UF College of Dentistry dean announces plans to step down
Teresa A. Dolan, D.D.S., M.P.H., led the college through a period of great growth despite the challenging economic conditions facing the state and nation. An established national leader in oral health research, the college also is well-recognized for the quality of its Doctor of Dental Medicine, graduate and dental specialty academic programs, and for its strong commitment to improving oral health and access to dental care in Alachua County and throughout Florida.
“My time at UF has been the most rewarding of my life. I have had the honor of working with the greatest faculty, staff and students who are truly invested in, and passionate about, our mission of education, research and service,” she said. “The positive spirit and culture of the college are what drew me to join the faculty and I have no doubt that the college will continue to grow and thrive in the future.”
Dolan earned her doctor of dental surgery degree in 1983 from the University of Texas and continued her education by earning certificates in general dentistry, geriatric dentistry and dental public health. In 1987 she earned her master’s of public health from the University of California, Los Angeles, and she was awarded Diplomate status from the American Board of Dental Public Health in 1994.
After joining the college faculty in 1989, Dolan served as an associate director of a joint medicine and dentistry Geriatric Fellowship Program, and as the associate dean for education. She was appointed interim dean in 2002 and dean in 2003.
“Dr. Dolan has been a superb dean, with an ability to balance the needs of her college and the university during challenging times. Under her leadership, the college became one of the most highly regarded dental schools in the country, recognized for its excellence in research and education,” said Dr. David Guzick, senior vice president for health affairs and president of UF&Shands, the University of Florida Health Academic Center. “Throughout her tenure, Dr. Dolan has been a strong advocate for the importance of oral health care in underserved populations and has created resources to provide access to such care.”
Dolan credits the strong team, both in the college and the university, for playing a critical role in the college’s accomplishments, “I have received strong support from the university administration, my fellow deans, leaders in the college and from our loyal and generous alumni and friends. In addition, we have many corporations and foundations that support our mission which play a strong part in allowing us to educate our dental students in new and emerging technologies in our field.”
During the past decade, the college has remained in the top 10 of all U.S. dental schools for NIH/NIDCR support and is an internationally recognized leader in basic, translational and clinical oral health research. With the assistance of an NIH Research Infrastructure Enhancement Award in 2004, campus support and strong leadership from the college’s Office of Research, the college greatly diversified and expanded its research programs, creating teams of basic and clinical scientists to bolster its capacity to conduct translational science. The college currently receives funding from a variety of NIH institutes as well as national organizations, such as the American Diabetes Association, the American Pain Society and the Bankhead-Coley Cancer Research Program.
In addition, the college’s academic programs are in high demand, with more than 1,500 applications for the 83 positions in the Doctor of Dental Medicine program. With the implementation of holistic assessment of candidates, the college increased the diversity of its faculty and students. The college’s academic programs were successfully reaccredited in 2008 and will begin preparation for the 2015 site visit during the fall of this year.
The college is also engaged in dental student recruitment and outreach throughout the southeastern United States, and developed a Summer of Learning program to assist in the recruitment of disadvantaged students to the dental profession.
“We enjoy excellent collaboration with the university’s pre-professional advisors and pre-professional organizations on campus. One little known fact, about which I am very proud, is that the university is the nation’s third largest “feeder school” for dental candidates to all universities in the U.S.,” Dolan said.
During the 2005-2012 Florida Tomorrow fundraising campaign for the University of Florida, the College of Dentistry exceeded it’s goal of $15 million by 22 percent, raising a total of $18,351,270. During the campaign, Dolan was instrumental in securing the largest gift in the history of the college, $5.6 million from the Naples Children and Education Foundation, which supported the construction of the NCEF Pediatric Dental Center and the establishment of a nationally recognized satellite pediatric dentistry residency program in Naples, Fla. The program has won several national awards in 2012 including the ADEA William J. Gies Award recognizing outstanding vision in support of dental education, and the Safety Net Solutions Center of Excellence award.
Dolan also set the stage for the future of the college’s Gainesville facility by recently completing a visioning and master planning exercise, the first step in the transformation of the facility into one that will better support the mission of the college.
A national search for her successor will begin shortly. Boyd Robinson, D.D.S., M.Ed., associate dean for clinical affairs and interim chair of the Department of Restorative Dental Sciences, will serve as interim dean during the transition.
After spending a month on a family trip, Dolan will begin working as DENTSPLY’s vice president and chief clinical officer. In her new role, Dolan will provide strategic direction for global DENTSPLY professional education activities and will be actively engaging with businesses to support clinical initiatives and strategies. She and her husband, Stan Given, plan to relocate to York, Penn., and her daughter, Tori, will attend college in the fall.
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UF&Shands, The University of Florida Academic Health Center, is the most comprehensive of its kind in the Southeast. It comprises the colleges of Dentistry, Public Health and Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine, and an academic campus in Jacksonville that offers graduate education programs in dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy. Patient care activities, under the banner UF&Shands, are provided through teaching hospitals and a network of clinics in Gainesville and Jacksonville. The Academic Health Center also has a statewide presence through satellite medical, dental and nursing clinics staffed by UF health professionals; and affiliations with community-based health-care facilities stretching from Hialeah and Miami to the Florida Panhandle.