Contact: Deedie Dowdle, (334) 844-9999 (ddowdle@auburn.edu), or
Keith Ayers, (251) 460-6211 (kayers@usouthal.edu)

(This news release can also be accessed at: http://www.southalabama.edu/publicrelations/pressreleases/2006pr/112706.html)


AUBURN - Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy will soon offer doctor of pharmacy degrees at the University of South Alabama in Mobile under an agreement signed today by AU President Ed Richardson and USA President Gordon Moulton.

Classes are projected to start in fall 2007.

Graduates of the pharmacy program in Mobile will receive a degree from the Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy at the University of South Alabama.

Richardson said the agreement enables the two institutions to work together to improve pharmacy care in the southern part of the state while making efficient use of state funds.
“Pharmacy students will receive the same high-quality education in Mobile as at Auburn, and residents of Mobile will soon see an increase in the number of well-educated, highly competent pharmacy graduates serving all of South Alabama.”

“The University of South Alabama is pleased that, through this cooperative program, we will be able to work with Auburn University to address the shortage of pharmacy professionals in the Gulf Coast region,” said Moulton.

“Given USA’s role as an academic health system and a major provider of health care for the region, we believe this program is a natural complement to our programs in Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health Professions,” Moulton added. “The ultimate outcome of this collaboration between Auburn and USA will be improved health care for the people of the state and region.”

The memorandum of understanding between the two universities provides that the AU pharmacy school establish a satellite program in facilities at the USA Health Services Center, staff and administer the program with AU faculty, and establish the same admission requirements and academic criteria as the Harrison School of Pharmacy at Auburn campus. AU will administer the admission process to the pharmacy program, and a USA faculty member is expected to serve on the AU Harrison School’s admission committee.

In some cases, AU pharmacy faculty will teach USA medical students and USA medical faculty will teach AU pharmacy students. USA will extend clinical pharmacy appointments to AU pharmacy faculty involved in education programs for student physicians, medical residents and other health care students. AU, in turn, will extend affiliate faculty appointments to USA faculty who participate in the Harrison School of Pharmacy program.

Lee Evans, dean of AU’s Harrison School of Pharmacy, said the agreement provides a timely and flexible way to address a nationwide shortage of pharmacists. “The quickest and most cost-effective way to meet the shortage of pharmacists is for an established, accredited pharmacy school to establish a satellite campus, preferably in partnership with a school that has an accredited medical program,” Evans said.

“The program will be identical to our program at Auburn, it will be taught by Auburn faculty, and we expect to teach the first students in the program next fall,” he added. “The impact of the AU pharmacy program at USA will be felt throughout the region,” Evans said.

“We are going to move quickly to help reduce the shortage of well-trained pharmacists, not just in the Mobile area, but all along the Gulf Coast, from the Florida Panhandle to the Biloxi area and beyond.”

Auburn University is a preeminent land-grant and comprehensive research institution with more than 23,000 students and 6,500 faculty and staff. Ranked among the top 50 public universities nationally, Auburn offers more than 230 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs.

(Contributed by Roy Summerford.)