Global Health Nexus, Spring 2000

The NYU Dentistry Strategic Plan

Frederick G. More, D.D.S., M.S.
Professor of Growth and Developmental Sciences (Pediatric Dentistry); Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Chairman, Strategic Planning Coordinating Committee

NYU Dentistry recently adopted a strategic plan to guide the College over the next five years. The plan that emerged is the culmination of nearly 10 months of active effort by the Strategic Planning Coordinating Committee, based upon the results of a comprehensive survey of the faculty, staff, and students and with input by alumni and overall assistance by an external consultant. In all, more than 400 people participated in shaping the final plan.The planning process included a major survey of the community, focus groups, a series of group meetings to discuss models for change, and a community conference that attracted over 300 students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

At its best, a strategic plan provides an organization with insight about its strengths and weaknesses as well as an understanding of the opportunities and threats that exist. Through the survey and focus groups, numerous issues were identified that were considered important to address. These issues were ultimately distilled into eight, highest-priority issues to be tackled as the College moves into the first five years of the new century.

Strategic Plan Coordinating Committee

  • Patrick Bivona, associate professor, Division of Comprehensive Care, Applied Practice Administration, and Behavioral Sciences;
  • John Calamia, associate professor, Division of Restorative and Prosthodontic Sciences;
  • Robert Davidson, associate professor, Divisions of Basic Sciences (oral medicine/pathology) and Surgical Sciences (periodontics);
  • Jill Fernandez-Wilson, clinical associate professor, Division of Growth and Developmental Sciences (pediatric dentistry);
  • Gary Goldstein, professor, Division of Restorative and Prosthodontic Sciences (prosthodontics)
  • Novella Jones, director of admissions;
  • Jane McCutcheon, assistant professor, Division of Basic Sciences (oral medicine and pathology);
  • Nancy Sandman, Class of 2001;
  • Cheryl Westphal, clinical associate professor (dental hygiene) and assistant dean for allied health programs; and
  • Robert Garofalo, Class of 1966.

Mission, Vision, Values

Recognizing that a successful strategic plan must be built upon a foundation of self-knowledge, after analyzing hundreds of surveys, listening to hours of focus group discussions, and gathering evidence from external resources, the Strategic Planning Coordinating Committee developed a mission statement, a statement expressing NYU Dentistry's vision for the future, and a statement of core values.


The College of Dentistry will partner with students in achieving academic excellence, providing the best oral health care, and engaging in research, scholarship, and creative endeavors to improve the health of the highly diverse populations in New York City and around the world.

In view of those commitments, the College of Dentistry affirms its determination

  • To provide outstanding educational programs to prepare oral health professionals, biomedical scientists, clinical researchers, and educators; and to offer lifelong learning opportunities for the profession.
  • To offer high-quality, state-of-the-art oral health care, which includes health promotion, disease prevention, and intervention and encourages innovation in oral health care delivery to meet changing global health care needs.
  • To conduct research that generates and applies biomedical, behavioral, and clinical knowledge and technology to health and disease and promotes the transfer of technology to the dental care delivery system.
  • To impact health globally using resources that will influence the health care beliefs of the public and, thereby, the knowledge, skills, values, and beliefs of health care professionals.


In addition to formulating a mission statement, the strategic plan expresses NYU Dentistry's vision of what it aspires to become: The NYU College of Dentistry will be the dental institution in the world with the greatest impact on health by

  • Establishing new paradigms for practice.
  • Leveraging the power of enlightened consumers to improve the practice of dentistry.
  • Providing a destination for patients seeking the best care.
  • Developing a nexus between New York City and the international dental community.
  • Creating an exciting community of scholars involved in lifelong learning, who enjoy each other's ideas, cultures, and company and constantly challenge the "status quo."


Another major accomplishment was the definition of institutional values. By defining its values, the College pledges to embody those attributes, characteristics, and perspectives it considers to be of central importance. The strategic plan identifies the following as NYU Dentistry's core values:

  • We value rigorous research and innovation to promote new discoveries and new knowledge that will enhance education, scholarship, science, and health.
  • We value continuous professional growth through the promotion of professional development and mentoring for administrators, faculty, staff, and students.
  • We value humanitarian concern through the promotion of dentistry and health to eliminate human suffering.
  • We value the highest ethical standards in our interactions with students, alumni, and all other interested parties.
  • We value collaboration through the creation of mutually beneficial relationships among individuals, departments, other institutions, community groups, city and state governments, and corporations.
  • We value diversity by recognizing and promoting the significant contributions of all people.
  • We value a learning environment that encompasses the assessment of the needs of students, designs quality programs that foster competence, and encourages exploration and discovery.
  • We value global awareness by extending activities and perspectives beyond the community and the country to benefit people around the world.
  • We value quality and continuous improvement as a learning organization through evaluating, benchmarking, and assessing outcomes to improve the performance of individuals and programs and ensuring compliance with all standards that apply to our academic, clinical, and professional lives.
  • We value professionalism in the performance of our work and in the demonstration of a work ethic that supports the attainment of the College's academic, clinical, research, and administrative goals.
  • We value the advancement of our profession by supporting and encouraging continuing postdoctoral education.

Where We Go from Here

Dean Alfano recently appointed eight task forces to focus on the eight main issues outlined in the strategic plan. Each task force will develop specific implementation plans and outcome assessment tools and includes faculty, staff, alumni and students.