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New England dean named

Jan. 6, 2011
James J. Koelbl, DDS, MS, MJ, of Claremont, Calif., named to po
PORTLAND, Maine--University of New England President Danielle N. Ripich, PhD, has announced appointment of the new dean of the College of Dental Medicine.James J. Koelbl, DDS, MS, MJ, of Claremont, Calif., has been named to the post. Dr. Koelbl is the founding dean of the College of Dental Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, Calif., and will join UNE in April 2011.To read more about Dr. Koelbl, go to Dr. James Koelbl.The college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation prior to opening, and a dean must be in place for the accreditation process. UNE’s publicly stated intent is to open the college in the fall of 2012 and an aggressive fundraising campaign is underway. To date, $6.8 million has been raised with a lead gift of $2.3 million from Northeast Delta Dental and generous donations from Unum Life Insurance Company of America, New Hampshire’s Endowment for Health, Dr. Robert Card, and other major contributors. In November 2008, the UNE board of trustees approved the academic program for the Doctor of Dental Medicine degree.In the recent election, a $5 million bond to increase access to dental care in Maine was approved. This will help to address the lack of a dental school in the region and the critical shortage of dentists in Maine and northern New England. The $5 million bond allocates $3.5 million to establish a dental school’s community-based teaching clinic that UNE will apply for through a competitive bid process and as part of its effort to raise money for the UNE College of Dental Medicine.Prior to his current position at Western University, Dr. Koelbl served as the dean of the School of Dentistry at West Virginia University from 1999 to 2007. He held several senior positions at the American Dental Association from 1994 to 1999, including the position of associate executive director.

He served as associate dean for clinical affairs and professor at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry from 1992 to 1994, and held several administrative and faculty positions at the Loyola University School of Dentistry from 1977 to 1992. These included director, General Practice Residency; chair, Operative Dentistry; assistant dean for admissions and student affairs; and associate dean for academic affairs.

Dr. Koelbl was an instructor at the University of Illinois College of Dentistry from 1975 to 1977, has received awards and honors, and has written publications and articles during his career.

Dr. Koelbl received his DDS from the University of Illinois College of Dentistry, his MJ in Health Law from the Loyola University School of Law, and an MS in oral biology from Loyola University. He received his undergraduate degree from John Carroll University.

“I am very pleased that Dr. Koelbl is joining us at the University of New England,” said Dr. Ripich. “UNE will benefit greatly from his extensive experience in dental medicine and as the dean of two dental schools. I am confident Dr. Koelbl will enable UNE to expedite the accreditation of the College of Dental Medicine, and will also greatly assist in our fundraising efforts for the college.”

Added Dr. Koelbl: “I am honored to be selected as the founding dean for the UNE College of Dental Medicine, and appreciate all of the hard work that has been accomplished to date. We have the opportunity to create a modern, innovative and technologically advanced dental education program at UNE where a rich environment for collaboration exists, both internally and externally. I appreciate the support that has already been provided by the dental community, and look forward to meeting and getting to know the dentists throughout the New England area.”

Dr. Koelbl noted that while many details are yet to be developed, the UNE dental program will focus on a strong foundation in science and research, realistic simulation, early and extensive clinical experiences, interprofessional education, and significant community-based education.

“We recognize our strong obligation for the xollege and its graduates to help improve the health of individuals, families, and communities in New England and beyond,” Dr. Koelbl added.

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