Her footsteps herald her comings and goings — bustling into the office, greeting people along her way, the quick steps beating a rapid-fire cadence as she flits in and out of meetings or rushes into a classroom to teach freshman dental anatomy.But on June 30, the busy woman who has spent the past 10 years leading the UF College of Dentistry will bustle through the halls one last time. Dean Teresa A. Dolan, D.M.D., is stepping down to take a position with DENTSPLY, an international dental supply company. Dolan will serve as its vice president and chief clinical officer, providing strategic direction for professional education activities and engaging with businesses to support clinical initiatives and strategies.
Dolan joined UF in 1989 as a faculty member within the college. Before being appointed dean in 2003, she served as an associate director of a joint medicine and dentistry Geriatric Fellowship Program, as the associate dean for education and as interim dean in 2002. Dolan has difficulty choosing which accomplishment she’s most proud of during her tenure as dean.
“I am proud of so many college accomplishments, and it is difficult and probably unfair to identify one as most important,” she said. “What will probably be most influential long-term in advancing the college is the recruitment of outstanding talented, committed faculty, which is especially remarkable given the current national shortage of academic dentists. They will continue to build and shape future successes for the college.”
She says the thing she’ll miss the most about working in the academic world is the opportunity to welcome a new group of D.M.D. and advanced education students each year.
“They represent the future of our profession. Every year I have been amazed by the positive energy and enthusiasm of our students as they begin their studies, and it’s been very rewarding to be part of their transformation from promising applicants and candidates to talented graduates who either join the practice community, begin military service, or continue their education at UF or other outstanding colleges and hospital-based programs.”
However, there are strong parallels between serving as a dental academic dean and the responsibilities she will have in the corporate world, allowing her to apply her dental knowledge and leadership skills. Although her new position is based out of DENTSPLY’s corporate headquarters, she will have the opportunity to interact with dental professionals, academicians and scientists, attend dental clinical and research meetings, and lead educational efforts with a global reach through the various DENTSPLY franchises and businesses.
Dolan and her husband, Stan Given, will relocate to York, Penn., but after 24 years in Gainesville, she and her family have put down strong, permanent roots in the community. Given still owns several Gainesville businesses and will continue to serve on several local volunteer boards. They plan to keep their small horse farm with a home in Jonesville, and will be back often to visit Dolan’s mother, who lives in the Town of Tioga.
Dolan, an avid Gator football fan whose pre-game football emails to the college have earned quite a following over the past few years, hopes they catch at least one football game this fall.
“Our daughter, Tori, will be attending the College of Charleston in the fall but she’s told us many times that Pennsylvania is much too cold. I am sure we’ll prefer to rendezvous as a family in sunny Florida and we’ll probably be racking up some frequent flyer miles,” she said.
This profile ran in the March 2013 edition of the UF Health Science Center The POST.