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John N. Williams Chosen New Dean of IU School of Dentistry

John N. Williams
John N. Williams

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December 17, 2009

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IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz and Uday Sukhatme, executive vice chancellor and dean of the faculties at IUPUI, on Wednesday (Dec. 16, 2009) announced the selection of a new dean for the Indiana University School of Dentistry.

John N. Williams Jr., D.M.D., will become dean of the IU School of Dentistry, which is located on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus. His appointment will be effective June 15, 2010, pending approval by the Trustees of Indiana University. Williams will replace retiring Dean Lawrence Goldblatt.

Williams is currently dean of the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Dentistry Chapel Hill and a professor in the Department of Dental Ecology. Prior to joining the faculty and administration at UNC, he served in several positions with the University of Louisville School of Dentistry from 1986 to 2005. Williams was dean of the University of Louisville dental school from 1999 to 2005.

“Dr. Williams has a strong track record. He has played an important role in enhancing and maintaining the top-notch reputation of the UNC School of Dentistry. This combination of talents and experiences will serve the IU School of Dentistry well both now and in the future,” said Uday Sukhatme, executive vice chancellor and dean of faculties at IUPUI. “Under his leadership the School of Dentistry will continue to make a positive impact on student success and dentistry as a practice.”

The IU School of Dentistry is one of the oldest dental schools in the nation. During the 2008-2009 school year, 698 students are pursuing seven types of degree and/or certificate programs in dental assisting, dental hygiene, dentistry, and graduate dentistry. The School has 112 full-time and 126 part-time faculty members contributing to its teaching and research programs.

“For well over 100 years, Indiana University School of Dentistry has had a great national and international tradition of excellence. I am honored to serve as the school's next dean and look forward to working not only to enhance the dental school but to broaden the impact of IUPUI within the state of Indiana and beyond,” Dr. Williams said.

The new dean said his priorities include raising the school's research productivity and funding; developing and executing a plan for new and improved building facilities; and dramatically increasing the fund raising outcomes for the school.

Dr. Williams’ selection as dean comes at the conclusion of an extensive international search and screen process.

As a distinguished educator and administrator, Williams is uniquely qualified to assume the role of the dean of the IU School of Dentistry, says Austin Agho, chair of the search committee and dean of the IU School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at IUPUI.
“He is first and foremost an educator with a deep commitment to teaching, service, practice, and research. Equally important, he has been an extremely effective leader at two reputable institutions during the past two decades,” said Agho. “Williams is well-known nationally and internationally for his contributions and dedication to dental education and practice.”

Williams earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Louisville. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Transylvania University.

Dr. Williams is the recipient of many professional awards and is a member of numerous prestigious organizations. Notably he is a very active consultant and comprehensive site visit chair for the Commission on Dental Accreditation; and he currently serves as Vice-President for Deans of the American Dental Education Association.

UNC students think highly of Williams, having named him as the American Student Dental Association UNC Chapter’s Faculty of the Year award recipient in 2006, 2007 and 2009.

Dr. Williams has published numerous papers, abstracts and book chapters on a wide variety of subjects with a strong emphasis on community dentistry, dental education policy, and information technology.