The University of North Texas has chosen a leader for its new College of Pharmacy at the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth, and he already knows where the cafeteria is.
Dr. Myron Jacobson comes to his post as dean of the College of Pharmacy from the University of Arizona, where he was a professor of medicinal chemistry at that school's College of Pharmacy. But before that, he served a stint at UNT's Health Science Center as the acting chairman of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. Back at UNT, Jacobson will oversee what has to be an exciting project: the building of a pharmacy school from the ground up.
And, we predict, the Health Science Center in Fort Worth will prove to be fertile ground, indeed. The center already trains medical professionals in a wide variety of disciplines. The new pharmacy school will take advantage of that structure by offering an interdisciplinary program for its students: Pharmacy students will work side by side with inchoate physical therapists and physicians' assistants, gaining a wider perspective on other health professions as they pursue their own chosen course of study. This not only benefits all the center's students; it benefits UNT, too, by providing a more favorable economy of scale at a time of burgeoning education costs. The university is educating more students by combining, where possible, teaching and physical resources, which isn't possible at standalone pharmacy schools.
In an interview with the Record-Chronicle's Rachel Mehlhaff, Jacobson said he had seen the benefits of interdisciplinary studies while at the University of Arizona, and he thinks the UNT program will be even more effective because UNT is creating its pharmacy program from scratch.
"I think it's going to be more productive here because we really are going to be building something new," he said.
There is a lot of work to be done before the College of Pharmacy officially opens its doors in August of next year. A faculty and staff must be hired, and work has to begin on obtaining accreditation for the new school.
But we are already enthusiastic about UNT's new College of Pharmacy, and about Myron Jacobson, the man who will lead it. We welcome him back to North Texas, and to the exciting job that lies ahead.