

4. Tuition covers everything else

5. Develop research plan with UNCG and NCA&T in drug discovery and development

6. Look at the need in the Greensboro area in two years and if need is indicated explore a joint venture with UNC Chapel Hill.

This envisions starting up the satellite pharmacy program in Asheville without additional state funding.

In addition UNC Chapel Hill should explore, in collaboration with this initiative, a plan for expansion at the satellite program with Elizabeth City State University.”

The full report is available on the Board of Governors Meetings web site at Planning Committee, Tab 7 (3 items).

As you know, an external review team of pharmacy deans visited UNCG, UNC-Chapel Hill, and UNC-Asheville in early March to assess the proposals and provide recommendations to General Administration on whether to support one, both, or neither of the proposals. President Bowles’ recommendation is consistent with the recommendations of the review team.

We were surprised by the report of the consultants as they were most complimentary of our proposal for a research-intensive School of Pharmacy at the conclusion of their visit to UNCG. Indeed, they commented that our public university pharmacy program/private medical school partnership with Wake Forest University would be only the second such relationship in the country.

I will have an opportunity to make a brief statement to the Ed Planning Committee following presentation of the GA report and recommendations on Thursday afternoon. My statement will emphasize:

1. The opportunity that was embedded in UNC Tomorrow to serve all the citizens of North Carolina by leveraging the strengths of public universities across the state. Explicit commitment of universities to address the needs of their communities is reflected in UNCG’s response to UNC Tomorrow—including a proposed School of Pharmacy.

2. The promise of UNC Tomorrow cannot be realized through investment in only one region of the state. Local and regional investment are required, especially in areas that have been particularly hard hit by North Carolina’s transitioning economy and the current economic crisis.

3. Greensboro and the Piedmont Triad have been significantly impacted by the decline of the textiles and furnishings industries. This region continues to have one of highest unemployment rates in the state. UNCG is committed to playing its part in the transformation of the regional economy by creating jobs and educating the workforce for jobs of the future. Our proposal makes a strong case regarding the economic impact of a research-intensive School of Pharmacy on Greensboro and the Triad.

4. In addition, UNCG has a unique opportunity to address the needs of underserved populations, particularly due to the shortage of ethnic minority pharmacists and the demographic trends in this state. UNCG has the most diverse student population within the UNC system. We planned to leverage our diversity and partner with NCA+T State University and Winston Salem State University in establishing designated slots in each pharmacy class for qualified graduates of their pre-pharmacy curricula. This commitment is consistent with the vision, mission, and values of UNCG’s Strategic Plan 2009-14.

5. UNCG has submitted a request to plan, not a request to establish. Many of the concerns raised by the review team in its report, such as the need for a specific plan to finance the building or the importance of engaging independent and chain community pharmacies, would have been addressed as part of the planning process. In fact, UNCG provided details in our request to plan that ordinarily are not required until a request to establish is submitted.

6. We understand that the economic climate does not support the establishment of a School of Pharmacy in Greensboro in 2010. But that is not what we requested. Support of our request to plan would have enabled us to address many of the issues related to need and funding, including solicitation of financial commitments beyond the land on which to build the School.

7. In denying UNCG’s request to plan, this recommendation and the associated conditions effectively removes the opportunity for UNCG to make the case to establish a stand-alone research-intensive School of Pharmacy in the future, regardless of how the needs of the region and the state may evolve.

8. All of us want to build and sustain great universities throughout this state. UNCG remains committed to emphasizing programs like nanoscience, nursing and pharmacy that will transform our economy and improve the life chances of all of North Carolina’s citizens.

Needless to say, we are extremely disappointed in this recommendation to the Board of Governors’ Committee on Educational Planning, Policies and Programs.