UW News

May 10, 2000

Dean of Dentistry Dr. Paul B. Robertson to Step Down; Will Remain on Faculty

Dr. Paul B. Robertson, one of the nation’s leading dental educators and dean of the University of Washington School of Dentistry since 1992, has announced that he will step down as dean as soon as a successor is recruited, but no later than June 30, 2001. He will remain on the faculty in the Department of Periodontics.

“I am grateful to the superb faculty of our school and to our dedicated staff and exceptional students for the privilege of serving as dean,” Robertson said. “I am most proud of what we have accomplished together, and I look forward to rejoining the faculty.”

“Paul Robertson is a superb scholar and teacher whose service to the University of Washington extends far beyond our School of Dentistry,” said UW President Richard L. McCormick. “The UW is greatly indebted to him for all that he and the School have achieved and what the School means to our region. He has provided exemplary leadership in his time as dean.”

McCormick said he would appoint a search advisory committee soon to begin the task of identifying leading national candidates to fill the vacancy.

Developments during Robertson’s years as dean include the following:

— The school has maintained a high ranking on both national and
regional boards. In four of six years, all graduating fourth-year students
have passed the Western Regional Examining Board. For the other two years,
the rate was nearly 100 percent.
— The school established its first endowed chairs. The Washington
Dental Service Endowed Chair in Dentistry was established in 1998. Within
this year, both the Saul Schluger Endowed Chair in Periodontics and
Moore/Reidel Endowed Chair in Orthodontics should be fully funded.
— The school was one of only six schools in the nation funded by the
National Institutes of Health to establish the new Comprehensive Center for
Oral Health Research. It is the only center dedicated to improving the oral
health of children.
— The school received full and unconditional accreditation by the
American Dental Association.
— Annual research days have showcased cutting-edge research, such as
the growing evidence for a connection between periodontal health and
systemic health.
— For the last eight years, UW has ranked No. 1 in the nation for total
number of grants awarded and dollars received from the National Institute of
Dental and Craniofacial Research, one of the National Institutes of Health.
Robertson was president of the American Association of Dental Research from
1998-99, and has worked hard to improve the overall research reputation of
the school.
— Construction of the novel Simulation Clinic: a state-of-the-art
multimedia learning lab where students draw upon the latest in technology –
from robotic patient simulators to laptop computers – at 56 workstations to
learn dental techniques and other lessons.
— The first fundraising campaign in the history of the school, the 50th
Anniversary Campaign, took place. The campaign began with a goal of raising
$3 million to match a $3 million in state funds for construction of the
simulation clinic. To date, the school has raised $10 million to add to the
state match.

At the university, Robertson has chaired the Board of Health Science Deans since July 1995, and has served on numerous search commmittees for executive positions in other schools.

Before he became dean, Robertson, was dean of the dentistry faculty and professor in the Department of Clinical Dental Sciences at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

Robertson received his D.D.S. degree from the University of Texas, Houston. He received certification in periodontics at the University of Alabama, where he also earned a master’s degree in experimental pathology. He served for three years as a dental officer in the United States Air Force.

In addition to a private practice in periodontics, Robertson has previously held positions as chair of periodontology at the University of Connecticut and chair of stomatology at the University of California, San Francisco.

Robertson will teach dental and graduate students and will continue his research interests in the oral consequences of primary and acquired immunodeficiency diseases. Robertson has made more than 500 professional presentations and published more than 180 papers.

He is a fellow of the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists, and was a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s Dental Products Panel until last year. He is a consultant and reviewer for the National Institute of Dental Research.

Among the largest dental schools on the West Coast, the UW School of Dentistry has about 400 faculty members. The school has earned a strong reputation for its innovative programs and pioneering research in oral health. Approximately 50,000 patient appointments a year are scheduled in its clinic facilities.