In its Jan. 28, 1985, editorial on Campbell University’s decision to start a pharmacy school, the Dunn Daily Record issued a vast understatement:
“The new School of Pharmacy will bring to Harnett hundreds of new students each year, along with thousands of visitors. Not only that, it will give both Campbell and Harnett added prestige as an educational center of the state. … The new Campbell School of Pharmacy is going to mean a great deal to Harnett County.”
That school — now the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences — will enter its 30th year in 2015 as a nationally acclaimed, prestigious institution that has far exceeded the projected maximum enrollment back in 1985 of 200 students (the school’s current undergrad and graduate enrollment is just under 1,500 today).
One man has led the school from its inception, a man with a tireless work ethic and a vision to provide proper health care to rural, medically underserved areas of the state and region — Ronald W. Maddox.
A Change of Heart
Ron Maddox arrived at Campbell in 1985 as a consultant at the invitation of then-provost, now-President Jerry Wallace. His job in the beginning was simply to assess whether a pharmacy program could flourish in Buies Creek and whether Campbell was right for the nation’s first new pharmacy school since the late 1940s.
When it was determined that a Campbell pharmacy program was feasible, Maddox was offered the position of founding dean. Campbell administration waited on pins and needles for his response, as this was not the first time Maddox had been offered a position to lead a pharmacy program.
Prior to arriving in the heart of North Carolina, Maddox spent five years serving as administrative faculty for Mercer University’s Southern School of Pharmacy. The Atlanta-based pharmacy program was also searching for a new dean and offered it to Maddox, who, after much consideration, declined.
“I turned down the offer because my passion was in teaching,” Maddox says. “It was always about the students for me, not the titles.”
Who changed his mind about a new job title at Campbell? Norman A. Wiggins, president of the University from 1967 to 2003.
“I will always remember a conversation I had with Dr. Wiggins during my interview process,” recalls Maddox. “His background was in law, so I understood why he wanted to create a law school at Campbell in the 1970s. When I asked him what the driving force behind creating a pharmacy program was, his answer motivated me to become the founding dean of Campbell University’s School of Pharmacy.”
Wiggins, Maddox says, shared a story with him about his mother taking him and his family to the local pharmacy when everyone was sick. Wiggins grew up during the Great Depression, and his family rarely had money to visit an actual doctor’s office.
“He went on to tell me that he would never forget the way that pharmacists helped his family, and that was what drove his passion to create a pharmacy program at Campbell,” Maddox says. “He wanted to educate students in a Christian environment to better serve the health care needs of patient. After hearing that story, I knew Campbell was where I was meant to be.”
After signing the appropriate paperwork, double checking that teaching was in his job description as dean and moving his wife and children from Atlanta to Buies Creek, Maddox hit the ground running. Not only was Campbell opening the first pharmacy school in the United States in over 35 years, it was opening a pharmacy school that would offer an entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy Degree. While commonplace now, the entry-level doctorate was controversial at the time and unheard of in North Carolina. Other schools in the area only offered a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy.
The Campbell administration, original team of four faculty members in the School of Pharmacy and Maddox were not satisfied with just blazing the academic trails. They wanted to make sure their students made a difference in the community. As a result, the School of Pharmacy would also require a community pharmacy rotation during the experiential learning portion of the curriculum, guaranteeing that all Campbell pharmacists would have a background in educating and serving the community.
By ignoring the critics and controversy, Maddox led the School of Pharmacy in the right direction. Today, academic accrediting bodies require all schools to offer Doctor of Pharmacy degrees and to follow the community pharmacy rotation procedure. After creating a strong curriculum and making a statement by offering the only pharmacy doctorate in the state, there wasn’t much left for Maddox to do — except to recruit and enroll approximately 50 students in the charter class.
An applicant to the charter class had to have a minimum 2.5 overall grade point average for his or her college coursework. The exception to this requirement was earning a bachelor’s degree prior to applying or maintaining a 3.0 grade point average in the last 32 hours of college coursework. Not only did the applicant have to be a stellar student, he or she also had to make the journey to Buies Creek for a personal interview.
Maddox found 55 students who fit the bill. All 55 members of the charter class went on graduate in May 1990 and achieved a perfect first-time passage rate on the national and state board exams, extinguishing all doubts of whether Campbell’s School of Pharmacy would make it.
“Looking at the past 29 years, one of my most significant memories is when the charter class posted perfect board results,” says Maddox. “I was proud of our graduates, and these results proved that we laid a strong foundation for our program.”
The legacy established by the charter class has continued through the years as 10 more classes of pharmacy graduates achieved a 100-percent first-time passage rate and have maintained a 98.6-percent passage rate overall.
Driven by the leadership of Maddox and the success of the first four years, the School of Pharmacy received full accreditation in 1991. It was the first program to receive full accreditation by the Accreditation Council on Pharmacy Education after going through pre-candidacy status.
A Better Place
Since the early 1990s, Campbell’s health sciences programs have not stopped growing. Shortly after the doctor of pharmacy program was established, the school began offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in clinical research and pharmaceutical sciences. These degrees afforded students the opportunities to coordinate clinical drug trials and work in the pharmaceutical industry.
The Campbell University School of Pharmacy expanded again in 2009. After reassessing the needs of the community and beyond, the University Board of Trustees approved the offering of a Master of Physician Assistant Practice degree, which would fall under the health sciences umbrella. This offering initiated the transition of the School of Pharmacy into the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Since this transition, the College has been able to expand academically in ways Wiggins would never have thought possible when he first enlisted the help of Maddox.
Since the transition, the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences has graduated its first cohort of Campbell PAs, its first cohort of Master of Science in Public Health students, and enrolled its charter class in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. The growth doesn’t stop there. Campbell welcomed its first Bachelor of Science in Nursing students in fall 2014 and has begun applying for accreditation for its newly proposed Doctor of Occupational Therapy program.
While the seven academic programs offered at the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences are impressive, one of the most impressive accolades for the school is laying a solid foundation for Campbell to grow upon. Without the remarkable track record of the pharmacy program, the Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine would still be but a dream for Harnett County.
“One issue I noticed early in my tenure was that Harnett County needed more private care physicians. When Campbell University ordered a feasibility study of a new medical school, I was one of its biggest advocates. The best way to get physicians in our area is to train them here, and they’ll stay here.”
— Ronald Maddox, December 2011 groundbreaking ceremony for School of Osteopathic Medicine
The College’s achievements over the past 29 years are an accurate reflection of Maddox, who was appointed to the Campbell University Executive Cabinet as vice president for health programs. In addition to the impressive accomplishments on campus, Maddox has been appointed to the North Carolina Institute of Medicine Board of Directors twice in the past five years. Members of the NCIOM Board of Directors are appointed by the governor, the speaker of the house and the president pro tempore of the Senate.
To speak to his well-roundedness, Maddox has been appointed by both Democratic and Republican representatives. He is the only pharmacist to be appointed to the NCIOM Board in the organization’s history.
“I had real doubts about being involved in things outside of Campbell,” says Maddox. “But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it wasn’t about me. It’s about what I can do to further advance the pharmacy profession and better health care in general. It’s about being there for the community and making it a better place.”
In addition to his executive appointments at Campbell and the NCIOM, Maddox has received the North Carolina Pharmaceutical Association’s Award for Outstanding Service to the Profession of Pharmacy, and the American College of Apothecaries’ Dean’s Recognition Award for outstanding service to independent pharmacy. He served as president of the Board of Trustees of the Fayetteville Regional Area Health Education Center, chair of the Cape Fear Christian Academy and currently serves as chair of the Board of Directors of the Harnett Health Systems.
“I didn’t go into the pharmacy profession to make money or win awards. I just wanted to make a difference and I wanted to help as many people as I could,” Maddox says.
Growing up in a small community that had very little access to health care, the first interaction Maddox had with a health care professional was at the local health department. This is where he and his brother received their required vaccinations to enroll in elementary school. The spark to help others through health care was not sparked until Maddox witnessed an unfortunate medication miscommunication resulting in the death of his aunt.
“My diabetic aunt slipped into a coma and died after she was told she didn’t need to take insulin,” Maddox recalls. “It was then that I realized that we could improve so many lives by educating people and giving them access to information pertaining to health that diseases could be prevented and lives would be improved.
“It is really important to me for our students, graduates and health care professionals in general to take a more active role in educating patients and help them take better care of themselves. If we can better educate individuals about disease prevention and management, we can change their lives.”
Maddox received his Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy and Army ROTC commission from Auburn University. Cpt. Maddox served as pharmacy officer at
Ft. Sam Houston and director of pharmacy at Ft. Rucker. Upon completion of his military service, he earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree at the University of Tennessee. After graduation, he was appointed assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Mercer University School of Pharmacy in Atlanta. During his tenure at Mercer University, Maddox served as an associate dean and professor, clinical pharmacist at the Georgia Baptist Medical Center, chairman of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and relief pharmacist for a local chain drugstore.
Maddox will retire from his post as dean of the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences at Campbell University effective Dec. 31, and will be replaced by his former student, Michael L. Adams, who graduated from Campbell University’s School of Pharmacy in 1996.
“Ron Maddox’s leadership in founding the pharmacy school turned a big corner in ensuring Campbell’s survival and growth as a university,” President Wallace says. “He and [his wife] Suzan gave their all to birthing the nation’s newest pharmacy school, and their hard work and contagious spirit inspired trustees, alumni and other state leaders to join our effort. He also stepped up to assume vice president for health programs responsibilities and was instrumental in launching the medical school, physician assistant program, public health program, Doctor of Physical Therapy program, nursing program and the soon-to-be-announced Doctor of Occupational Therapy program.
“The Maddox legacy at Campbell is huge.”
Prove Them Wrong
Many doubted Campbell’s ability to build a pharmacy program of ‘high quality and unique purpose’ in 1985. Those first few years laid the foundation and proved the critics wrong.
By Cherry Crayton
When Campbell University announced in January 1985 its plan to start a pharmacy school, the news was met with “a few sounds of protests” and was “not received warmly” by all in North Carolina, The Campbell Times and The (Raleigh) News & Observer reported, respectively.
At the time, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was home to the only pharmacy degree program in North Carolina. Tom Miya, the dean of the UNC School of Pharmacy, told The N&O that the state couldn’t support another pharmacy school.
One, he said, there were not enough qualified students to fill even UNC’s enrollment slots. Enrollment there had declined 2.7 percent from 1982-83 to 1983-84. Second, he told The N&O, there were not enough pharmacy scholars to fill UNC’s open faculty positions. “We have several unfilled vacancies we’ve been trying to fill almost all year.”
Given the data, Miya asked, was there really a need for a second pharmacy school in North Carolina? That was the question that Jerry Wallace had been asking and preparing to answer for several years.
Soon after becoming the dean of Campbell’s College of Arts & Sciences and director of Graduate Programs in 1981, Wallace traveled to the Southern School of Pharmacy at Mercer University in Atlanta to meet with its dean, Dr. Oliver M. Littlejohn. At that point in time, there had not been a new pharmacy school to open in the United States in 35 years. Wallace asked Littlejohn if it was time to open another pharmacy school.
“Definitely, yes,” Wallace recalled Littlejohn telling him. “But they’ll all tell you no.”
When Wallace became Campbell’s vice president for academic affairs and provost in 1984, he set out to lead a feasibility study for a pharmacy school that would head off the “Nos.” He started by traveling to Mercer again to retain Littlejohn as a consultant.
Littlejohn introduced Wallace and Campbell President Norman Wiggins to Ronald Maddox, then an associate dean and professor of pharmacy at Mercer.
Maddox started to work on the feasibility study, too. He asked Mercer’s pharmacy admissions coordinator if a private Christian university in North Carolina could support a second pharmacy school in the state. Yes, the admissions coordinator said. At the time, there were only two Southern Baptist colleges in the U.S. offering pharmacy education, and many students from North Carolina frequently chose to attend Mercer because they preferred studying at a private Christian university. Also, about 30 percent of Mercer students hailed from East Tennessee.
“There was fertile ground to draw pharmacy students from in North Carolina,” Maddox told Campbell Magazine in 2013.
When Maddox traveled to North Carolina as part of the feasibility study, he found numerous hospitals and clinical sites, such as Duke Health, Wake Forest Medical Center and Cape Fear Valley Health, that could provide training and hands-on experiences for pharmacy students.
North Carolina had also become a hotbed for the pharmaceutical industry. In 1984, 75 pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers were either planning or already operating facilities in North Carolina, including eight of the nation’s 10 largest pharmaceutical and medical device firms.
As these companies flooded to North Carolina, the state’s employment outlook for pharmaceutical and related jobs jumped 350 percent between 1972 and 1984, according to a N.C. Pharmaceutical Association (NCPA) study.
The state’s population was surging, too, leading to a shortage of pharmacists. At any given time, the NCPA reported, there were about 50 pharmacy jobs open in the state. Just to meet the national average of pharmacists per state, North Carolina needed more than 600 additional ones.
It was such facts that Wallace took with him in late 1984 and early 1985 as he met with numerous leaders in the pharmaceutical industry to provide them with updates on Campbell’s feasibility study and to garner support. In those meetings, Wallace told the leaders of organizations such as the N.C. Board of Pharmacy and the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education that Campbell’s pharmacy school “would meet the need for more pharmacists and expand opportunities for more academically-sound students to study pharmacy.”
“Our intention is to build a program of high quality and unique purpose,” he assured them.
Pharmacy leaders responded in kind. In January 1985, the NCPA executive director told his colleagues: “If permitted to move forward with the establishment of a school of pharmacy, I can assure you that every necessary step will be taken that will ensure that the school will be a credit to pharmaceutical education, to the council, to Campbell University, and to her sponsors and friends.”
On Jan. 28, 1985, Campbell officially announced its plan to start a pharmacy school. In response to the concerns UNC expressed after the announcement, Wiggins told reporters there was “no competition of an unwholesome type with UNC.”
Campbell opened its pharmacy school in August 1986 with 55 students with Maddox as founding dean. It distinguished itself from UNC in ways that went beyond the differences between a private Christian university and a public university. At the time, UNC offered a five-year degree that led to a bachelor’s in pharmacy. Campbell developed a four-year program that led to a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. (It wasn’t until 2000 when the national accreditation body required pharmacy programs to transition from the bachelor’s to PharmD degrees.)
“Over the past 100 years, Campbell University has had a tremendous impact on the people of North Carolina in the areas of religion, business, liberal arts, education and law. In the next century, Campbell will also be recognized for the effect it has on health care of the people of North Carolina through its School of Pharmacy.”
— Ronald Maddox, shortly after arriving at Campbell in 1985 to become dean of its new School of Pharmacy
Also, Campbell was the first university in the nation to require a community-pharmacy rotation. It also added a geriatrics rotation, which has since become a norm across pharmacy schools.
In all, Campbell pharmacy students completed 1,500 internship or clinical hours before taking board exams, like all pharmacy students in the U.S. But unlike UNC and other programs, Campbell incorporated the 1,500 hours into the nine-month clinical rotations during their fourth year, reducing the gap between finishing coursework and taking board exams.
This approach paid off. When Campbell’s inaugural class graduated in 1990, they had a 100 percent passage rate on the national boards. Since then, Campbell’s students have maintained a 98 percent passage rate, one of the best in the nation.
The pharmacy school’s legacy doesn’t end there. In 2009, Campbell renamed the pharmacy school the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences to reflect its expansion into other health programs. The first physician assistant students arrived in 2011, followed by public health students in 2012 and Doctor of Physical Therapy students in January 2014. CPHS also enrolled in August 2014 85 students in its first seminar for its new Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
CPHS’ success, too, paved the way for the Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine, which Campbell opened with 162 students in August 2013, during Wallace’s ninth year as Campbell’s president.
“My proudest achievement thus far is having a major part in the establishment of the Campbell University School of Pharmacy,” Wallace said today. “That might surprise some people, but that’s what it is because everything grew out of that.”
Editor’s notes: Portions of this article originally appeared in a brief history of the pharmacy school published in the Campbell Magazine Summer 2013 issue.
30 YEARS LATER
The College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences offers three professional degrees, three graduate degrees and three undergraduate programs, training students for a variety of rewarding careers in the health professions.
Each degree program combines in-depth knowledge with hands-on practice, ultimately teaching students how to improve patient care. Students have access to interdisciplinary training and advanced technology, which opens the door to engaging practical experiences.
Students frequently win accolades and awards from such prestigious organizations as the Student National Pharmaceutical Association, American College of Clinical Pharmacy, the American Pharmacists Association and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
Clinical Research (BS)
Pharmaceutical Sciences (BS)
Health Sciences Concentrations
Master of Science in Clinical Research
Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences
Master of Science in Public Health
Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)
Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
Master of Physician Assistant Practice (MPAP)
Connie Barnes’ father went to Campbell, and her brother graduated from Campbell. So when an article appeared in the Dunn Daily Record in 1985 that Campbell was set to launch the nation’s first pharmacy school since 1950, Barnes — at the time a UNC student studying pre-pharmacy — found the article clipping in her mailbox a few days later.
My father wrote, “You know, Campbell’s a good school,” recalls Barnes, today the executive vice chair of Campbell’s pharmacy practice and co-director for the University’s Drug Information Center.
Barnes fell in love with Campbell, transferring from UNC during her final year as an undergrad, and she says she’ll never forget the December 1985 meeting where she first met Ronald Maddox, then the young new dean who interviewed every member of that Class of 1990 charter group.
“It was a one-on-one interview, and when it was over, Dr. Maddox stood up, shook my hand and said, ‘Congratulations, you’re No. 8,’” Barnes says. “It was the best day of my life and the best decision I’ve ever made.”
Barnes got to relive her Maddox meeting from 1985 when her daughter Morgan — a recent Campbell graduate — announced she had been accepted into East Carolina University’s dental school.
“Having a daughter graduate from Campbell and continue the legacy my father started, I can’t find the words to say how proud I am,” Barnes says. “I’m excited for her and excited for Campbell. To me, it speaks volumes for how Campbell prepares its undergrads.”
Lauren McClamb (‘10 PharmD) always knew she wanted a career in medicine. She always knew she wanted a position with some sort of prescriptive authority. She always knew she wanted a career that allowed her to work one-on-one with patients with chronic conditions. She followed in the footsteps of an older cousin by choosing Campbell University for her education and training in ambulatory pharmacy care. It’s a decision she’s thankful she made.
“I was able to get the residency I wanted and eventually the job I wanted because I was so well prepared by the faculty at Campbell,” says McLamb, today an ambulatory care clinical pharmacy specialist for a VA community-based outpatient clinic in Spartanburg, Va. “I attribute any success I’ve had to Campbell and its faculty.”
And she credits Dean Ronald Maddox and his vision for health science education at Campbell for shaping the school’s faculty and curriculum that served her so well.
“Dean Maddox has done such an excellent job in recruiting good clinical faculty,” she says. “They do an excellent job. When I was looking at schools, Campbell wasn’t the cheapest option I had. But it was worth every dime. I was able to score my top residency choice and land my dream job out of residency.”