Carole Bland taught young doctors how to research and experienced ones how to maintain their edge.

Bland, of Plymouth, who held a Ph.D. in education psychology and was the University of Minnesota's Medical School's expert on mentoring and collaboration, died of pancreatic cancer Aug. 23 in Edina. She was 62.

Dr. Deborah Powell, dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School, said Bland was a national leader in her field. "She believed that faculty development was vital for the nation and devoted herself wholeheartedly to this effort," Powell said.

As assistant dean for faculty development, Bland set up a network of mentors to help physicians and scientists in their areas of interest.

Dr. Anne Taylor, formerly of the university and now vice dean for academic affairs at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, said Bland formalized mentoring after a scholarly investigation about what works and what doesn't.

"She understood the whole process of education assessment and studied the factors that are associated with successful faculty careers," Taylor said.

Bland, Taylor and others wrote "Mentoring and Being Mentored: Effective Collaboration throughout an Academic Career."

"She was enormously caring about the University of Minnesota," and "a fun person to be with," Taylor said.

Dr. Nicole Winbush of Minneapolis, a clinical research fellow in the university's Family Medicine Department, said Bland gave her students the skills and tools physician-researchers needed.

"She gave invaluable feedback to researchers, whether they be advanced in their careers or beginning researchers, like myself," Winbush said. "She would really take her time to give you her best."

After earning her bachelor's degree from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., and a master's degree from Drake University in Des Moines, Bland received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in education psychology in 1974, the year she joined the medical school's faculty.

"You can imagine a young woman in 1974, telling male physicians what to do," said her husband, Dick, who said she was a bold advocate for women in education.

Among several leadership positions at the University of Minnesota, she served on the Excellence in Women's Health Committee. As a member of the faculty's central committee in 1996, she played a role in the selection of Mark Yudof as university president.

A memorial service will be held in the afternoon of Oct. 6 at the McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak St. SE., Minneapolis. The exact time of the service is yet to be determined.