Origins of the Mentoring Program
Bill and Karen Campbell Faculty Mentoring Program
The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy is committed to the success of our faculty and encouraging their full participation in the academic mission of the School and University. In July 2006, the School of Pharmacy launched the Bill and Karen Campbell Faculty Mentoring Program to assist in the professional and personal development of the School’s junior faculty. This mentoring program serves as a testimony to Bill Campbell’s strong advocacy of the importance of mentorship to faculty development. Previously, the mentoring of junior faculty at the School was conducted informally under the guidance of senior faculty. This arrangement was effective in most cases because of the shared interests among faculty and the collaborative and the nurturing environment at UNC.
However, in recent years the mission and scope of contemporary pharmacy programs have changed. We have seen a need for new skills to meet today’s health challenges. In the pharmaceutical sciences, which include medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics, and drug delivery, our faculty develops genetic-based therapies and examines the structure and dynamics of therapeutic targets. They collect, mine, and use vast repositories of chemical, biochemical, and medical information. They design novel chemical and biological drug-delivery systems, exploit the role of pharmacogenomics in medicine, and delineate the role of transporters and the impact of the human metabolic machinery for drug treatment. This breadth of science has led the School to hire faculty trained in disciplines other than pharmacy. Similarly, translating new therapies and diagnostic procedures to the clinic represents the culmination of the pharmaceutical experience wherein science and medicine merge to provide beneficial health outcomes. The integration of these disciplines requires broadly based, trained faculty who can interface with research scientists and clinicians. Further, the need to provide quality managed care to our citizens has caused us to examine healthcare economics and policies from a pharmacy perspective. Thus, new skills are needed to develop comprehensive and innovative solutions, based on analysis of vast databases, and to implement them into policy. Lastly, educating today’s professional pharmacist has changed. The information explosion and the changing classroom has mandated innovative methods and restructured curricula. These dynamic changes in the mission of the School have led us to reevaluate our approach to junior faculty mentoring.
Team Mentoring: A New Approach
Formal efforts to devise a new approach to junior faculty mentoring began in 2003 upon the retirement of Bill Campbell as dean of the UNC School of Pharmacy. Supporters and friends of Campbell and the School established the Bill and Karen Campbell Fund through the Pharmacy Foundation of North Carolina to honor the retiring dean and his wife. In 2004-2005, the School Committee of Faculty Mentoring and Development under the chairmanship of Bill Campbell created a blueprint for junior faculty mentoring and a roadmap for its implementation. Key to the program is the mentoring team, who assist the junior faculty. Support for this program would come from the fund. This mentoring program was endorsed and strengthened by the School under the leadership of Dean Robert Blouin.
The Program’s Goals
The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy faculty-mentoring program is the first such sponsored program among the nation’s pharmacy schools. We expect that this junior-faculty-development initiative will help us to attract outstanding faculty to UNC, encourage the professional growth of our faculty, aid in retaining faculty, and enlist our talented senior faculty in this endeavor. We will assess our program to determine its effectiveness, identify potential improvements, and share with others what we have learned.