Dr. Fletcher to step down as dean of College of Pharmacy

by Tom O'Connor, UNMC public relations | January 16, 2018

Image with caption: Courtney Fletcher, Pharm. D.

Courtney Fletcher, Pharm. D.

After serving as dean of the UNMC College of Pharmacy for more than a decade, Courtney Fletcher, Pharm.D., has announced that he has decided to step down effective July 1. He will remain on the college's faculty as a professor and will continue his research and teaching endeavors.

Major accomplishements

The new UNMC Center for Drug Discovery - Lozier Center for Pharmacy Sciences and Education was far from the only accomplishment under Dr. Fletcher. Some of the other landmark achievements for the college included:

  • Realizing a 99.5 percent increase in NIH funding and ranking No. 11 out of the more than 145 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the U.S. in terms of NIH research funding.
  • Ranking No. 4 out of all colleges and schools of pharmacy in the U.S. in NIH research funding per FTE faculty and being in the top 10 in this measure for the past nine years.
  • Averaging 98.6 percent over the past five years for pharmacy students passing the licensure exam on their first attempt, one of the highest pass rates in the country.
  • Increasing annual grant submissions by 162 percent, annual publications by 53 percent, and annual invention notifications by 93 percent.
  • Becoming the first college of pharmacy in the U.S. to develop an affiliation with the Chinese Scholarship Council for the Pharm.D. program and the first to graduate a CSC student.
  • Being the first UNMC college to move to a paperless education program and launching a digital initiative that provides all students with an iPad, to transform the classroom experience.

"It has truly been an amazing decade for the College of Pharmacy," said UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D. "We can't thank Dr. Fletcher enough for his outstanding leadership. He has elevated the college to an elite level, and we couldn't be more proud of what they've accomplished."

The crowning achievement during Dr. Fletcher's deanship came in 2016 when the College of Pharmacy opened the new UNMC Center for Drug Discovery - Lozier Center for Pharmacy Sciences and Education, a $35 million building entirely constructed through private giving.

Ruth Scott, who along with her husband, Bill, was one of the two major donors for the UNMC Center for Drug Discovery - Lozier Center for Pharmacy Sciences and Education, praised Dr. Fletcher for his work as dean.

"Bill and I think the world of Courtney," Ruth Scott said. "It was his strong leadership that gave us confidence to invest in the new building. We are thrilled that he will be staying on the faculty of the College of Pharmacy and know he will accomplish great things in his research for years to come."

"Serving as dean has been a highlight of my professional career," Dr. Fletcher said. "The students, staff and faculty of the College of Pharmacy are outstanding folks, and the long list of accomplishments and cultural and physical transformation that has happened over these 10 years, is remarkable and is their achievement.

"My 10 years as dean have been challenging and rewarding - and enough. This is simply the right time for me to step aside, and for the College of Pharmacy and UNMC to recruit new leadership. I'll look forward to continuing contributions as a professor in the UNMC College of Pharmacy."

An outstanding researcher, Dr. Fletcher received a $3.73 million, five-year grant to continue his longtime research into finding more effective drugs to wipe out HIV. In addition, he noted that he just submitted two other grant applications earlier this month.

Dr. Fletcher, 62, earned his bachelor of science degree in pharmacy (with honors) from the University of Wyoming in 1978 and his doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Minnesota in 1982. In 2016, Dr. Fletcher was honored by the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy as a distinguished alumnus.

Dr. Fletcher's term as dean began in November 2007.

Dr. Gold said he hopes to proceed quickly in forming a search committee to find a new dean.

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Amy Volk
January 16, 2018 at 4:04 PM

Congratulations Dr. Fletcher and thank you for your service and the commitment you have made to the University of Nebraska College of Pharmacy.

Ruth scott
January 16, 2018 at 10:25 AM

IF I WAS A PROFESSOR YOU WOULD DESERVE AN A++.!! GREAT JOB, COURTNEY