Leon A. Assael, DMD, CMM, has been named dean of the University’s School of Dentistry by Provost Karen Hanson, according to the university’s website. His appointment as the next dean of the School of Dentistry is pending approval by the university’s Board of Regents, which is expected to act at its June 8 meeting. Assael succeeds Interim Dean Judith Buchanan, PhD, DMD, and he is scheduled to start in his new role on August 1.
“Dr. Assael has a wide and deep range of experience, an outstanding reputation, and a compelling vision for the future of dentistry and the U of M School of Dentistry,” Hanson said. “Dentistry and the Academic Health Center faculty and staff, as well as the wider professional community, responded enthusiastically to his candidacy because he is someone who combines broad vision with administrative skill, and he has a proven track record of leadership in the field.”
The announcement concludes an extensive national search, which yielded four finalists. Assael has an accomplished reputation in research, surgery and teaching, as well as previous experience as a dean. His demonstrated enthusiasm for strengthening partnerships and collaboration within an Academic Health Center, coupled with a strong commitment to diversity, aligns his appointment with university President Eric Kaler’s other recent appointments, and with the School of Dentistry’s mission.