President Kaler, Dean Assael present Oliver with Outstanding Achievement Award

President Kaler, Dean Assael present Oliver with Outstanding Achievement Award

Dean Leon Assael, President Dr. Richard Oliver, President Eric Kaler

(From left: School of Dentistry Dean Leon A. Assael, Dr. Richard C. Oliver, University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler)

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler and School of Dentistry Dean Leon A. Assael presented Dr. Richard C. Oliver, dean-emeritus of the School of Dentistry, with the University of Minnesota Outstanding Achievement Award on September 28 at a reception at Moos Tower.

Oliver received his doctor of dental surgery degree from the University of Minnesota in 1953. The Minneapolis native then earned a master’s degree in periodontology at Loma Linda University, where he later served as professor of periodontics and director of its graduate program in periodontology until 1975.

He was a Fulbright Research Professor at the Royal Dental College in Aarhus, Denmark (1967-68) and was appointed dean of the University of Southern California School of Dentistry in 1975. He returned to the University of Minnesota as dean of the School of Dentistry in 1977, serving in that capacity for nine years before returning to teaching and research. A visionary leader and administrator who helped position the School of Dentistry to better respond to new and emerging trends in the profession, Oliver was the second University of Minnesota alumnus to lead the School of Dentistry. Oliver retired from the University of Minnesota in 1995.

Oliver was also a dynamic participant in organized dentistry and governance at the state, national and international level. His many contributions include service as a consultant to the Division of Dentistry of the U.S. Public Health Service. He chaired the Program Advisory Committee and was a visiting scientist at the National institute of Dental Research (1986-87), is a past-president of the Periodontal Research Section of the International Association for Dental Research, and served as President of the American Association of Dental Schools. He also served on numerous councils, committees and boards of organized dentistry, was a trustee of the American Fund for Dental Health, and chaired the Special Committee on the Future of Dentistry (1980-83) that developed the Strategic Plan for Dentistry adopted by the American Dental Association. He was Pew Foundation consultant on strategic planning for dental education and helped develop the National Institute for Dental Research publication Research Plan for the 90s.

As recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award, the name of Richard C. Oliver will be engraved on the Alumni Wall of Honor located next to the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis campus.

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