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UM News
February 14, 2012

MISSOULA –

The national Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education has granted the Skaggs School of Pharmacy’s Doctor of Pharmacy program at The University of Montana accreditation for the next eight years, the maximum term allowed.

“This is testimony to the quality of both our faculty and students who make the program what it is,” said Vernon Grund, interim dean of the College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences, which houses the pharmacy school. “State-of-the-art research, innovative classes and professional experiences keep our students at their very best as they become well-prepared to practice pharmacy, not just in Montana but throughout the country.”

ACPE cited the progress the school has made since its last accreditation review, including the use of interviews as part of the admissions process. The accreditation report also commended the school for developing a policy that could lead to a model for teaching professionalism, its innovative Integrated Studies course and for being ranked in the top 12 pharmacy programs nationally for research funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The accreditation site visit team also was impressed with the collegiality and positive attitude of the faculty and cited the Skaggs Building facilities as a strength. As a concern, the team noted faculty and staff salaries are well below the national average for pharmacy schools.

“In the past year faculty, led by coordinating Professor Jean Carter, worked extremely hard to put together the self-study, which included a long-range strategic plan, a program evaluation and an assessment plan,” said David Forbes, interim vice president of Research and Development at UM and former dean of the college. “This accreditation is a direct reflection of their professionalism and dedication to making the pharmacy program one of the best in the nation.”

According to the accreditation site visit team, “the College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences is seen as a shining star on campus, and the Skaggs School of Pharmacy appears to be driving this view.”

Grund also acknowledged the extra effort contributed by Carter, Assistant Dean Lori Morin, department chairs Michael Rivey and Richard Bridges, the Assessment Committee and the Curriculum Committee.

Though the program is accredited through June 30, 2020, the ACPE board will require written interim reports as part of its program monitoring. These will include updates on the strategic plan, the assessment plan, the curriculum map and the progress made in securing additional resources for faculty salaries.

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JW/als

Western Montana, dailies

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Contact: Vernon Grund, interim dean, UM College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences, 406-243-4770, vernon.grund@umontana.edu.