William W. Dodge, D.D.S., dean of UT Health’s School of Dentistry since 2013 who oversaw the completion of the state-of-the-art Center for Oral Health Care & Research School in 2015, announced his retirement in a Jan. 8 letter to dentistry faculty, staff and students.
In the letter, Dr. Dodge reflected on the accomplishments of the past few years, including the new building, revision of the curriculum, new research programs, expanded patient care, modernization of the school’s compensation plan and successful recruiting processes.
“Clearly the pieces are in place to flourish in the ‘new normal’ of self-reliance in the face of diminishing state resources,” Dr. Dodge said. “I have reflected on all of this, including the amazing opportunities the Health Science Center and especially the School of Dentistry have afforded me, and have concluded that it is time to step aside.”
UT Health President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, praised Dr. Dodge’s leadership.
“I commend Dr. Dodge for his outstanding 40 years of service and for his numerous accomplishments in the academic, research and clinical practice missions of the school,” said Dr. Henrich. “I know that I speak for everyone in the School of Dentistry and UT Health when I say we are, each of us, incredibly grateful to Bill and (his wife) Jill for their exemplary four decades of contributions.”
Dr. Dodge served as dean ad interim from June 2012 until April 2013 when he succeeded Dean Kenneth L. Kalkwarf, D.D.S., M.S., who had served as dental dean for 24 years.
Prior to becoming dean, Dr. Dodge was vice dean of the school from 2004 and associate dean for patient care from 1996 through 2003. He joined the Health Science Center in 1978 after five years as a successful general dentist in San Antonio and two years as a captain in the U.S. Army Dental Corps.
Dr. Dodge holds the rank of professor with tenure in the Department of Comprehensive Dentistry. He received his Bachelor of Science in Biology at Trinity University in San Antonio and his Doctorate of Dental Surgery at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
In his retirement announcement, Dr. Dodge said he and Dr. Henrich had “agreed on a transition plan that is flexible and related to the best interests of both the School and to (his wife) Jill and me,” adding that both wanted to maintain the momentum of various initiatives.
“Being a part of what our school has accomplished is something I never dreamed of when I joined the faculty many years ago,” Dr. Dodge concluded. “It has been an incredible journey and I relish the support and friendship of all of you more than you can imagine.”
Dr Henrich said that he will soon announce members of a dean’s search committee to “look for a leader to follow in Dean Dodge’s exemplary footsteps.”