Dental schools see high dean turnover rate: 22 moves in the last 2 years

Several dental schools have experienced shifts in their leadership in the last two years, with 16 schools appointing or experiencing the departure of deans in the last two years. 

Here are 22 dean moves Becker's has reported on in the last two years:

Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences (Yakima, Wash.)

Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences named Fotinos Panagakos, DMD, as founding dean of its upcoming dental school in March. 

University of Michigan School of Dentistry (Ann Arbor)

Dean of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Laurie McCauley, DDS, PhD, was appointed university provost and vice president of academic affairs in March. She was the school's first female dean and one of the longest-serving deans at the university. She begins her new role May 15 and will succeed current provost Susan Collins. She will remain in the position until June 2023 or until a permanent provost is appointed. At the time of the announcement, university spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald said a decision had not been made as to who will step into the dean position next. 

Dr. Jan Ching Chun Hu, PhD, was chosen to succeed Dr. McCauley as interim dean, effective May 16. Prior to her appointment, she served as the school's Samuel D. Harris collegiate professor of dentistry and chair of the department of biologic and materials sciences and prosthodontics.

The University of North Carolina Adams School of Dentistry (Chapel Hill)
The University of North Carolina Adams School of Dentistry in Chapel Hill appointed Janet Guthmiller, DDS, PhD, as dean, effective Oct. 15. She previously served as the school's associate dean of academic affairs and professor of periodontology from 2007 to 2014. She is rejoining the school from her current position as dean of the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry.

The University of Illinois Chicago College of Dentistry

The University of Illinois Chicago College of Dentistry named Susan Rowan, DDS, its interim dean, effective April 1. Her appointment comes after the school announced in January that the current dean, Clark Stanford, DDS, PhD, would step down from his position to become the dean of the University of Iowa College of Dentistry in Iowa City.

Dr. Rowan previously served as the school's executive associate dean and associate dean for clinical affairs and a clinical professor in its restorative dentistry department. 

Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine (Pomona, Calif.)

The College of Dental Medicine announced in February that its dean, Steven Friedrichsen, DDS, will retire July 1. Dr. Friedrichsen was appointed dean in July 2011 after serving in the interim for five months. Western University has formed a search committee for Dr. Friedrichsen's successor.

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry (Richmond)

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry named Lyndon Cooper, DDS, PhD, its next dean in January. He joined the school from his former position as associate dean for research and head of the oral biology department at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Dentistry.

The University at Buffalo (N.Y.) School of Dental Medicine

The University at Buffalo (N.Y.) School of Dental Medicine appointed Stefan Ruhl, DDS, interim dean in December 2021. The appointment came after the school's former dean, Joseph Zambon, DDS, PhD, announced he would retire Jan. 5 after 39 years at the school. Dr. Ruhl was previously a professor and associate chair of the school’s department of oral biology. 

Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine

Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine appointed Cataldo Leone, DMD, dean in December 2021. He is the school's fourth dean in its six-decade history. He had served as interim dean since April 2021 after the school's former dean, Jeffrey Hutter, retired. 

University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry (Oklahoma City)

University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry selected Paul Mullasseril, DDS, to be its next dean in September 2021. He is the school's fifth dean, replacing Raymond Cohlmia, DDS, who was named executive director of the American Dental Association in May 2021. 

University of Missouri-Kansas City

The University of Missouri-Kansas City named Steven Haas, DMD, dean of its dental school in July 2021. He joined the school from Lincoln-based University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry, where he served as associate dean for clinical affairs and interim chair of the department of adult restorative dentistry. 

Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (Edwardsville)

Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine Dean Bruce Rotter, DMD, retired in December 2021. He was named dean in November 2012 after serving as interim dean for more than a year.

West Virginia University School of Dentistry (Morgantown)

West Virginia University's dental school appointed Stephen Pachuta, DDS, dean in April 2021. He succeeded Tom Borgia, DDS, who retired in 2020 and Fotinos Panagakos, DMD, who served as interim dean since July 2020.

University of Iowa College of Dentistry (Iowa City)

David Johnsen, DDS, announced in February 2021 that he would step down as dean of the University of Iowa's College of Dentistry after he co-signed a mass email that sparked controversy for condemning an executive order issued by former President Donald Trump.

University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine (Farmington)

The University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine appointed Steven Lepowsky, DDS, to a five-year term as dean in November 2020. He was given the title after serving as the school's interim dean and as a professor in its general dentistry division. 

Harvard School of Dental Medicine (Boston)

Harvard School of Dental Medicine chose William Giannobile, DDS, to be its next dean in September 2020.

University of Kentucky College of Dentistry (Lexington)

The University of Kentucky College of Dentistry named Jeffrey Okeson, DMD, its dean in July 2020. He was given the title after serving as the dental college's interim dean.

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