Objectives: This article shows how a college may build and use a Board of Advisors to stay current in all areas of a profession. The Board can serve an important role in keeping a college faculty abreast of changes in a profession, thus assisting the faculty in better preparing students for their future careers and maintaining the college's leadership responsibilities within a profession. Methods: At the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy ("College"), the Board of Advisors generates an annual report of current and future themes known as an environmental scan. The environmental scan is used for forecasting, assessment, and evaluation of current conditions in each market or industry as they relate to the academic and leadership mission of the College. Results: Environmental scans from 2004 to 2012 (except 2006 owing to data not being available) were qualitatively analyzed; 2013 is also included as a summary only. Across the nine-year period, three themes emerged: education and science, external influencers, and pharmacy practice. Conclusion: The annual meeting of approximately 30 advisors from a wide range of expertise appears to be an optimal format for a Board of Advisors for a college of pharmacy with a broad mission. It connects the college to the non-academic world and provides invaluable information that informs decision-making as well as proving review of our programs by important stakeholders. It is anticipated that the Board will become increasingly interprofessional, reflecting this important aspect of health reform.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
- Board of advisors
- Environmental scan
- Organizational change