Ferris alumnus Dr. Steve Durst has been appointed to the position of Interim Dean of the College of Pharmacy effective Oct. 1.
“I look forward to working with the faculty, students, and the surrounding colleges,” said Durst.
Durst earned his Bachelor of Science degree at Ferris, and his Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Michigan. He has since been at Ferris in a faculty position. He has been at Ferris for 24 years.
Fritz Erickson, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, was directly involved in selecting the new Interim Dean and has high hopes for Durst.
“Dr. Durst is the right person at the right time for the College of Pharmacy and for Ferris State University. His deep commitment to pharmacy education and his dedication to students is truly exemplary,” said Erickson.
With the retirement of Dean Ian Mathison after 34 years of service to Ferris, Durst will step forward to lead the pharmacy program to new heights.
In the first week of August, an open call went out to anyone interested in the position. Four candidates answered, but Durst walked away with the position.
“I know Dr. Durst was the right choice because every other candidate pledged to work with and help Dr. Durst,” said Erikson.
Durst said he is looking forward to the opportunities that his new position has to offer, and the changes which will be happening in the program.
Currently there are relocation plans to bring together the Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo locations of Ferris’ College of Pharmacy. The Big Rapids location will remain untouched.
There are also plans to hire seven new faculty members this year, although this will not increase the 150-student enrollment in the pharmacy program.
After one year there will be a nationwide search for a permanent Dean of the College of Pharmacy. Durst plans to apply for the position.
Durst has been active in the Michigan Pharmacy Foundation and the Michigan Health Council Board of Directors.
“Ferris is a great place for a faculty member,” said Durst. He said while he will miss teaching, he looks forward to the changes and improvements he can offer the College of Pharmacy. n