Faculty of Pharmacy - News
Class of 1975 - 40th Reunion
Welcome to the 1975 Pharmacy Reunion
It is an honour, a privilege and a great pleasure to welcome you back to your alma mater after 40 years in the “real world”. As you celebrate this milestone during this reunion with your friends and staff of the Faculty of Pharmacy the Faculty itself will be celebrating its 35th year as the Faculty of Pharmacy at Rhodes University. Formal courses leading to a degree in Pharmacy at Rhodes University were first offered in 1956 in what was to become the Department of Pharmacy in the Faculty of Science. The Department become the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and in 1980 was established as a Faculty of Pharmacy in its own right and is currently the only Faculty of Pharmacy in South Africa. Interestingly the University has had a much longer association with Pharmacy in South Africa and it was at a meeting of the then South African Pharmacy Board in January 1929 in Cape Town that Rhodes University College was recognised as an institution where courses of training and study for the Preliminary Scientific Examination for Pharmacy could be attended.
The Faculty moved from the “hill” into its current premises in 1988 and with that lost the collegiality between staff and students that existed as we are now share facilities with other departments. Despite the challenges we have some state of the art research and teaching facilities that you will be able to visit when you are here.
Our undergraduate numbers have increased from 229 in the early 2000’s to 626 as of the 3rd week of 2015 and we have 18 established posts for academic staff supported by 11 technical and administrative staff. There are challenges delivering quality courses with these numbers but we arguably still produce some of the best graduates in South Africa. The growth and request to consider offering diploma courses leading towards registration as pharmacist technicians requires us to look at new facilities and additional staffing as we currently share a building with the Department of Chemistry and are stretched for space. Ideally being housed in a, custom designed building would be a solution but inevitably we are competing with a number of University initiatives for support and perhaps this is something that can address with alumni in terms of a fund raising exercise for a new building. Perhaps in this way we can regain the professional collegiality we shared previously.
The Faculty also boasts a postgraduate school of nearly 50 Masters, PhD and PharmD candidates and as leaders we are the only institution to offer a postgraduate degree in clinical pharmacy at a doctoral level. It was through the foresight of Professors Kanfer, Potgieter and Wilson that led to the launch of this degree in 2004.
As a University, Rhodes has many needs and Pharmacy is no exception in this respect. Despite the dream of a new building, our needs include improving staff salaries that are currently are not as competitive as those of the profession, providing financial assistance to the ever increasing numbers of middle class students who are not able to access financial aid to study and the provision of scholarships at the under- and postgraduate levels of study in the quest to ensure that, ultimately academic excellence is rewarded appropriately, amongst many other needs. In this respect I look forward to engaging you with on these and other matters over the reunion weekend.
In closing welcome back to Rhodes and the Faculty of Pharmacy. Enjoy the weekend reminiscing about your time here and observing the changes that have occurred.
My thanks to all those who took the initiative and assisted in the organisation of the event, specifically Ashley Magnus and Terryl McCarthy.
The saying is go big or go home, however I would rather say WELCOME HOME and still go big!
Professor Rod Walker
Head and Dean: Faculty of Pharmacy
Please follow link for more pics….Gallery