Strategic Plan: 2017 - 2020



2017 – 2020



The University of Louisville’s School of Dentistry (ULSD) is a national leader in dental education, research, and service. We will support and expand our leadership position with a  commitment to serving the Mission of  the University of Louisville (UofL), serving the dental health needs of our Commonwealth and nation, by engaging in sponsored research and by educating and training competent health care professionals. We will enhance instructional practices and educational programs through innovative pedagogy and evidenced-based instructional best practices. We believe our commitment to service, innovation in instructional practices, and research will prepare us to address the current evolving dynamic challenges of dental education. We will proactively prepare our students for the future with the knowledge and skills to be excellent oral health care professionals.  We will work with partners at the University and beyond to accomplish these goals.


We will be national leaders dedicated to the improvement of oral and overall public health of those we serve by providing patient centered care, innovative teaching of health care professionals, and engaging in impactful research.


We will improve the oral and overall health of those whom we serve, transforming lives by educating oral health care professionals to provide patient-centered treatment through innovative pedagogical approaches, community engagement, and research.

 Core Values:

We will respect all who receive and provide oral health care, embrace diversity, and create a zeal for lifelong learning among those whom we teach, provide a commitment to our community, and demonstrate a dedication to science and discovery that values patients, students, faculty, and staff.


Strategic Foci  

Educational Excellence: 

ULSD faculty will teachhealth care professionals the foundational knowledge, skills, and values necessary to commence practice as safe and competent professionals using pedagogical innovations based on dynamic curricula incorporating contemporary best practices.  

 Initiative 1: Develop a contemporary dental health curriculum with emphasis on new and emerging areas.  

  • Implement a curriculum audit with subject mapping and create initiatives for instructional integration.
  • Review current didactic, clinical student progress, assessment processes, and develop an integrated approach.
  • Integrate advanced dental digital technologies into the curriculum.
  • Promote and support faculty’s use of pedagogical innovations.

 Key Metrics:

  • Map of curricula subjects (including advanced dental digital technologies), instructional delivery deficiencies, and redundancies.
  • Compare didactic, pre-clinical, and clinical contact hours before and after implementation of curriculum mapping. Establish baseline data and track this data with curricular change.
  • Compare metrics (clinical efficiency, student satisfaction) before and after implementation of instructional rubric.


Initiative 2:  Foster a school-wide climate of professional development that values teaching and instructional best practices.

  • Initiate a system of focused professional development for faculty.
  • Identify targeted developmental activities/topics that enhance faculty teaching effectiveness.
  • Collaborate with the Office of Continuing Education and the Delphi Center to expand the pool of professional development courses available to faculty to include topics about ethics and professionalism.

 Key Metrics:

  • Participation in professional development activities in curriculum, clinical skills, pedagogy, as documented in faculty work plans and annual reviews.
  • Participation in courses addressing faculty development areas that include: instructional innovation and pedagogy, methods, tests and measurements, ethics, and professionalism.
  • Work with the Office of Continuing Education to establish faculty development baseline data.  Track this with annual faculty work plans.  
  • Student feedback.


Initiative 3:  Embed within the curriculum a strong emphasis on the delivery of patient-centered care.

  • Modify relevant preclinical instruction that emphasizes excellence in patient-centered care.
  • Embed evidence-based clinical care, cultural competence, and effective communications in early clinical experiences to underline the importance of patient-centered care.
  • Develop a unified and seamless didactic, preclinical, and clinical educational experience that features numerous student exposures to clinical experiences emphasizing patient-centered care with the goal of earlier and more diverse clinical experiences.
  • Implement didactic, preclinical, and clinical curriculum that models cultural competence, instruction, effective patient communication, and ethical evidence-based clinical care.

 Key Metrics:

  • Student satisfaction surveys.
  • Patient satisfaction surveys.
  • Faculty and staff surveys.
  • Student daily activity assessments.
  • Documentation of patient-centered care philosophy in clinical manual.


Initiative 4:  Ensure that all ULSD academic programs promote research and scholarship activities.

  • Maintain strong academic programs that emphasize research as an integral component of ULSD by recurring self-study.
  • Formalize and implement the interdisciplinary PhD in Oral Biology.
  • Recruit, admit, and support outstanding students into the ULSD dual degree programs.
  • Establish and embed rigorous competencies for students in the ULSD dual degree programs.   
  • Sustain ULSD’s recruitment and training of outstanding graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

 Key Metrics:

  • Increase student publications and participation in regional, national, and international research conferences and scholarly and professional organizations by 5% annually.
  • Track graduate application numbers, program yield.


Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity: 

Research and scholarship are fundamental creative activities central to the mission of ULSD.  We are committed to fostering a culture that recognizes the importance of research and scholarship and promotes, supports, and rewards faculty and students for their research, scholarship, and community-engaged research and creative activities.  


Initiative 1:  Expand ULSD’s research enterprise by building on our national and international reputation, and develop new areas and specialties with a goal of enhancing ULSD’s national and international prominence.

  • Recruit tenured and/or tenure track research faculty to increase research productivity and strengthen and expand research activities at ULSD.
  • Improve the research infrastructure to build upon the state of the art research facilities at ULSD. 

 Key Metrics:

  • Track the numbers of faculty submitting and receiving grant funding/awards and increase by 2% annually.
  • Increase extramural grant and contract awards submitted annually.
  • Increase faculty and student presentations at national and international conferences by 5% annually.
  • Increase faculty publications by 5% annually.


Initiative 2:  Increase research, scholarship, and creative activities in the clinical departments and foster increased collaboration between the basic and clinical sciences.

  • Create a culture in the clinical departments that promotes, supports, recognizes, and rewards research and scholarship.
  • Recruit, select, and appoint clinical faculty with research expertise to serve as mentors for existing clinical faculty.
  • Recruit, select, and appoint a full-time statistician to support student and faculty research and to teach in the MS and MSD programs.
  • Ensure that clinical faculty have sufficient time to conduct rigorous research and define criteria to assess scholarship.
  • Provide pilot funds and training opportunities for faculty participating in and/or establishing research programs.
  • Create an administrative position to organize and oversee these efforts.

 Key Metrics:

  • Increase peer-reviewed publications from clinical faculty by 5% annually and monitor their impact factor.
  • Log of pilot funds and training opportunities.
  • List of mentors.


Initiative 3:  Expandopportunities for students to participate in research, scholarship, and creative activities.

  • Embed, promote, and support opportunity for student research across the curriculum.
  • Create a student research track option in the curriculum that allows interested students to conduct a rigorous research project.

 Key Metrics:

  • Track class-based research projects, scholarship, and creative projects to engage students.
  • Track and monitor student publications and presentations with a goal of a 5% increase annually.


Community Engagement:

ULSD strives to enhance its community engagement through the application of resources and collaborative efforts that foster research, knowledge, and practice dissemination for community betterment and the development of a culturally competent oral health care workforce. ULSD is part and parcel of the communities in which it operates and serves. This reality strengthens our commitment to leverage ongoing key partnerships and support community engagement activities and initiatives.


Initiative 1:Work in partnership with public and private entities to provide local and global community-based experiences for faculty, staff, and students. These experiences include:  academic exchanges, research collaborations, and community engagement activities and initiatives through the provision of oral health literacy and clinical services as well as continuing dental education courses (CE).

  • Collaborate with Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) and UofL Pediatrics to improve the oral health of children in underserved areas of Jefferson County with a focus on Signature Partnership and JCPS.
  • Develop multiple sites as a network of community-based partner clinics in a variety of communities across Kentucky to serve as externship sites and to enhance the clinical curriculum.
  • Partner with other professional units on the HSC campus to deliver inter-professional care.  (UofL School of Nursing in a co-located primary care clinic for inter-professional education and collaborative care.)
  • Support, mentor, and help DMD and DH students in the establishment and management of ULSD’s Free Clinic.
  • Participate in the UofL International Service Learning Program and Global Health Outreach and continue to develop global outreach in underserved areas of the world.
  • Collaborate with the Office of Continuing Education in presenting professional development courses for dental healthcare community providers.

 Key Metrics:

  • Establish baseline data and track services provided to students in the JCPS system using the UofL Community Engagement website.  
    • Track oral health literacy presentations/projects.
    • Track direct services provided.
  • Evaluative checklist (faculty calibration, patients served, student evaluation) at external sites.
  • UofL Community Engagement Partnership Data Collection System metrics.
  • Track CE course evaluations.


Initiative 2: Prepare patient-centered, culturally-competent oral health professionals who will have a lifelong ethic of service as leaders in the health, cultural, social, and economic aspects of their communities.

  • Recruit, develop, and retain diverse (i.e. gender, race/ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, culture) high-caliber faculty to support the mission of ULSD.
  • Recruit, develop, and retain diverse high-caliber staff to support the mission of ULSD.
  • Work to achieve representative diversity in gender, race/ethnicity, and culture in all programs at ULSD.
  • Develop and embed public health disparity awareness, behavioral sciences competencies, and effective communication, advocacy, and community engagement competencies in ULSD’s curriculum.
  • Develop and/or enhance community engagement courses with time for study, discussion, reflection, and personal growth assessment for each appropriate dental class.

 Key Metrics:

  • Faculty and staff representative of diversity in gender, ethnicity, and culture.
  • Evaluation checklist on hours of instruction within the curriculum in the areas of behavioral science, communication, health disparities, community service, advocacy, and public health with vertical integration across all programs.
  • Impact on students’ lifelong ethic of service assessed via personal reflections and student surveys.


Initiative 3: Promote community engaged research, scholarship, and creative activity among faculty and students.

  • Recruit, select, and appoint faculty with a focus on public health dentistry, community engagement, and participatory research to promote engaged scholarship, faculty development, and grant funding.
  • Mentor faculty and students in the development of community engaged research projects and assessment of outcomes.
  • Maintain membership and participate in organizations that promote community engagement and engaged scholarship.
  • Advocate for oral health, oral health equity, and social justice by promoting ULSD faculty service on local, state, and federal government task groups and participation in professional organizations.  

 Key Metrics:

  • Evaluative checklists to track data that involves scholarship, research, publications, and grant funding.
  • Evaluative checklists to track faculty participation on local, state, and federal government task groups, as well as participation in professional organizations.


Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice:

ULSD values diversity and commits to the recruitment and selection of students, faculty, patients, and staff from across the human spectrum.  ULSD will strive to foster an inclusive educational and work environment that embraces differences and is mindful of equity, social justice issues, and humanism.   


Initiative 1: Develop and promotea patient-centered environment within ULSD clinics to deliver personalized dentistry.

  • Form a Hospitality Committee to guide patient-centered activities.
  • Create and market ULSD as a patient-centered care hospitality brand.
  • Foster a culture of accountability for students, faculty, and staff to prioritize the healthcare needs of the patient.

 Key Metrics:

    • Hospitality Committee implemented January 2017.
    • Track and measure initiatives during 2017 (could be an annual survey of operational effectiveness).
    • Surveys of faculty, staff, students, and patients will be administered periodically to assess need and improvement.


Initiative 2: Actively promote ULSD as having a diverse, inclusive, and humanistic environment.

  • Define and publicize contributions to an inclusive, humanistic professional environment.
  • Promote a culture that values and respects the faculty, student learners, staff, and patients and embraces diversity in all its forms.
  • Promote alumni development by appointing a faculty member to oversee and establish an alumni association.

 Key Metrics:

  • Evaluative checklists as described above for metric 2.


Initiative 3: Develop and support activities that enhance social justice and improve public health.

  • Encourage the creation of a student chapter of the American Association of Dental Public Health (AADPH).  
  • Recruit donors and submit grants to maintain a robust Compassionate Care Fund to facilitate patient care to underserved individuals at ULSD.  

 Key Metrics:

  • Track and monitor learning/dental service opportunities and increase by 5% annually.
  • Increase funding for service opportunities by 5% annually.
  • Increase funding for Compassionate Care Fund by 10% annually.


Creative and Responsible Stewardship:

ULSD identified five critical elements that are indispensable to achieving its goals:  patients; faculty; staff; students; and revenue.  ULSD will commit to marshalling effective leadership in conjunction with sound administrative and management practices to achieve its Vision and Mission. The priorities established below address these critical elements and serve as the foundation for ULSD’s strategic choices, operational decisions, and cultural priorities.


Initiative 1: Strengthen the fiscal basis.

  • Increase clinic revenue by refining our existing clinic practice systems in all clinic areas.
  • Accountability and incentives to reduce costs/raise production.
  • Increase ULSD’s philanthropic support for FY 2017 to $2 million with 20% increases thereafter.
  • Lead, manage, and prepare ULSD for the adoption of change using transparency, information-sharing, and informatics. 
  • The creation and management of the ULSD brand focusing on clinically excellent, culturally-competent, and patient-centered care.
  • Develop a robust marketing plan and develop measures to track success of marketing efforts.
  • Pursue medical/dental multidisciplinary care clinic with School of Nursing (diabetic, cancer patients?).  
  • Hire an Assistant Dean for Finance to oversee and coordinate Memorandums of Understanding, contracts, and funding.

 Key Metrics:

  • Increase patient numbers by creating operating efficiencies, through patient-centered care measures that seek to double clinic-based revenue.
  • Increase ULSD’s applications for research and practice-based grants and contracts.
  • Track student/resident revenue and within groups; daily/weekly/monthly revenue reports.
  • Achieve philanthropy goal of $2 million for FY 2017 and 20% increase thereafter.


Initiative 2:  Align faculty and staff size and composition to reflect the School’s long-term needs.  Align operating structure and budgetary resources to meet ULSD’s long-term needs.  

  • Use data-driven and needs-based criteria to evaluate and fill vacant and new positions in ULSD.
  • Support all ULSD departments and the strategic hiring of faculty to enhance effective teaching, the use of evidence-based practice in the class room and on the clinic floor, and reward and recognize faculty accomplishment of impactful research and creative activities.

 Key Metrics:

  • Faculty to student ratio of 1:6 in the clinic and 1:10 in pre-clinical lab.
  • Business plan in place for all additional administrative and faculty appointments.
  • Surveys from students and faculty on clinic coverage, educational opportunities, and research opportunities.


Initiative 3: Establish a ULSD “Esprit de Corps” (a feeling of pride, fellowship, and common purpose loyalty).

  • Create faculty and staff development programs.
  • Increase transparency communication across ULSD.
  • Reward faculty, staff, students, and programs that promote responsibility, accountability, and innovation within ULSD.
  • Support and foster one united ULSD culture that values human beings (faculty, staff, students, and patients) through being transparent and by embracing human diversity. 

 Key Metrics:

  • Climate surveys twice a year to students, faculty, and staff.
  • Exit interviews with students and employees.
  • Number of development programs and surveys collected.


Initiative 4:  Establish a culture that manages resources responsibly.

  • Establish a Sustainability Committee.
  • Establish reward programs among faculty, staff, and students that reduce environmental and other waste and engage with UofL’s sustainability programs.

 Key Metrics:

  • Establish baseline data of recycled material and increase by 5% annually.
  • Track reduced costs due to increased efficiency and award 50% of savings as incentives.