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Laurie K. McCauley, DDS, MS, PhD

Dean
School of Dentistry

The University of Michigan School of Dentistry has been a world leader in dental education for 145 years. Over that nearly century and a half, we have faced and overcome many challenging times – world wars, the devastating flu pandemic of 1918-20, the Great Depression and many other periods of societal and economic instability. No matter the historical circumstances, the school continued to produce outstanding graduates who went out into the world as leaders in dentistry and improved the lives of countless people.

We currently face the most significant challenge of our lifetimes with the COVID-19 pandemic. At the outset, our community of faculty, students and staff responded with an inspiring mix of dedication, drive and determination in quickly implementing enhanced health and safety protocols, as well as moving our educational mission to online instruction, all in an amazingly short period of time. We saw once again, like those who have gone before us, that no matter the difficulty, no matter the problem, we are the most successful when we bond together to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

As our students returned in-person this summer and we moved into fall, our collective outlook is to find opportunities to improve every aspect of our mission of advancing health through education, service, research and discovery. Even as we continually improve the “new normal” in a pandemic, the annual cycle of the school has moved forward with remarkable accomplishments. In June, our faculty and researchers received the largest grant in school history – $31.4 million from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. It will allow a regenerative medicine resource center to continue its important research into the restoration of dental, oral and craniofacial tissues lost to disease, injury or congenital disorders. Earlier in the year, NIDCR reported that, for the third consecutive year, our school received more research funding than any dental institution in the country.

Our faculty have received numerous international and national honors in the last year, and our students continue to impress with their intellect and resilience, including two who are leading national organizations this year. Fourth-year DDS student Carla Jones is president of the Student National Dental Association, and Alexandra Oklejas, a dual DDS/PhD student, is president of the National Student Research Group within the American Association for Dental Research. For the sixth consecutive year we were ranked as the top dental school in the United States by the QS World University Rankings, and the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy rated us as the top dental school in the world for the fourth consecutive year.

We cannot maintain our world-class status without the continued financial support of our alumni and friends. Whether it be our current Blue Renew major renovation and expansion project, student scholarships or supporting our emergency fund, our alumni are generous. This year, more than ever, I encourage our alumni and friends to consider making a gift as we deal with significant new costs caused by the pandemic. We must never lose sight of our goal to maintain the highest standards of excellence. Whether you make a one-time, monthly or estate-planning contribution, we promise to use it wisely to strengthen our standing as the leaders and best in dentistry.

Thank you and Go Blue!

Laurie K. McCauley, DDS, MS, PhD
Dean, School of Dentistry
William K. and Mary Anne Najjar Professor
Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine

 

 

We currently face the most significant challenge of our lifetimes with the COVID-19 pandemic. At the outset, our community of faculty, students and staff responded with an inspiring mix of dedication, drive and determination in quickly implementing enhanced health and safety protocols, as well as moving our educational mission to online instruction, all in an amazingly short period of time. We saw once again, like those who have gone before us, that no matter the difficulty, no matter the problem, we are the most successful when we bond together to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

As our students returned in-person this summer and we moved into fall, our collective outlook is to find opportunities to improve every aspect of our mission of advancing health through education, service, research and discovery. Even as we continually improve the “new normal” in a pandemic, the annual cycle of the school has moved forward with remarkable accomplishments. In June, our faculty and researchers received the largest grant in school history – $31.4 million from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. It will allow a regenerative medicine resource center to continue its important research into the restoration of dental, oral and craniofacial tissues lost to disease, injury or congenital disorders. Earlier in the year, NIDCR reported that, for the third consecutive year, our school received more research funding than any dental institution in the country.

Our faculty have received numerous international and national honors in the last year, and our students continue to impress with their intellect and resilience, including two who are leading national organizations this year. Fourth-year DDS student Carla Jones is president of the Student National Dental Association, and Alexandra Oklejas, a dual DDS/PhD student, is president of the National Student Research Group within the American Association for Dental Research. For the sixth consecutive year we were ranked as the top dental school in the United States by the QS World University Rankings, and the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy rated us as the top dental school in the world for the fourth consecutive year.

We cannot maintain our world-class status without the continued financial support of our alumni and friends. Whether it be our current Blue Renew major renovation and expansion project, student scholarships or supporting our emergency fund, our alumni are generous. This year, more than ever, I encourage our alumni and friends to consider making a gift as we deal with significant new costs caused by the pandemic. We must never lose sight of our goal to maintain the highest standards of excellence. Whether you make a one-time, monthly or estate-planning contribution, we promise to use it wisely to strengthen our standing as the leaders and best in dentistry.

Thank you and Go Blue!

Laurie K. McCauley, DDS, MS, PhD
Dean, School of Dentistry
William K. and Mary Anne Najjar Professor
Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine

 

 

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