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UMDNJ slated to join Rutgers in July

Dental school becomes Rutgers School of Dental Medicine


Dr. Feldman
New Brunswick, N.J.—These are exciting times for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Dental School, as the school moves closer to becoming part of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

As of July 1, the dental school will be known as the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine.

"The integration brings nothing but good things for us but right now we're working to merge administrative functions, which is taking a lot of time and effort," said Dr. Cecile Feldman, dean of UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School.

The move is designed to strengthen dental and medical education in New Jersey. Dr. Feldman points out that Rutgers is a member of the Association of American Universities, an organization of 60 public and private research universities whose primary focus is on funding for research, research and educational policy, and graduate and undergraduate education.

A public institution, UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School is the state's only dental school. Following integration, most UMDNJ units—the dental school included—will form the new Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences division. 

In November 2012, Rutgers University's governing boards approved the transfer to Rutgers of most of the schools, centers and institutes that make up UMDNJ. It's all part of the New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act, which passed the state legislature with broad bipartisan support and was signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie in 2012.

"Integration will finally give the people of New Jersey the comprehensive public research university that they deserve," said Ralph Izzo, chairman of the Rutgers University Board of Governors. "The new Rutgers will expand biomedical research across our state, enhance medical care for our citizens, and create new opportunities in the biotechnical and pharmaceutical industries."

The integration offers new and exciting opportunities for the dental school, said Dr. Feldman.

"For example, Rutgers has specialized schools of business, engineering, arts and sciences, law, nursing, criminal justice and labor relations, which bring an endless range of possibilities for joint degree programs," said Dr. Feldman. "The integration will create new opportunities for the dental school for both educational programs and collaborative research endeavors with other parts of the Biomedical and Health Sciences division."

Added Rutgers University President Robert L. Barchi: "Our integration teams have been working together, thoroughly and productively, toward the creation of one outstanding university that will attract the finest faculty and students, as well as significantly greater financial support from the federal government and private donors."

The dental school has informed the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the integration with Rutgers, as is required when any dental education program merges or changes sponsorship. CODA requires the school to submit documentation that demonstrates how the program will continue to meet the accreditation standards related to administration, financial support, curriculum, faculty and facilities.

According to CODA requirements, the sponsorship of an accredited program may be transferred from one educational institution to another without affecting the program's accreditation status, provided the accreditation standards continue to be met. The Commission will consider a request for transfer of sponsorship as long as significant aspects of the program remain unchanged following the transfer. Dr. Feldman does not believe that the dental school's accreditation status—which is currently approval without reporting requirements—will be affected by the integration.