Marilyn K. Speedie: 21 years as dean of the College of Pharmacy

Marilyn Speedie 2017Dear Alumni and Friends,

I am excited to bring you this annual report, which is focused on my 21 years as dean of this college. We have accomplished a great deal in that time, undergone a lot of change and growth.

We have expanded our ability to serve the citizens of Minnesota and the world, and improved the quality and numbers of our graduates. I believe they are leaving our college with the ability to provide patient care and to lead change in the profession.

We have expanded our research funding but also the impact of our research. We are making important contributions to drug discovery and development, drug delivery, pharmacogenomics, clinical trials, informatics, pharmacoeconomics, and understanding drug-taking behaviors, among other areas.

We are contributing to the advancement of the profession in its ability to serve patients in new models of interprofessional health care.

These are all accomplishments to be proud of, and I am proud.

I am also humbled by the accomplishments of the individual faculty, staff and students who make up this organization. They are extremely innovative and hardworking, and have developed their individual national and international reputations. It is the collective impact of these individual efforts that result in our #2 ranking by U.S.News & World Report. As people look at us and rank us, they reflect on the individual employees and students, residents, pharmacists they know who are at our school or have come from the school. They look at the progressive nature of the practice in Minnesota. And, then they rank us highly because we are innovative, we are known, we are having an impact on the world, and we produce outstanding graduates.

Certainly one of my contributions is to create an environment which is supportive of the people doing all this work. In fact, I have been instrumental in hiring 80% to 90% of the current faculty of the college. We have been fortunate to be able to hire new faculty in all departments, and we have been extremely strategic in our selections. We have defined areas of science, practice and education in which we wish to excel, and we have hired the very best candidates we could find. In this manner we have built groups who work together to accomplish each of these areas which are aligned both with our strategic plan and with the Academic Health Center and the University.

Our #2 ranking and the rich, stimulating and collaborative environment the University of Minnesota presents helps us land the people we want since candidates see that they will succeed here. We also pay a great deal of attention to building a diverse faculty and to mentoring of junior faculty members.

The future of the college lies in capable hands. Incoming Dean Lynda Welage is inheriting an outstanding organization, and she is well-experienced and has the right skills and abilities to carry it forward. I am excited to see where we are going.

This past year we have created a 2017–22 strategic plan with input from all faculty as well as students and alumni, including many of you. Thank you for your participation. It is well thought out and should guide our future.

As always, we value your contributions of your time, talent and treasure. Without your involvement, our ability to meet our mission would be greatly diminished. I hope you feel pride in what we have accomplished together.

I thank you for the privilege of serving as your leader. While I am looking forward to new adventures and fewer demands on my time, I still think this was the best job in the world, and as Confucius said, “When you have a job you love, you never have to work a day in your life.” I wish you all well. Thanks for our time together.

Marilyn K. Speedie, Ph.D.

Dean