Illinois-Chicago gains grant for minority faculty

Feb. 5, 2004
The W.K. Kellogg/American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Minority Dental Faculty Development Program recently awarded the college a grant of $250,000.

The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry just got a leg-up in increasing its African American, Hispanic, and Native American faculty.

That's because the W.K. Kellogg/American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Minority Dental Faculty Development Program recently awarded the college a grant of $250,000.

Nationwide, dental schools face a shortage of faculty in general and underrepresented minority faculty in particular. The grant is important for increasing minority faculty ranks that will in turn assist the college with training dental students to better serve minority and underrepresented communities.

"The grant will help us to develop future faculty from the ranks of current minority faculty and students," said Dr. Darryl Pendleton, Acting Associate Dean for Student and Diversity Affairs. "Those ranks include students who are in our postgraduate and specialty programs, junior or part-time faculty, and practicing dentists who have the interest, desire, patience and skills to be educators here at the College. The grant provides resources to get those individuals from where they are now into faculty positions."

The College will employ the grant to create research, mentoring and specialty training programs for students or faculty through one of the College's nine academic departments. On the other hand, the grant will provide resources for each department to develop promising minority students or junior faculty.

"Each participant in the program will have a plan designed to meet their specific needs which may include continuing education courses or specialty training" Dr. Pendleton said. "It could mean more exposure to academia for practicing dentists, more involvement in ADEA, or facilitating the development of research skills and knowledge.

"So there's a flexibility that's highly responsive to the needs of both potential faculty members and the College. It's a great opportunity for dentists from populations historically underrepresented in the field of dentistry, and a great opportunity for the College to develop faculty for the future needs of both dental education and the constituent communities we serve," he said.

The program will be administered by the College's Office of Student and Diversity Affairs and coordinated with the office's other programs, such as the W.K. Kellogg Dental Careers Initiative, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Dental Pipeline Program, which provide support for underrepresented minority dental students.
All minority students and faculty will be informed about the new Kellogg/ADEA program as well as opportunities at the college in dental education and research.

The College will form an advisory committee to guide the program, which will include designing the individualized career development plans for all participants. Grant funding will be available for six years, during which the College hopes to have added up to eight-minority faculty to its ranks.

Dr. Pendleton and Dr. Aljernon Bolden, Director of Extramural Programs, are co- principal investigators for the new program, which will begin operation in February.

"This is a nationwide initiative on the part of Kellogg and the ADEA, and we're very fortunate to have been selected," Dr. Pendleton said. "I believe the UIC College of Dentistry was chosen because of our potential and our commitment to increasing minority recruitment and retention. Dean Bruce Graham's has a vision to place our College in the top five dental programs in the country and developing minority faculty is an important component of that.

The Hispanic Dental Association and the Lincoln Dental Society of the National Dental Association, an organization for African American dentists, provided support for development of the project and will continue their involvement in the College's minority faculty development program.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation promotes changes in health systems focused on primary care, prevention and public health by developing leadership in healthcare. The mission of the ADEA is to lead the dental education community to address contemporary issues affecting the delivery of oral healthcare for the improvement of public health.

For more information, contact Dr. Pendleton at (312) 996-2010 or [email protected], or Dr. Aljernon Bolden at (312) 996-0406 or [email protected].