Former Deans


Dean Andrew Richard Bliss Jr.
Dean, 1926 to 1933
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Until 1926, the School of Pharmacy did not have its own dean, but functioned as part of the College of Medicine. Dr. Andrew R. Bliss, Jr., author, inventor, teacher, and one of the nation's leading pharmacists, came to the University of Tennessee in 1923 as Chief of the Division of Physiology and Pharmacology in the College of Medicine. Dr. Bliss received his Ph.G. from New York College of Pharmacy, his Ph.C. from Columbia University, his M.A. and LL.D. from Howard College, and his M.D. from the University of Alabama. Appointed in Spring 1926 as the first dean of the UT School of Pharmacy, Dr. Bliss reorganized the school and increased the number of faculty members to 30 by 1933. After seven years as dean, he resigned to become Director of Webster Laboratories in Memphis and later served as the first dean of the pharmacy school at Howard College (now Samford University) in Birmingham, Alabama.

Nine-page biography of Dean Bliss, reprinted from The Mask of Kappa Psi (July 1935)


Dean Robert Latta Crowe
Dean, 1936 to 1953
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A native of Dyer County, Tennessee, Dr. Crowe received his Ph.C. degree from Ohio State University and was recruited to the UT College of Medicine to enroll in medical school and play on the UT Docs football team. While in medical school, he was in charge of the dispensary and taught pharmacy and pharmacology. Turning to teaching as his life's work, he did not receive his medical degree, but was licensed to practice medicine anyway. Dr. Crowe treated patients in his office throughout his tenure on faculty. He was appointed Professor and Chief of the Division of Pharmacy in 1925 and Dean of the UT School of Pharmacy in 1936. Dr. Crowe nurtured and guided the School into one of the largest and best pharmacy schools in the nation over the next 17 years. Active with the Tennessee General Assembly lobbying for the School and profession, Dr. Crowe's name was synonymous with pharmacy in Tennessee, and he knew every pharmacist in the state personally, UT alumni or not. He served as Dean until his death on July 26, 1953.


Dean Karl John Goldner
Dean, 1953 to 1959
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Dr. Goldner, a native of Minneapolis, received his B.S.Ph., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Minnesota and taught dispensing pharmacy, quantitative pharmacy, and chemistry at the University of Wisconsin before joining the UT School of Pharmacy faculty in 1940. During his deanship, the first graduate program, a master’s program in hospital pharmacy, was begun. He was a member of Sigma Xi and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. After his resignation from the deanship in 1959, he continued to serve many years at UT as Professor of Pharmacognosy and as Secretary of the Memphis and Shelby County Pharmaceutical Society.


Dean Seldon Dick Feurt
Dean, 1959 to 1975
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On March 1, 1959, at age 36, Dr. Dick Feurt became Dean of the UT School of Pharmacy. A native of Missouri and World War II veteran, he earned his B.S.Ph. degree at Loyola University of the South in New Orleans, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Florida. Prior to his UT tenure, Dr. Feurt was Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Georgia, where he was a co-inventor of the tranquilizer gun, a tool used in wildlife management. Dean Feurt's accomplishments at UT are significant, including the change of name to College of Pharmacy, recruitment of acclaimed teachers and scientists to the College, new graduate programs in the pharmaceutical sciences, and the beginning of the Pharm.D. program in 1968. He was described as "a young man, full of vigor, energetic, aggressive, bold, and seething with ideals." He founded the Tennessee Pharmacy Tripartite Committee to bring the profession together in Tennessee. Dr. Feurt served as dean until his death on January 19, 1975. Because of their respect, members of the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy and Tennessee Pharmacists Association, in cooperation with the University, started the Seldon D. Feurt Memorial Fund to honor Dr. Feurt and provide private funding for scholarships, fellowships, research grants, and other needs of the College.


Dean John Autian
Dean, 1975 to 1982
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Dr. Autian, a native of Philadelphia earned his BSPharm at Temple University and his M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Maryland. He arrived at The University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy in 1967 from the University of Texas and started the Materials Science Toxicology Laboratories, which reached a level of national and international prominence and helped establish new federal regulations on medical devices. In 1973, Dr. Autian was named the first recipient of the UT National Alumni Association Public Service Award. He served as President of the UTHSC Faculty Senate and was Chair, Department of Molecular Biology. He was named Dean of the College of Pharmacy on August 1, 1975. Dean Autian pushed for approval of the Pharm.D. degree as the entry-level degree in pharmacy. He served as dean until 1982, when he was named Dean of the UT Graduate School of Medical Sciences and Vice Chancellor for Research, serving until his retirement in 1985. After retirement, Dr. Autian worked tirelessly as an international humanitarian and health science educator and was a proponent of the Memphis Biomedical Research Zone.


Dean Michael R. Ryan
Dean, 1982 to 1989
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The Missouri native received his B.S. Pharm degree at St. Louis College of Pharmacy and his Ph.D. in pharmacy administration at the University of Mississippi. Dr. Ryan joined the UT College of Pharmacy faculty in 1972 and was named Assistant Dean in 1977, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in 1979, and Executive Associate Dean of the College in 1983. Dean Ryan's administration brought innovative changes to the College, beginning in 1984 when the Pharm.D. course of study was incorporated for all pharmacy students, one of the first schools in the nation to do so. The first UT all-Pharm.D. class graduated in 1988. A particular strength of Dr. Ryan's deanship was the improvement of relations between the College, alumni and pharmacists across Tennessee. Following his tenure at the University of Tennessee, Dr. Ryan served as Dean of the School of Business and as Vice President for Advancement at Christian Brothers University in Memphis.


Dean Dick R. Gourley
Dean, 1989 to 2011
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The first UT alumnus to serve as Dean of the College of Pharmacy, Dr. Gourley, a native of Paducah, Kentucky, received his pre-pharmacy education at UT Knoxville, where he played varsity baseball for the Volunteers. He earned his B.S.Ph. in 1969 and his Pharm.D. in 1970 from the UT College of Pharmacy. After graduation, he served on the faculties of Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy and the University of Nebraska College of Pharmacy. He also served five years at Mercer as Dean and as Provost of the Atlanta campus. Under Dean Gourley's visionary leadership, several innovative programs were initiated, including international affiliations, the Pharm.D./Ph.D. dual-degree program, and graduate programs were dramatically expanded. Three endowed professorships were begun or filled. Dr. Gourley was a founder of the International Foundation for Pharmacy Education and served as a member of the APhA Board of Trustees. Beginning in 1993, U.S. News & World Report listed the UT College of Pharmacy as one of the best pharmacy schools in the nation.

College of Pharmacy

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