A Message from Dr. Sam Poloyac on His First Day as Dean

October 15, 2020

Greetings Longhorn Pharmacy Community,
My name is Sam Poloyac and I am the incoming dean of The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy.

As you may have seen in our recent video address, yesterday was the last day of Lynn Crismon’s exemplary service as dean. Over the last few months, I have had the opportunity to work closely with Lynn as we prepared for my transition into the new role. Recently, I was in a meeting where the faculty were thanking Lynn for his support over the years. This is when Lynn turned to them and said “it’s easy to be supportive of people when great work is being done.” To me this quote embodies Lynn’s compassion, dedication, and leadership.

I would like to thank Lynn for his exceptional leadership. Over the last thirteen years, The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy has further developed its role as a premier educational institution by putting forth transformative efforts to support student pharmacists, securing essential research resources for faculty and graduate students, and making a concerted effort to assure it is one of the best and most inclusive college of pharmacy in the country. Those accomplishments were essential in laying the groundwork for my transition, and it is my goal to continue to develop this tradition and expand these achievements in my time as dean.

I would like to present three overarching goals for our future of the college:

First, is to expand our innovative approaches in pharmacy education. We can expand our innovative approaches that focus on building the skills of our Pharm.D. and graduate students to solve complex questions through application of information. We are in an era now where all of the information is at our fingertips. Being able to take that information and apply it to optimize patient care is the goal of training, as well as expanding, our research.

We will also expand power skill development. Those power skills include personal and professional development, leadership and management, team building, and effective communication. All of which are keys to career success of our graduates.

Second is to expand the impact of pharmacy care with the goal of improving the health for our various communities of patients. Our faculty and alumni are on the front lines of patient care in the community and hospital setting, and they have faced many challenges, especially during the pandemic.

As with every great challenge comes great opportunity. A pharmacist’s scope of practice is expanding every day, both within the traditional practice settings, but also within new areas of growth. At UT Austin, we can seize this opportunity to maximize our impact, and most importantly improve the health of our communities of care. I am excited to work with our talented faculty and leadership to redefine the future scope of our pharmacy practice.

And third is to continue to grow the impact of our research. We are currently conducting groundbreaking research in a number of areas. As we move to the future, we can leverage our success by exploring additional ways to expand the impact of our work through interdisciplinary collaborations. There is a real societal need for experts in pharmacy research; drug discovery, drug development, drug therapy optimization, and drug outcomes. Basically, if it has the word “drug” in front of it, it’s in our wheelhouse.

As we move forward, we can continue to build our research by maximizing the impact of our work throughout the university, the state, the nation, and the world.

So, how will we reach these three goals? We will do so through the great achievements and tireless commitment of our faculty and staff. We will do so through the invaluable support of our alumni and friends who provide essential contributions to advance our profession of pharmacy. And most importantly, we will do so though the accomplishments of our students as they reach their personal goals and shape the future of our profession.

I would like to finish by thanking you for the warm (sometimes hot) welcome that I received at UT Austin. It is truly an honor to serve in my role as the dean, and I look forward to learning more about you, your culture, your history, and all of the things that make UT Austin truly special.

Be well, take care of yourselves and others, and of course, Hook ‘em Horns!

Samuel Poloyac Signature

Samuel M. Poloyac, Pharm.D., Ph.D.
The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy