A Profile of Dental School Deans, 2014

J Dent Educ. 2015 Oct;79(10):1243-50.


To develop a profile of current U.S. dental school deans and report their perceptions, challenges, and opportunities that should be addressed in the leadership development programs of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), data were gathered using a web-based survey organized into seven content areas. In 2014, the deans of all accredited dental schools in the U.S. including Puerto Rico were invited to participate in the survey. The response rate was 86% (56/65). A majority of the deans were male (N=44; 79%) and white/non-Hispanic (N=49; 88%); all reporting degrees held a DDS/DMD (N=54; 100%). Just over half were between the ages of 46 and 55 (N=31; 55%) when they first became a dean. The mean age of these deans was 61.4 years, with a range of 48-72. The respondents reported that school administration/management, fundraising, students, the academic environment, leadership development, and faculty had a high level of influence on their job satisfaction. Communication, conflict resolution, and finance were reported as the most important knowledge areas. A majority reported being better prepared for clinical education and student relations than fundraising and research when they took their positions. They responded that finances and faculty recruitment and retention were their greatest challenges as a dean. Among these respondents, 98% (N=55) reported being satisfied to very satisfied with their job overall. The survey results will inform ADEA’s leadership development programs for the next five to seven years.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Administrative Personnel*
  • Aged
  • Communication
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dental Research
  • Education, Dental
  • Educational Status
  • Faculty, Dental
  • Female
  • Financial Management
  • Fund Raising
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Leadership
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Negotiating
  • Personnel Selection
  • Puerto Rico
  • Schools, Dental / organization & administration*
  • Staff Development
  • Students, Dental
  • United States
  • Workplace