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UT Tyler Earns Final Approval to Establish College of Pharmacy

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August 23, 2013

Media Contact:  Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.565.5769 or 903.539.7196 (cell)

August 23, 2013

Media Contact: Beverley Golden
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.566.7303 or 903.330.0495 (cell)

The University of Texas at Tyler has completed the final step to establish a much-anticipated college of pharmacy in East Texas, President Rodney H. Mabry announced.

At its Aug. 22 meeting, the UT System Board of Regents officially created the college, which is to be named the Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy in acknowledgement of a generous contribution from the Ben and Maytee Fisch Family Foundation.

“This is truly an historic occasion, and a great addition for UT Tyler and the entire East Texas community,” said UT Tyler Provost Alisa White. “In addition to fulfilling a workforce need, the Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy will grant East Texas students access to this field of study, whereas before they did not have any local or regional options and were forced to go out of state.”

A diverse group of regional hospitals, businesses and institutions of higher education supported the establishment of the college, as did Texas legislators and Gov. Perry, who passed and signed Senate Bill 566, authorizing The University of Texas Board of Regents to create the program. President Mabry first conceived of the idea for a pharmacy school in 2003. After almost a decade of consideration and groundwork, Mabry read a news story about an innovative, self-sustaining pharmacy school at East Tennessee State University and partnered with other area leaders to establish a similar model at UT Tyler.

“UT Tyler’s College of Pharmacy will directly address the state’s need for more pharmacists. We will be able to train more pharmacists in their home state, who will in turn stay in Texas to work,” said Regent Steven Hicks, chairman of the Academic Affairs Committee, following the Regents’ vote of approval.

UT Health Northeast will partner with UT Tyler on the research to be conducted at the new college of pharmacy.

“Our mission is to improve the lives of Texans through education, research and health care. The partnership between UT Tyler and UT Health Northeast to create a college of pharmacy fulfills this mission perfectly,” said UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa.

In addition to establishing the college and authorizing its name as the Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy, the regents also granted UT Tyler the authority to begin work on the building to house the college of pharmacy. Design will begin immediately, with construction scheduled to start no later than March 2014.

UT Tyler hired the founding dean, Dr. Lane Brunner, earlier this month. Brunner will lead the accreditation process with the goal of accepting the first class of students in fall 2015.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of almost 7,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.

UT Tyler