As many of you know, Dr. Jack Sanders, Dean of the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine for 11 years, retired in June 2016. The Provost Office announced the appointment of Dr. Patricia Blanton, an accomplished academic and clinician, as interim dean, and immediately initiated a national search for a permanent replacement.
It is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Sarandeep S. Huja, DDS, Ph.D., as the next dean of the College of Dental Medicine, pending board of trustees approval. Dr. Huja will assume his new role effective October 1 and will have an academic appointment as professor in the College.
The selection of Dr. Huja follows an extensive search which resulted in a highly competitive candidate pool. I personally have confidence in Dr. Huja’s leadership skills and qualities and believe that he has the potential to elevate the already exceptional national reputation of the MUSC James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine.
Dr. Huja has an impressive record of academic achievement, demonstrated leadership success, and the collaborative team building skills needed to lead the College of Dental Medicine forward. He joins us from his current role as associate dean for faculty and student development and graduate studies at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. In this role, he focuses on faculty and student development and expanding their research. Prior to his tenure at Kentucky, Dr. Huja held several leadership positions in the College of Dentistry, Orthodontics Program at The Ohio State University.
I would also like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to Dr. Patricia Blanton, who has led the College so competently and graciously during this transition. Dr. Blanton took on many significant challenges during this last year, including preparing the college for an accreditation review later this year. The university owes her a debt of gratitude for her leadership.
As well, I thank Dean Raymond DuBois, chair of the search committee, and all the search committee members, for their deliberative process in vetting the candidates. They were enthusiastically engaged and deeply committed to this process.
Please join me in thanking Dr. Blanton for her impressive contributions during her tenure as interim dean, and welcoming Dr. Huja as our next dean of the College of Dental Medicine.
Lisa K. Saladin, Ph.D., PT
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost