Leon Assael to retire as Dean

Dean Leon Assael

Leon Assael, D.M.D., will retire as dean of the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry by the end of the 2016-17 academic year.  

In a message sent to students, staff and faculty, Assael referred to his 45-years in dental education as a 'great experience'.  Said Assael, "The knowledge that I have had a role in educating a new generation of health care professionals is the inestimable gift received by every clinical educator, including the committed and expert faculty of our school today.  It remains my great privilege today to serve as Dean of the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.  We have wonderful faculty, students and staff, and are a part of a great American university, a circumstance that should give us all great pride and satisfaction."  

Dr. Assael has led the School of Dentistry since August 1, 2012.

Executive Vice President and Provost Karen Hanson, and Vice President for the Health Sciences Brooks Jackson, expressed appreciation to Dean Assael for his contributions and service to the School of Dentistry and to the University, the state of Minnesota, and the profession.   "Under Dean Assael's leadership, the School of Dentistry has implemented new policies and programs to diversify the student body and has expanded outreach and community partnerships, including creating several clinical and outreach sites across the region for dental, dental therapy, and dental hygiene students. He has worked collaboratively with other Academic Health Center schools to advance interprofessional education and collaborative practice; he has promoted excellence in basic science and clinical research; and he has engaged the school in developing an ambitious strategic plan. He was a national leader in calling for the creation of standards for accrediting dental therapy education in the U.S. In 2016, the School received from the American Dental Education Association a national Gies Award for vision."

Jackson and Hanson also acknowledged plans for partnering with the school administration, faculty, staff, and students to prepare for the future and, later this year, to launch a national search for the next dean.

Read Dean Assael's email to faculty, staff and students here.