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New leaders named at dental schools

Two dental schools have named new deans and one has appointed its dean to the positions of provost and senior vice president. The announcements follow:


New deans for the 2013-14 academic year: From left, Dr. James Koelbl, founding dean of the University of New England College of Dental Medicine, joined the university in 2011. The dental school announced his appointment Aug. 24 as its new provost and senior vice president. He will continue to serve as dean. Dr. Frank Licari, who assumes his post Nov. 1, is the new dean at Roseman University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine-South Jordan, Utah, campus. Dr. Linda Niessen, whose appointment is effective Oct. 1, is the new dean at Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine.
Dr. James J. Koelbl, University of New England College of Dental Medicine

Portland, Maine—The University of New England College of Dental Medicine announced Aug. 24 on its website that the school has named its dean, Dr. James J. Koelbl, to the positions of provost and senior vice president.

Dr. Koelbl had served in the new roles on an interim basis since June 1. He will continue as dean, a position he founded.

"Since joining UNE in 2011, Dr. Koelbl has demonstrated his commitment to UNE and to academic excellence as he has helped build northern New England's only College of Dental Medicine, which welcomes its inaugural class of students this week," said UNE President Danielle Ripich in an Aug. 24 press release. "He has a distinguished record of academic and professional leadership, and I cannot think of an individual more qualified to assume this role at this historic time in the life of the university."

Dr. Koelbl is founding dean of the Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine in Pomona, Calif. Prior to his post at Western University, Dr. Koelbl was dean of the West Virginia University School of Dentistry; associate executive director of the ADA Division of Education; associate dean for clinical affairs and professor at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry; and held several administrative and faculty positions at the Loyola University School of Dentistry, including director of the general practice residency, chair of operative dentistry, assistant dean for admissions and student affairs, and associate dean for academic affairs.

A Chicago native, Dr. Koelbl earned his dental degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, a Master of Science in Oral Biology from Loyola University Graduate School and a Master of Jurisprudence in health law from the Loyola University School of Law.  He treated patients in urban and rural locations for more than 20 years in private practice.

Dr. Frank Licari, Roseman University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine, South Jordan, Utah campus

South Jordan, Utah—Roseman University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine-South Jordan named Dr. Frank Licari its new dean, effective Nov. 1.

Dr. Licari, who has more than 20 years of dental education experience, currently is associate dean for academic affairs and professor at Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine-Illinois. He has consulted with more than 50 dental schools in the United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on accreditation, curriculum, outcomes assessment, student competency and faculty development.

"Dr. Licari brings an impressive level of experience in dental education to Roseman University," said Mark A. Penn, M.D., chancellor of the Roseman University South Jordan campus. "With his background in accreditation, academic affairs, clinical operations and private dental practice, we believe he will be an ideal fit with the Roseman educational philosophy, helping the D.M.D. program continue to succeed and grow in the future."

Roseman University College of Dental Medicine enrolled its third class of Doctor of Dental Medicine students in the four-year program.

Prior to his post at Midwestern, Dr. Licari served in various capacities at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, including executive associate dean of academic affairs; clinical associate professor; associate dean of patient care and clinical education; and chief risk management officer. He also served as clinical assistant professor and director of clinical education and patient care at Marquette University School of Dentistry.

He is a member of the American Dental Association, Chicago Dental Society, Illinois State Dental Society, American Dental Education Association, and American Association of Public Health Dentistry. He has received awards and recognition including the Pierre Fauchard Certificate of Merit, membership in Delta Omega and Omicron Kappa Upsilon, and fellowships with the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists.

Dr. Licari earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery, Master in Public Health and Master in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He maintained a private practice in Illinois for a decade.

"Roseman University is excited to welcome Dr. Frank Licari into this important role leading the College of Dental Medicine as it continues to grow and serve the community," said Roseman University President Renee Coffman. "We appreciate the hard work of the administration, faculty and staff who participated in the search committee to identify the most highly qualified candidate as the new dean."

Dr. Linda Niessen, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.—Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine appointed Dr. Linda Niessen its new dean, effective Oct. 1.

Dr. Niessen is a clinical professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry at Texas A&M University's Baylor College of Dentistry. She was professor and chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences at Baylor College of Dentistry and initiated an advanced education programs partnership in dental public health and geriatric dentistry between Baylor, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth.

She has provided dental care to medically complex patients at Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in Maryland and Texas. She oversaw global clinical education and professional relations when she served as vice president and chief clinical officer for DENTSPLY International.

Her research interests include geriatric oral research and education, epidemiology of oral diseases in older adults and oral health public policy.  She authored more than 70 publications in peer-reviewed journals and co-authored
Geriatric Dentistry: Aging and Oral Health, a textbook.

She is a diplomat of the American Board of Dental Public Health and the American Board of Special Care Dentistry.

In an announcement letter to faculty and staff, Nova Southeastern University President and Chief Executive Officer George L. Hanbury, Ph.D., said, "Dr. Niessen is a leading light in dental education and the dental profession."

Dr. Hanbury noted Dr. Niessen's service as president of the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry, past president of the American Association of Women Dentists, past president of the American Association of Public Health Dentistry, and on the Board of Regents of the American College of Dentists.

"Dr. Niessen's commitment to the profession and dental education has been recognized in her receipt of the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Public Health Dentistry and the American Dental Education Association Presidential Citation," Dr. Hanbury said.

Dr. Niessen earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of New Mexico. She later earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine, a Master in Public Health and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University.