High Point, N.C. — High Point University announced May 5 it is establishing a new dental school, which seeks to enroll its first class in the fall of 2023. At full capacity, the private university’s new school of dental medicine and oral health will bring 180 new students to campus.
The university also announced that Scott De Rossi, D.M.D., will serve as dean. Dr. De Rossi previously served as professor and dean at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry.
“High Point University’s health care programs have seen tremendous success, achieved academic prestige and produced graduates who are filling crucial health care position,” said HPU President Nido Qubein in a news release. “As HPU’s transformational growth plan continues, the university has continued to pursue additional health care programs. Establishing the state’s only private School of Dental Medicine and Oral Health reflects HPU’s commitment and innovative approach to health care education.”
The university will build a new facility on International Avenue to house the dental school, with an investment totaling $150 million. According to the university, the new project, along with several other building projects, is expected to create 300 new jobs in the High Point area.
“High Point University’s innovative culture and the thriving community of health care programs are the talk of higher education,” said Dr. De Rossi in a news release. “Being a founding dean is a unique privilege, and helping to start and grow a school of dental medicine is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The distinction of doing it at a place like HPU under the leadership of President Qubein and his leadership team is a dream come true.”
North Carolina state dental leaders hope the new dental school will play a part in increasing access to care for its residents.
“Our dental community was extremely surprised to learn that High Point University plans to open a new dental school here in North Carolina,” said North Carolina Dental Association President W. Stan Hardesty, D.D.S., a member of the ADA Council on Dental Education and Licensure. “We are hopeful that a new school will work in tandem with our two existing dental schools to provide increased access to care to patients across the state.”
Approval from the Commission on Dental Accreditation and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges for the dental school’s doctor of dental medicine degree program is pending.