Gary Anderson named School of Dentistry interim dean

Gary C. Anderson, DDS, MS, a tenured faculty member in the Department of Developmental and Surgical Sciences, Division of Pediatric Dentistry, has been named interim dean of the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, effective November 21, 2016. His appointment follows the departure of Leon Assael, DMD, who retired from his position as dean in August. Anderson currently directs the School of Dentistry’s Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Anomalies Clinic.

In announcing the appointment, Executive Vice President and Provost Karen Hanson noted Anderson’s experience as an academic leader in a variety of senior leadership positions. “I am confident that Gary will provide steady and collaborative leadership while budgetary and strategic planning moves forward to position the school for a national dean search,” said Hanson. “Vice President Jackson and I look forward to working with him, the school leadership, faculty, staff and Academic Health Center leadership to ensure the continued success and vitality of the school.” (Read Provost Hanson's announcement here.)

Anderson joined the School of Dentistry faculty in 1984 and has directed the undergraduate curriculum in occlusion and served on the faculty in the Division of Prosthodontics and the Division of TMD & Orofacial Pain. He also served as a department chair on two separate occasions and was the senior associate dean from 2001-2007. His research interests include investigations related to temporomandibular disorders, orofacial pain and occlusion; cleft and craniofacial anomalies; and evidence-based dentistry.

“I look forward to working with our faculty and staff in addressing the challenges ahead. It is a distinguished group I have had the privilege to be a part of over these many years and I am very honored to serve the school in this new role,” said Anderson.

Dr. Anderson is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, receiving his doctor of dental surgery degree in 1980, followed by a master of science in dentistry and completion of a residency in prosthodontics in 1983.

For the duration of his interim dean appointment, Anderson has appointed Soraya Beiraghi, DDS, MS, MSD, professor and director of the Division of Pediatric Dentistry, and Anna Thurmes, MA, speech and language pathologist and clinic coordinator, to oversee direction of the Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Anomalies Clinic.

Gary C. Anderson
Gary Anderson