Higher education institutions hit snags with opening new dental schools: 2 updates

Two higher education institutions have recently been faced with setbacks during the process of opening dental schools.

More information: 

1. Boca Raton-based Florida Atlantic University may no longer be opening a dental school after having two sources of funding fall through. The state previously offered to give the university $30 million toward its new dental school. The university later requested an additional $100 million to cover construction and operations. Barbara Feingold, vice chair of FAU's board of trustees and presidential search committee, also pledged a $30 million donation for the dental school, but said her donation would depend on the results of the university's presidential search. 

The state recently rejected the university's $100 million grant request and is now withholding its original $30 million grant. 

CBS12 reported that the possibility of opening the dental school is now off the table due to disagreements between state lawmakers and university officials over the university's presidential search.

2. Batesville, Ark.-based Lyon College previously planned to purchase property at the Heifer International complex through OneHealth Education Group, an arm of OneHealth Companies, to house its new dental and veterinary schools, but the deal fell through at the end of 2023. Peter Goldstein, vice president of communications for Heifer International, could not say why the deal fell through, but OneHealth CEO Merritt Dake told Arkansas Business that OneHealth still planned to help Lyon College open the two schools.

Lyon College President Melissa Taverner, PhD, told Arkansas Business in December that the college is exploring other location options, but still prefers the Heifer International complex. 

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