Strategic Plan 2020-2023



2020 – 2023 


The University of Louisville’s School of Dentistry (ULSD) is a national leader in dental education, research, and service. We support and expand our leadership position committed to serving the Mission of the University of Louisville (UofL) and oral health needs of our Commonwealth and nation by educating and training competent health care professionals and engaging in sponsored research. We provide contemporary educational programs incorporating evidenced-based instructional best practices through innovative pedagogy. Our pursuit of excellence in clinical service, innovation in instructional practices, and targeted research serves to develop knowledgeable, informed and skilled oral health care professionals who serve their local and global communities. We will work with partners at the University and beyond to accomplish these goals.


To be the benchmark for dental education, patient centered care, and groundbreaking 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

To foster a community of oral health care providers through

  • Humanism
  • Diversity
  • Life-long learning
  • Compassion
  • Ethics
  • Excellence
  • Innovation
  • Discovery
  • Service
  • Critical thinking
  • Leadership 

A Great Place to Learn

The University of Louisville is a great place to LEARN because it prepares students for success now, next, and beyond.  We accomplish this by supporting the whole student through transformative, purpose-driven, and engaged learning.

Strategy 1:  Develop a contemporary dental health curriculum that promotes lifelong learning and student success.

  • Action 1: Attract and enroll a capable, diverse, and engaged student body responsive to the demographic and workforce needs of the future.
  • Action 2: Inspire a humanistic learning environment that promotes respect, tolerance and understanding, which is fostered by mentoring and advising.
  • Action 3: Continue integration of new and emerging technologies supportive of the curriculum.
  • Action 4: Promote and support faculty’s use of pedagogical innovations.

Strategy 2: Embed a strong emphasis on the delivery of patient-centered care within the curriculum.

  • Action 1: Embed evidence-based clinical care, cultural competence, and effective communications in early clinical experiences to underline the importance of patient-centered care.
  • Action 2: Further integrate didactic, preclinical, and clinical educational experiences to provide students with earlier exposure to more diverse, patient-centered care.
  • Action 3: Expand the treatment services and learning experiences of patients with special needs.
  • Action 4: Expand the treatment services in providing oral health care within the scope of general dentistry in all stages of life.

Strategy 3: Foster a school-wide climate of professional development that values teaching and instructional best practices.

  • Action 1: Continue to expand opportunities for faculty to participate in intramural professional development (e.g. Leadership seminar series, LIAM program with School of Medicine, invited Delphi programs, and faculty development committee sponsored seminars).
  • Action 2: Continuing education will focus on targeted learning, professional development and emerging areas in dentistry.

Strategy 4: Ensure that all academic programs promote critical thinking skills, evidence based-dentistry, and research and scholarship activities where appropriate.

  • Action 1: Track and document critical thinking and evidence based dentistry.  
  • Action 2: Develop a grand rounds program that links evidence based dentistry, critical thinking skills and integrates clinical, biological and pathological sciences.

Strategy 5: Strive to enhance 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.

  • Action 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).

A Great Place to Work

The University of Louisville is a great place to WORK because it is a workplace dedicated to personal growth and professional development.  We accomplish this by fostering a culture where faculty, staff, and administration live out our institutional values.

Strategy 1:  Become an employer of choice that intentionally attracts and retains the most talented, diverse faculty and staff through meaningful and structured commitment to employee success.

  • Action 1: Develop hiring practices to attract competitive candidates and support diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Action 2: Improve the onboarding experience for new hires and current employees who move to new positions.
  • Action 3: Promote systematic and uniform opportunities for career advancement of employees.
  • Action 4: Ensure employees are provided a satisfactory and safe workplace and maintain a healthy work-life balance by improving policies and training leaders to maximize employee potential.

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

  • Action 1: Cultivate and reward effective leaders and hold them accountable for improving climate and culture outcomes at all levels of the university.
  • Action 2: Establish global policies and implement training programs on bullying, implicit bias, sexual harassment, etc. to hold all employees accountable for improving climate and culture outcomes.
  • Action 3: Review climate survey data and create and implement action plans to address identified concerns in a timely manner.
  • Action 4: Assess personnel actions for inequities by identity group and revise policies and procedures to correct identified issues.

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

  • Action 1: Conduct comprehensive review of compensation equity in each unit and develop plans to redress identified equity issues.
  • Action 2: Align faculty and staff size and composition to reflect the School’s long-term needs.
  • Action 3: Support and foster one united ULSD culture that values human beings (faculty, staff, students, and patients) by displaying transparency and embracing human diversity.  

A Great Place to Invest

The University of Louisville is a great place to INVEST because of its demonstrated impact on the economic, social, and cultural health and well-being of Louisville, the commonwealth, and beyond.  We accomplish this through innovative teaching, community engagement, research, scholarship and creative activity, principled leadership, responsible stewardship and engaged partnerships.

Strategy 1:  Increase productivity and innovation in research, scholarship and creative activities to bolster our prominence among Carnegie-classified Research 1 universities.

  • Action 1: Build resourced research networks that transcend individual disciplines to find solutions to the Grand Challenges.
  • Action 2: Recruit tenured and/or tenure track research faculty to increase research productivity and strengthen and expand research activities at ULSD.
  • Action 3: Provide pilot funds and training opportunities for faculty participating in and/or establishing research programs.
  • Action 4: Promote historically underrepresented communities in the university's scholarly contributions and research activities.
  • Action 5: Continually refresh and expand research infrastructure to ensure research programs remain competitive and current.
  • Action 6: Promote and foster basic-clinical-translational research. 

Strategy 2: Improve the ease and impact of partnering with the university by building and stewarding mutually beneficial relationships that support student success, faculty productivity and staff development.

  • Action 1: Develop a comprehensive alumni engagement platform to integrate alumni and friends in university's shared interests, areas of expertise, and Grand Challenges.
  • Action 2: Develop value-added partnerships with business and industry partners.

Strategy 3: Strengthen the fiscal basis by marshalling effective leadership in conjunction with sound administrative and management practices to achieve its Vision and Mission.

  • Action 1: Increase clinic experiences and activities by expanding our patient population both internally and in collaboration with other health partners.
  • Action 2: Increase the number and diversity of alumni interactions.
  • Action 3: Increase ULSD’s philanthropic support.
  • Action 4: Develop a robust marketing plan and develop measures to track success of marketing efforts.