Transforming the Future of Oral Health Education

Greetings and Happy New Year!

As we begin 2017, I am pleased to provide an update about the Dugoni School’s new strategic planning process. Our theme is Transforming the Future of Oral Health Education. The Dugoni School has led in transforming dental education in many ways — our humanistic model, our accelerated year-round predoctoral program and a vibrant alumni association — to name only a few. We are well positioned to expand our role as a global leader in education and patient care. Such leadership requires vision combined with the foresight and initiative to prepare for, create, and shape the future.

This is a perfect time to look at the future of oral health and the Dugoni School's place in that future. Our last major strategic planning effort was over 10 years ago. While we updated the plan in 2013, many changes have occurred locally, nationally, and globally over the past four years. In today’s rapidly changing education and health care environment, the Dugoni School must position itself to move to even higher levels of prominence as a leader among academic dental institutions if we are to transform the future of oral health education, and so oral health.

Our initiation of a strategic planning process coincides with the University’s engagement to develop a new plan, Pacific 2025. The Dugoni School’s plan will be informed by, align with, and complement the University’s vision, mission, values, and priorities. I have appointed a Strategic Planning Oversight Committee (SPOC) to help guide us in the planning process. SPOC is assisted by the Academy for Academic Leadership, a consulting firm that has worked with the Dugoni School and the University for many years. I am pleased to report that SPOC conducted its initial meeting on December 16 and will begin engaging the entire school family, as well as external stakeholders, this month. SPOC members are:

  • Dr. Elisa Chávez (Chair)
  • Dr. Homer Asadi
  • Mr. Marco Castellanos
  • Dr. Richard Fredekind
  • Dr. Des Gallagher
  • Dr. Alan Gluskin
  • Dr. Natasha Lee
  • Dr. Cindy Lyon
  • Mr. Blake Swimmer
  • Dr. Gabrielle Thodas

Serving as internal consultants to SPOC are:  Ms. Joanne Fox, Director, Dugoni School Alumni Association; Mr. Jeff Rhode, Associate Dean for Development; and Mr. Dan Soine, Director of Marketing and Communications.

Strategic planning is a communicative, consensus-building process. SPOC will seek input from faculty, students, staff, University administrators, alumni, and other major stakeholders as it facilitates the plan’s development. The committee will create communication conduits to ensure that the Dugoni School family is informed about activities and has ample opportunities for input. During its first meeting, SPOC identified these principles to guide the strategic planning process:

  • Prioritize and limit efforts to those areas most likely to have a significant impact on the future of oral health education.
  • Foster open and transparent communication, respectful of all opinions.
  • Encourage creativity and informed risk-taking.
  • Look beyond ourselves and traditional dental education for transformative ideas.
  • Focus on the good of the entire Dugoni School community.

Building on our school’s distinctive character and historic strengths, SPOC is charged with creating a bold and dynamic strategic plan to advance us to new levels of success. A living document, our new strategic plan will be public, accessible to all stakeholders and interested parties as a model of educational distinction. The implementation plan and associated outcomes assessment plan will be disseminated throughout the school as we work together to create a new and exciting future. Please join me and the Dugoni School in transforming the future of oral health education!