New Year, Renewed Resolve

A belated welcome back from the holiday break. I hope you are still energized by the opportunity you had to relax, recharge, and spend time with family, friends, and others who are important in your lives.

As we start the New Year, it is a good opportunity for us to reflect and refocus on the educational experience we offer to our students. We will continue to provide an environment in which our students will become the best oral healthcare providers in the world, with a strong foundation in scientifically based practice. We will continue to align our academic and clinical programs to lead the future of oral health care. Together, the Dugoni School family will deliver excellence in dental education. We have an exciting year ahead.

One of the ways we will refocus is by reviewing our academic curriculum in order to look for ways to enhance it. Our integrated Helix Curriculum provides an effective framework for contemporary dental education. It is inspiring to see the Personalized Instructional Program (PIP) roll out as one of our last strands to be implemented. We have started to look for ways to refine the Helix Curriculum so we can continue to meet the needs of future oral healthcare providers. We will need your input as we reflect on our educational competencies to ensure that we are prepared for that future. I will share more information about the first step in this process during the upcoming week.

Our Facilities Project Committees and Strategic Planning Oversight Committee will also keep working on ways to enhance our school’s facilities, programs, and overall operations. Thank you to everyone who has provided input to these groups over the last few months. Your ideas will allow us to improve our school over both the short and long term. In my upcoming brown bags, you will learn more about changes we are making in response to your feedback.

We will continue to find ways for the Dugoni School family to gather in support of our humanistic culture. Please feel free to stop by the next “Coffee with the Cabinet” on Tuesday, February 16 between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on the first floor. It is always an enjoyable opportunity to connect with fellow students, faculty, and staff in a casual way. I will also be instituting designated Open Office Hours for faculty, staff, and students. Further information about that will be forthcoming.

This week the Dugoni School welcomed Joanne Fox on her official first day as the new Director of the Alumni Association. We are excited she will be serving our alumni in this important role. Thank you to the alumni director search committee chair Bill van Dyk, and members Artie Adkins, Dan Castagna, Art Dugoni, Kimberly LaRocca, Bruce Toy, Mary Turoff and Andrea Woodson.

Thank you for everything you do to ensure that we remain focused on excellence in the educational experience we offer to our students. Here’s looking ahead to a year filled with growth and inspiration.