Global Health Nexus, Winter 2003

NYU Dentistry and Tuskegee University Sign Historic Agreement

NYU Dentistry has entered into a historic agreement with Tuskegee University to conduct a combined B.A.-D.D.S. program. This marks the first time that Tusekegee University, one of our nation’s Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) has collaborated on a B.A.-D.D.S. program, and the first time that NYU Dentistry has done so with a historically black university.

Founded in 1881 by Dr. Booker T. Washington, Tuskegee University is the only university in the U.S. to be designated a National Historic Site. The NYU Dentistry-Tuskegee agreement bolsters the two institutions’ mutual commitment to increase the number of African American dentists in the U.S. African Americans represent almost 13 percent of the U.S. population today, but only 3.5 percent of the dentists.

The agreement gives strongly motivated Tuskegee students whose primary goal is dentistry a virtual guarantee that, if they maintain an honors grade point average at Tuskegee and fulfill NYU Dentistry’s admission requirements, they will be accepted. Tuskegee students will be eligible for the joint program as early as the second semester of freshman year.

NYU Dentistry congratulates Dr. Ralph V. Katz, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Epidemiology & Health Promotion, and Ms. Novella Jones, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions, on their efforts to secure this agreement. “The dental profession is challenged to create opportunities for African Americans to learn about and join the profession,” says Dean Jones. “This agreement enables NYU Dentistry and Tuskegee to make a profound contribution in that area.”

Dr. Katz and Dean Jones are currently engaged in discussions with Tuskegee officials to set up a “grandfathering” mechanism that could result in the first combined degree-program student entering NYU Dentistry as early as fall 2003.