Dentistry dean took school forward

In an extensive piece yesterday, the Minnesota Daily outlined a number of challenges that some view as negatively impacting the direction of the University of MinnesotaâÄôs School of Dentistry.

We would like to put yesterdayâÄôs article in the proper context of two leaders who have always had the best interests of the school at heart.

Patrick Lloyd was our schoolâÄôs fourth dean in eight years. He arrived in 2004 at a time when our research funding was mainly supported by a few large awards, facilities and technology were outdated, budgets were being reduced and our own student evaluations told us that our classes and curriculum needed to change. Dean Lloyd addressed those needs in short order.

Consistent with goals identified through a year-long, all-school strategic planning process, our organizational structure was re-aligned. Technology and facilities were updated, and we made changes in our academic programs and clinic protocols. Where are we now? We had a 100 percent pass rate for students who took their national board examinations in 2010-11.

Rapid change can be difficult and unsettling. But these changes laid the groundwork for a successful 2006 accreditation visit. Judith Buchanan led the process and we received 22 positive commendations. This remarkable accomplishment set the standard for our school. As we now prepare for our 2013 accreditation review, we are moving forward with broad engagement to uphold this standard.

After seven years of stable leadership under Lloyd, our School is also proud of the following:

Student evaluations show positive reception to class and curriculum changes.

In a time of nationwide faculty shortages, weâÄôve hired 41 full-time faculty who have infused our school with new ideas. Forty-two percent of these hires were women, changing the very fabric of our school.

We diversified research interests. After a downturn in federal funding that affected all research institutions, we are now the seventh top NIH-funded public dental school in the country. WeâÄôve established new education programs, enhanced student and faculty diversity, quadrupled our fundraising, grown alumni relations efforts and formed public-private partnerships to launch new community-based service-learning clinics where our students treat thousands of Minnesotans unable to access dental care. In 2009, we won the UniversityâÄôs Equity and Diversity Award and in 2010 we won the âÄúOscarâÄù of dental education âÄî the American Dental Education Association Gies Award for Outstanding Vision âÄî both under the leadership of Dean Lloyd.

We are a school of great accomplishment and great potential. With the search for a new dean underway and external financial challenges facing the school, we will move forward with the energy, drive and commitment of our students, staff and faculty. In line with President Eric KalerâÄôs vision, we have reinvigorated how we teach and learn, re-imagined how we operate and function, championed the contribution of the University and our school to the people of the state and strengthened our business, community and philanthropic partnerships. We have a national reputation for excellence, and we are well positioned to continue the momentum under the capable leadership of Buchanan.

 

Ralph DeLong

professor,

 

Karl Self

clinical associate professor,

 

Don Simone

professor,

 

Larry Wolff

professor, 

 

Sheila Riggs

 associate professor,

 

Todd Thierer

clinical associate professor

 

Sven-Ulrik Gorr

professor,

 

Jeff Ogden

chief administrative officer