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An Introduction to the Campbell Mentoring Program

 

Bill Campbell portraitThe Bill and Karen Campbell Faculty Mentoring Program is a powerful asset for new faculty at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Through the program, experienced, insightful, and trusted senior faculty serve as guides, allies, and advocates of junior faculty. The program, which is completely voluntary, aims to help new faculty adjust to life at Carolina and to succeed professionally and personally. The effort is supported by funds generated by the $1 million endowment of the Bill and Karen Campbell Distinguished Professorship.

Goals of the Program

  • Assist in recruitment of junior faculty
  • Help new faculty reach their full potential as quickly as possible
  • Assist in the retention of new faculty (ending at promotion and tenure)
  • Take advantage of the unique and valuable talent of senior faculty
  • Engage mentors from outside UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and academia

Guiding Principles

  • Keep it simple: minimize paperwork, no added administrative layer, highly individualized
  • Program is voluntary: no one is required to participate
  • Faculty ownership: arm’s-length relationship to administration, mentorship is, at its core, a faculty value

 

We are shaped by the people in our lives. When these people have a transforming effect on us, either by the example they set, or through a close personal relationship, they become mentors.

Dilbert’s Guide to Mentoring

A talk by Bill Campbell, PhD, on October 9, 2013

 

Dr. Richard E. “Rich” Johnson was my first mentor. He was a professor at Oregon State University when Karen and I were pharmacy students, and he stood apart from other faculty with his concern for students, his commitment to teaching, and his dedication to academic values. After completing a master’s degree under his guidance and then a PhD at Purdue University, my first academic appointment was back at Oregon State where Rich and I were to be faculty colleagues. As an assistant professor, my limitations were beyond measure, but Rich steered me through the university maze, opened doors for research collaborations, helped me strike a balance between personal and professional life, and most importantly, set an example of uncompromising integrity in all matters. Most remarkably, he assumed personal responsibility for my success as an assistant professor. All this he did in a completely selfless manner, devoting infinite wisdom, energy, ideas, and time solely for my benefit. Without his support and guidance my academic career would have been much different—and likely much shorter!

My second academic appointment was at the University of Washington (Seattle) as department chair of pharmacy practice. The dean, Dr. Milo Gibaldi, was a brilliant scientist and one of the founders of the discipline of biopharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics. Milo demonstrated how a bold vision and commitment to develop each person to their fullest potential can create excellence in an academic program. He also taught me that humor, respect for differences, and joie d’vire can be as important as dollars and space in creating a climate of achievement. Despite Milo’s fragile health and the enormous demands on his time, he was always available to me on both a scheduled and unscheduled basis. His advice ranged from the personal to the professional, from the administrative to the scientific, and was offered with but one objective in mind: to help me. Milo’s death in 2006 was a loss to all of pharmaceutical science and education, but his courage and dedication in pursuit of excellence are enduring lessons.

Karen and I have shared an academic life that has been rich beyond our imagination, a life transformed by the generosity of Rich Johnson and Milo Gibaldi. Through the faculty mentoring program at the UNC School of Pharmacy, we hope to provide future faculty with the benefits of mentoring that we were so fortunate to receive. Those benefits include a commitment to junior colleagues, an understanding of the need for uncompromising integrity, a dedication to excellence, and permission to be yourself. This program honors not just our mentors but all mentors who commit themselves to the success of junior colleagues. We look forward to its success in helping new School faculty members achieve their full potential. And in time, they will become the next generation of mentors.

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 who are on a scholarship-intensive track.The mentoring program serves as a testimony to Bill Campbell’s strong advocacy of the importance of mentorship to faculty development. Since its inception, 23 junior faculty members from the School’s five academic divisions have elected to become fellows of the Campbell Mentoring Program.

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 teaching methods and restructured curricula. These dynamic changes in the mission of the School have led us to hire individuals with diverse backgrounds and 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 have found that this junior-faculty-development initiative has helped us to attract outstanding faculty to UNC, has encouraged the professional growth of our faculty, has aided in retaining faculty, and has enlisted talented senior faculty in this endeavor. We continually assess our program to determine its effectiveness, identify potential improvements, and share with others what we have learned.

If you have questions or comments about the Bill and Karen Campbell Faculty Mentoring Program at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, contact:

Dhiren Thakker, PhD
Ferguson Distinguished Professor and
Director of the Bill and Karen Campbell Faculty Mentoring Program
UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy
Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry
CB # 7355
100F Beard Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7355

E-mail:
Office: 919-962-0092


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