CHAPEL HILL— Dr. John N. Williams, current dean of the University of Louisville School of Dentistry and an expert on information technology implementation in dental education and practice, has been named dean of the School of Dentistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The appointment, approved by the Board of Trustees today (Jan. 27), takes effect May 31.
“Having worked in both private and public dental practice and academic administration, Dr. Williams brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Carolina,” Chancellor James Moeser said. “I am confident that he will continue the school’s tradition of academic and clinical excellence.”
The only dental school in the state, Carolina’s dental school has 123 permanent full-time faculty members, 560 adjunct professors and 30 part-time faculty members. The school is home to more than 500 students in doctor of dental surgery, dental hygiene, dental assisting and 14 advanced dental education programs.
“It is a distinct honor to be named dean of a school with such strong traditions,” Williams said. “The dental school is well positioned to explore innovation of its programs to provide national and international leadership in the oral health sciences.”
Williams has served as the dean of the Louisville School of Dentistry since 1999. Under his leadership, the school has seen an increase in total research funding from $1.4 million to more than $7.2 million and conducted a contemporary academic program, which for the past five years has ranked Louisville students in the top 10 of all U.S. dental schools on the clinical sciences portion of the National Dental Board Examinations.
An advocate for the integration of technology and instruction, Williams has promoted the innovative use of instructional computer technology. While at Louisville, he led development of a high-tech pre-clinical simulation teaching facility. Williams collaborated with the medical school on a medical simulation lab and standardized patient program.
Before serving as dean, Williams was the associate dean for educational programs at the school. He oversaw the pre- and post-doctoral education curriculum, accreditation, faculty recruitment and development and information technology issues for the school.
From 1988 to 1991, Williams served concurrently in the Office of the Provost at Louisville as assistant university provost. Responsible for more than 160 academic programs, Williams administered academic review and outcomes assessment and academic computing and information technology.
He began his career in private general dental practice but served part-time public health positions at the Louisville Memorial Primary Care Center and the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women. He joined the school in 1986 as an assistant professor in the department of community dentistry.
Williams has participated in many professional organizations, including two international groups. Currently, he chairs site review teams for the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation. He is a past vice president for the American Association of Dental Schools and former chair of its Information Technology Advisory Committee. He serves as a member of the Procter and Gamble Dental Resource Net Advisory Committee and is vice chair of the board of directors for the Delta Dental Plans of Kentucky.
Born in Oak Ridge, Tenn., Williams earned a bachelor of arts in biology from Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky. He earned his doctor of dental medicine from the Louisville School of Dentistry. Williams also has a master of business administration from Louisville’s School of Business.
Dr. Williams succeeds Dean John Stamm, who retired Dec. 31. Dr. Ken May, professor and associate dean for administration and planning, has served as interim dean since Jan 1.
During his 15-year tenure, Stamm successfully led the school through two accreditation processes and two multi-million dollar capital campaigns while ushering the school’s clinics, labs, classrooms and offices into the information age. The School’s endowment increased 865 percent through private contributions. Stamm oversaw renovations to the Old Dental building and the planning and construction of Tarrson Hall, the school’s state-of-the-art clinic facility.
The School of Dentistry at Carolina promotes the health of the people of North Carolina through excellence in teaching, patient care, research, and service. As the state’s only dental school, the School has been the cornerstone for dental education, research, and service. The Urgent Care Services clinic provides emergency dental service to patients in critical need, and the Hospital Dental Program treats more than 3,000 Medicaid patients annually.