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Vacant faculty positions at dental schools increase: 7 notes

The number of vacant faculty positions at U.S. dental schools rose during the 2020-21 academic year, according to data from the American Dental Education Association.

The ADEA compiled data on vacant positions dating back to the 2000-01 academic year. Data for 2019-20 is not available because the data collection project was under redesign during that year.

Seven stats to know about vacant faculty positions at U.S. dental schools:

1. The number of vacant full-time faculty positions rose from 280 during the 2018-19 school year to 486 in 2020-21.

2. The number of vacant part-time faculty positions rose from 84 in 2018-19 to 188 in 2020-21.

3. General/operative/restorative was the specialty with the most vacant faculty positions, with 209 vacant positions at dental schools in 2020-21, compared to 117 positions in 2018-19.

4. Assistant professor represented the most vacant position, with 411 vacant positions in 2020-21 and 215 in 2018-19.

5. Here is the length of time dental school faculty positions were vacant in 2020-21:

  • More than 12 months: 87
  • Eight to 12 months: 138
  • Four to seven months: 129 
  • One to three months: 113

6. Thirty-four percent of dental schools said a lack of response to the position announcement was the top factor influencing the ability of the school to fill the vacant position in 2020-21.

7. During the 2020-21 school year, redistribution of teaching loads and reliance on part-time faculty were the top sources of coverage for vacant faculty positions. 

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