Pharmacy Dean Lynn Crismon said he will step down in August 2020 after 13 years of 70-hour work weeks dedicated to guiding the School of Pharmacy.
Crismon said he will return to teach at UT after taking a sabbatical, potentially to research mental health, particularly student mental health.
“When I became dean, I did it with the plan of serving two terms and stepping down because I think it’s a mistake for people to stay in these jobs too long,” Crismon said. “The job requires a lot of creativity, and there is only so long that you can sustain that.”
During his time as dean, Crismon sought to support future pharmacists, whose careers now require more direct patient care and collaboration than ever before, he said.
“The face most people think of in pharmacy is the local community pharmacist, whether it’s a Walgreens or CVS,” Crismon said. “But increasingly, they’re working on healthcare teams to provide … effective medication therapy for chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.”
Healthcare is continuously changing, Crismon said, and it is critical to improve education with it. Crismon oversaw two significant curriculum changes to support interprofessional education, with one being a nine-monthslong program that combined medicine, nursing, social work and pharmacy students, according to a UT College of Pharmacy accomplishment fact sheet.
Pharmacy professor Patrick Davis said in the past, a pharmacist’s only responsibility was to dispense medication, but pharmacy has evolved to be more patient-centric. Individual healthcare needs, such as drug prescriptions, can now take into account social and psychological factors, Crismon said.
This multilevel patient care requires active collaboration with physicians and other healthcare professions, and Crismon has addressed this new need for interprofessional collaboration during his time as dean, Davis said.
“(Crismon) was an absolute champion of that,” Davis said. “That’s an example of making sure that forefront thinking is an integral part of our pharmacy curriculum, and it is now.”
Crismon said he wants his legacy to be one of constant encouragement for pursuing dreams and passions. He said he wanted to develop students’ skills to help them achieve success in any chosen healthcare career.
“He would emphasize the importance of leadership in students,” pharmacy graduate student Danielle Alvarez said. “He recognized the platform pharmacists have to make an impact on and encouraged students to be leaders in whatever avenue of pharmacy they ended up in.”