Portrait of Dean McCauley U-M Logo

Laurie K. McCauley, DDS, MS, PhD

Dean
School of Dentistry

As the University of Michigan School of Dentistry looks forward to its 147th year in 2022, we remain dedicated to advancing dental education, patient care and research with the same steadfast commitment as the school’s founders nearly a century and a half ago. That commitment helped us overcome the special challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic in the last year, and it fuels us with optimism and energy as we move forward.

Our students, faculty and staff have continued to demonstrate incredible levels of resilience, creativity and dedication as we’ve navigated the difficult roller-coaster ride of the pandemic. We graduated the Class of 2021 last spring and sent them out to begin what we know will be meaningful and rewarding careers as dentists, hygienists and researchers. About 35 percent of our DDS graduates went into private practice, 43 percent were admitted to master’s or specialty residency programs, and 17 percent chose community dentistry, public health or military dentistry options, well above the national average for community-service dentistry. I’m proud to say that the Class of 2021 graduated with 40 percent less debt than the national average, thanks to our generous alumni and friends who support numerous scholarship opportunities in our school.

Our new first-year DDS and Dental Hygiene classes arrived last summer with shining credentials and are well on their way through their first-year requirements. The 109 members of the new DDS class were selected from 1,867 applicants. Half are Michigan residents who earned undergraduate degrees at 17 colleges and universities in our state, including a student whose father and grandfather have degrees from our school. The rests of the class hails from Alaska to Massachusetts, and several have international origins, including one who grew up in Nigeria and another who was born in Toronto, Canada, grew up in Cuba and finished high school and college in Miami. This mix of Michigan homegrown talent combined with our wide national and international reach creates a meaningful diversity that strengthens the students’ learning experiences and our school.

Other accomplishments in the last year include significant progress on our Blue Renew renovation and expansion as we are in the final months of our four-year project. The building has taken on a new sheen and atmosphere with vibrant clinics sporting the latest technology. A 48,000-square-foot addition in our former courtyard includes research labs, student meeting spaces, conference rooms, offices and a new entrance on the south side of our building.

Our faculty continue to receive national and international recognition for their expertise, leadership and research. Professor Jacques Nör, chair of our Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences and Endodontics, is well into his one-year term as president of the National Association of Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research and its 3,100 members. The same organization presented a national mentoring award to Professor Nisha D’Silva, an oral pathologist and cancer biologist in our Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine.

The amazing range and creativity of our students was illustrated earlier this year when third-year DDS students Nilay Patel, Raurie Petrich and Torrey Talifer won a university-wide contest for business ideas, called “1,000 Pitches.” The budding entrepreneurs worked with software developers to improve the process of referrals in dentistry between general practice and specialty providers. The students’ idea was judged best among a thousand entries in the contest sponsored by the U-M Office of the President, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovate Blue.

Elsewhere around the school, we’ve begun an innovative new Faculty Coach Program to enhance the clinical learning environment and patient care by increasing the assessment and mentoring of students. Twelve Faculty Coaches meet regularly with each of their approximately 20 third- and fourth-year students. They are supported by a robust data program that monitors many aspects of our students’ progress – their patient treatment plans, the frequency and types of their patient appointments, progress toward their requirements, and many other indicators of both success and areas where improvement is needed.

In this year that marks the centennial of our Dental Hygiene Program, we have created the Dr. Dorothy G. Hard Legacy Professorship to honor the woman who built the program into a national leader during her 44 years as director, from 1924-1968. The professorship was made possible by the generous financial support of Dr. Robert W. Browne, a DDS alumnus from the Class of 1952 and graduate of the school’s orthodontic program who credits Hard with having a positive impact on his student years. The inaugural recipient is Janet Kinney, the current director of the DH program who holds both a BSDH and MSDH from the school, as well as an MS in public health.

Maintaining our world-class dental school requires the talent and dedication of many people, from our existing faculty and staff to our nearly 10,000 alumni and friends around the world. A significant part of the equation is financial support, which is why we provide this annual update. We are grateful for those alumni and friends who have provided previous financial gifts, some for decades and others on a one-time basis. Whether it is for student scholarships, in honor of a professor who made a difference or for our general fund, your gift is immensely important in helping us to advance the excellence of our programs in dental education, patient treatment and research.

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

 

 

Our students, faculty and staff have continued to demonstrate incredible levels of resilience, creativity and dedication as we’ve navigated the difficult roller-coaster ride of the pandemic. We graduated the Class of 2021 last spring and sent them out to begin what we know will be meaningful and rewarding careers as dentists, hygienists and researchers. About 35 percent of our DDS graduates went into private practice, 43 percent were admitted to master’s or specialty residency programs, and 17 percent chose community dentistry, public health or military dentistry options, well above the national average for community-service dentistry. I’m proud to say that the Class of 2021 graduated with 40 percent less debt than the national average, thanks to our generous alumni and friends who support numerous scholarship opportunities in our school.

Our new first-year DDS and Dental Hygiene classes arrived last summer with shining credentials and are well on their way through their first-year requirements. The 109 members of the new DDS class were selected from 1,867 applicants. Half are Michigan residents who earned undergraduate degrees at 17 colleges and universities in our state, including a student whose father and grandfather have degrees from our school. The rests of the class hails from Alaska to Massachusetts, and several have international origins, including one who grew up in Nigeria and another who was born in Toronto, Canada, grew up in Cuba and finished high school and college in Miami. This mix of Michigan homegrown talent combined with our wide national and international reach creates a meaningful diversity that strengthens the students’ learning experiences and our school.

Other accomplishments in the last year include significant progress on our Blue Renew renovation and expansion as we are in the final months of our four-year project. The building has taken on a new sheen and atmosphere with vibrant clinics sporting the latest technology. A 48,000-square-foot addition in our former courtyard includes research labs, student meeting spaces, conference rooms, offices and a new entrance on the south side of our building.

Our faculty continue to receive national and international recognition for their expertise, leadership and research. Professor Jacques Nör, chair of our Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences and Endodontics, is well into his one-year term as president of the National Association of Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research and its 3,100 members. The same organization presented a national mentoring award to Professor Nisha D’Silva, an oral pathologist and cancer biologist in our Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine.

The amazing range and creativity of our students was illustrated earlier this year when third-year DDS students Nilay Patel, Raurie Petrich and Torrey Talifer won a university-wide contest for business ideas, called “1,000 Pitches.” The budding entrepreneurs worked with software developers to improve the process of referrals in dentistry between general practice and specialty providers. The students’ idea was judged best among a thousand entries in the contest sponsored by the U-M Office of the President, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovate Blue.

Elsewhere around the school, we’ve begun an innovative new Faculty Coach Program to enhance the clinical learning environment and patient care by increasing the assessment and mentoring of students. Twelve Faculty Coaches meet regularly with each of their approximately 20 third- and fourth-year students. They are supported by a robust data program that monitors many aspects of our students’ progress – their patient treatment plans, the frequency and types of their patient appointments, progress toward their requirements, and many other indicators of both success and areas where improvement is needed.

In this year that marks the centennial of our Dental Hygiene Program, we have created the Dr. Dorothy G. Hard Legacy Professorship to honor the woman who built the program into a national leader during her 44 years as director, from 1924-1968. The professorship was made possible by the generous financial support of Dr. Robert W. Browne, a DDS alumnus from the Class of 1952 and graduate of the school’s orthodontic program who credits Hard with having a positive impact on his student years. The inaugural recipient is Janet Kinney, the current director of the DH program who holds both a BSDH and MSDH from the school, as well as an MS in public health.

Maintaining our world-class dental school requires the talent and dedication of many people, from our existing faculty and staff to our nearly 10,000 alumni and friends around the world. A significant part of the equation is financial support, which is why we provide this annual update. We are grateful for those alumni and friends who have provided previous financial gifts, some for decades and others on a one-time basis. Whether it is for student scholarships, in honor of a professor who made a difference or for our general fund, your gift is immensely important in helping us to advance the excellence of our programs in dental education, patient treatment and research.

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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