SPOKANE – College of Pharmacy Professor William E. Fassett has announced his retirement, effective May 15, 2014. Fassett has been with the College since July 1999 when he left the faculty at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, to accept the position of dean of pharmacy at Washington State University.

Fassett will be honored at a College reception on the Spokane campus the afternoon of May 21 and at a retirement party on May 30 at the Coeur d’Alene Resort.

In retirement, Fassett plans to continue his work with the American Society for Pharmacy Law, where he has long been an editorial director and serves as the editor of the organization’s two official publications, and he will maintain his consulting practice, which includes litigation support. He will update annually his textbook on Washington Pharmacy Law and also plans to update the history of the Washington State Pharmacy Association for its upcoming 125th anniversary. He also is researching the history of the Elk Drugstores that were once active in Spokane, Colfax and Tekoa as well as the remaining Elk Drug in Dayton.

If he isn’t working for the pharmacy profession in retirement, he might be found restoring an old golf cart or working to lower his handicap. He and his wife, Sharon, plan to continue living in Spokane.

Fassett has been a licensed pharmacist since obtaining his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Washington in 1969. He has worked as a pharmacist in a variety of positions throughout his life, including during his career in academia, where he would occasionally practice as a part-time relief pharmacist or be a consultant pharmacist.

“Pharmacy has changed greatly in 40 years, and I had the opportunity to write a summary of legal and ethical changes during that period for the Annals of Pharmacotherapy a few years ago, but it hasn’t changed in fundamental ways,” Fassett said. “Pharmacists today are – as were my predecessors – the primary contact in the community for patients to use their medications safely and effectively. And pharmacists remain highly trusted individuals who generally can be counted on to put the patients’ needs first.”

Fassett obtained an MBA from the University of Puget Sound in 1983 and a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Washington in 1992. He was on the pharmacy faculty at UW from 1980 until accepting the position at Drake University in 1994. Fassett served for six years as dean of pharmacy at WSU and then returned to teaching and pharmacy practice. His principal teaching focus has been in pharmacy law and ethics, including patient safety and entrepreneurship in pharmacy.

“As with most educators, I’ve enjoyed helping very intelligent and motivated students become practicing pharmacists,” Fassett said. “I’ve also enjoyed the opportunity as a former department chair, dean, and now senior colleague, to mentor and encourage younger colleagues during the early phases of their academic careers.”

Fassett has served in many regional, state and national positions in pharmacy and educational organizations throughout his career, including the American Pharmacists Association, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the Washington State Pharmacy Association and the Spokane Pharmacy Association.

Is there anything he would have done differently in his career?

“I have never spent much time thinking about how I would have done things differently in the past; I can only strive to do better in the future,” Fassett said. “Two decisions I made when I was 18 are choices I would definitely make again: to go to pharmacy school, and to marry Sharon Johnson.”