Veteran medical educator and highly respected UNC-Chapel Hill senior administrator Julie Byerley, MD, MPH, has been tapped to be the interim dean of the Adams School of Dentistry. Byerley, currently vice dean for academic affairs and chief education officer at the UNC School of Medicine, will take the helm Jan. 18. She will succeed Dean Scott De Rossi, DMD, MBA, who announced in November he would be stepping down from his role on Jan. 15.
Byerley, who joined the department of pediatrics faculty in 2002, has built a long and successful history at Carolina and will join the Adams School as a seasoned leader. She currently oversees the UNC School of Medicine’s educational enterprise and the Office of Faculty Affairs and Leadership Development. The educational programs include learners in medicine, residency training, Allied Health programs, doctoral programs in the biomedical sciences and post-doctoral programs. Under Byerley’s leadership, the UNC School of Medicine has made significant enhancements to medical education, including the introduction of the Translational Education at Carolina curriculum, the creation of the Office of Rural Initiatives and the establishment of the Wilmington branch campus.
“I am very pleased that Dr. Byerley has agreed to take on this important interim role and lead the Adams School of Dentistry,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bob Blouin, PharmD. “I know she is held in high regard at the UNC School of Medicine and will bring strong and steady leadership to the students, staff and faculty at the Adams School.”
Byerley will lead the state’s first and largest school of dentistry. The Adams School of Dentistry, which turned 70 in 2020, has a faculty of approximately 110 and annually graduates more than 150 students into the field of oral health care. The school consistently ranks among the nation’s top 10 dental schools in NIH funding. Its programs in orofacial pain, oral-systemic relationships, health policy and education, fundamental mechanisms of disease, clinical therapeutics and other areas of oral and craniofacial health science make it a vital center of basic, translational and clinical research.
“I approach the role with a commitment to the high standards we expect of ourselves at Carolina,” Byerley said. “I am eager to serve, especially given the support we have across the University. I recognize that I have lots to learn, especially as I am not a dentist, but I am confident in the Adams School’s community of learners, staff and faculty and the quality of work we are prepared to do together. I am counting on everyone to help build the culture essential for the school’s continued success.”
Byerley earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and a teaching certificate at Rhodes College and attended medical school at Duke University. She completed her pediatrics residency and chief residency at UNC-Chapel Hill and earned a master’s degree in public health at Carolina in maternal and child health.
Prior to her current appointment, Byerley was executive vice dean for education and chief education officer at the UNC School of Medicine for two years, which followed a five-year run as vice dean for education.
“I have had the privilege of working with Dr. Byerley for nine years and can attest to her strengths as both a leader and teacher,” said Wesley Burks, MD, dean of the UNC School of Medicine, vice chancellor for medical affairs and CEO of UNC Health. “The Adams School will have superb leadership while they search for a new, permanent dean.”
Blouin will announce in the near future the formation of a search committee to conduct a national search for the permanent dean.