UW News

February 21, 2002

Robertson named WDS distinguished professor in dentistry

Walter Neary
HS News & Community Relations

Dr. Paul B. Robertson, dean of the School of Dentistry for nine years until June 30, 2001, has been appointed the Washington Dental Service Foundation Distinguished Professor in Dentistry.

The distinguished professorship was established in 1985 with funds provided by the Foundation and matched by the State of Washington. The purpose of the professorship is to improve the quality of dental health, education and scientific knowledge for the benefit of the public and dental community.

Robertson will hold this post until 2004, at which time his tenure will culminate in a symposium featuring a panel of internationally recognized speakers who will address current issues affecting the dental health care profession.

After three years of planning, this two-day event will focus on cutting-edge clinical science. The symposium is expected to produce publications that will represent a major contribution to dental health care literature. The topics are expected to be directly applicable to clinical practice, preview future changes in dentistry and research, and be relevant to the entire dental team.

“With Dr. Robertson’s international reputation and connections and his enormous contributions to dental education and research at the University of Washington School of Dentistry, he is ideally qualified for this award,” says Dr. James Steiner, acting dean of the School of Dentistry, clinical professor of endodontics and holder of the Washington Dental Service (WDS) Endowed Chair in Dentistry.

“We expect his symposium to be an innovative, highly creative one which will focus on the dental practice of the future. We are very fortunate to have this professorship funded by the WDS Foundation, enabling us to produce a symposium that will have far-reaching, remarkable impact on the future of dentistry.”

Last June, Robertson received the Dean’s Club Honorary Life Member Award, presented annually to an individual who has given “outstanding service” to the University of Washington School of Dentistry.

Robertson was appointed dean of the School of Dentistry in 1992. He chaired the Board of Health Sciences Deans from 1994-2001, the Board of Deans from 1996-1997, the Search Committee for the Dean of Pharmacy in 1995, the Search Committee for the Vice President of Medical Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine in 1997, the Search Committee for the Provost in 1997, and the Search Committee for the Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations in 2000.

Among his other many honors, Robertson is a fellow of the American College of Dentists, the International College of Dentists, and the Pierre Fauchard Academy. He is a member of the American Dental Association, the Washington State Dental Association, the Seattle-King County Dental Society, the American Academy of Periodontology, the International Association for Dental Research, and the American Association for Dental Research, serving as president of AADR in 1998. In 1995, he was the recipient of the WSDA President’s Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to dentistry in the State of Washington.

Past Distinguished Professors in Dentistry include Dr. Samuel F. Dworkin, professor emeritus in the Department of Oral Medicine in the School of Dentistry; Dr. Charles L. Bolender, past chair of the Department of Prosthodontics; Dr. Karl-Ake Omnell, dean emeritus of the School of Dentistry; and Dr. Roy C. Page, professor of periodontics, director of the Regional Clinical Dental Research Center, and associate dean for research in the School of Dentistry.

“Last June, at the time of his retirement as dean, professionals from myriad dental agencies and organizations who benefited from his nine years as dean spoke of his excellent working relationship with students, faculty, and the dental community — and of his success in garnering greater national recognition for the University of Washington School of Dentistry,” Steiner said.

Robertson remains on the faculty, teaching predoctoral and graduate students and conducting research on patterns of oral health care in the United States.