After undergoing a rigorous national selection process, a new dean of the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy has been chosen.
Donald Godwin, Ph.D., has been chosen as the new dean. Godwin has been at UNM for 22 years. He began his academic career by completing a bachelor’s in biology at the University of Delaware before going on to attain a doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences at the University of South Carolina. He then started working at UNM as an assistant professor.
Godwin said his rise through the ranks at UNM has prepared him for a leadership role as dean.
“I’ve been here for a long time,” he said. “I came as an assistant professor literally right out of grad school. After I got tenured in 2002, I became an assistant dean and I worked my way up through the academic leadership ranks to become dean. I know the people, I know the alumni, the University and the University system, and also the New Mexican system.”
As dean, Godwin said he wants to continue implementing new curriculum changes to the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program. He added he also wants to work on improving healthcare in the state of New Mexico.
“The College of Pharmacy just launched a brand new curriculum this past fall for the Doctor of Pharmacy program,” he said. “(The College of Pharmacy wants) to continue implementation of that curriculum.”
He said the college will continue to have faculty work in the UNM health system to try and improve the healthcare within the state.
Godwin said he also wants to work on making the College of Pharmacy more competitive when it comes to research.
“(The College of Pharmacy is) actually 15th in the country for research funding out of about 140 Colleges of Pharmacy,” he said. “I want to shoot for the top 10.”
Godwin said current changes taking place within the federal government are making this goal a challenge.
“I would say there is a very competitive funding environment right now,” he said. “Particularly in the research area because of changes at the federal level with the (National Institutes of Health) and those kind of things. It’s very competitive and it is uncertain in the future depending on what the federal government does.”
He said these types of changes pose a challenge to the clinical aspect of pharmacy as well.
“This is also challenging in the clinical area as well, because we do not exactly know what is going on with healthcare,” he said. “You've got medicaid, medicare, reimbursements and so it is a time of uncertainty.”
Despite these challenges, Godwin said his team is ready to take on the future ahead of them.
“I think moving ahead in a time of uncertainty is difficult, but I've got great people that work (with) me as well as a great leadership team,” he said. “We try to stay on top of everything we possibly can, and we are going to move this college forward.”
Krystal Ward, interim executive associate director of student affairs for the College of Pharmacy, has worked with Godwin for 14 years. She said Godwin is a good fit for the role of dean.
“Dr. Godwin is a great listener and an open communicator,” she said. “These are key leadership qualities that I think will help him to connect with all stakeholders, while also making choices that are best for the college overall.”
Mikhaela Smith is a news reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MikhaelaSmith18.