University of Utah trustees on Tuesday approved a School of Dentistry, the first new college at the U. in years, along with a related four-year doctoral program, all funded by $37 million in private pledges. The school will enroll its first cohort of 20 dental students in fall 2013.
The doctoral program, which still requires approval of the state Board of Regents, won’t be the first in Utah. That was established last year by the private, non-profit Roseman University in South Jordan. But the U.’s will be the nation’s first dentistry school established at a research institution in 30 years, according to G. Lynn Powell, the U.’s interim dean for dental education.
Since 1980, the U. has operated a regional dental education program, through the School of Medicine’s pathology department, in which Utah students complete their first year of dental training before transferring to Nebraska’s Creighton University for the final three years.