University of Utah officials have announced its new
School of Dentistry building will be located in Research Park and named after
Ray and Tye Noorda in recognition of a $30 million donation. The school was
approved by the Utah State Board of Regents in July 2012 and will enroll its
first four-year class of 20 students in the fall of 2013.
"This is a historic step forward for dental
education in Utah and we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Ray and Tye
Noorda and their family for making this school possible," says G. Lynn
Powell, D.D.S., founding Dean of the new school. "The quiet generosity of
this remarkable couple and their family will have a lasting impact on the
health of all Utahns."
According to the Noorda family, the donation exemplifies
Ray and Tye Noorda's passion for contributing to the public good, as well as
fostering innovation and research that drives economic development and job
creation. "This gift is about helping improve the human condition. This
new dental school will educate top Utah students and offer affordable tuition,
it will provide underserved citizens from across the region with better access
to dental care, and it will spark innovative dental research that will benefit
patients around the world. We're pleased to be a partner with the University of
Utah in this important endeavor," says the family. Ray Noorda founded the
software company Novell in the 1980s and died in 2006. His wife Tye and four
surviving children all participated in making the decision to donate to the
Establishing a dental school has long been a goal of
University leaders, according to Vivian S. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, Senior Vice President
for Health Sciences at the University of Utah. She says the dental school will
be an important partner with the university's other clinical, research, and
training programs in nursing, pharmacy, health, and medicine.
"This new dental school helps move our health
sciences programs to the next level. By leveraging existing partnerships and
ongoing collaborations with other colleges and programs my expectation is that
within 10 years this school will be among the top 10 dental schools in the
country in terms of research funding and reputation," says Dr. Lee.
The new 70,000 square foot building will feature a dental
clinic, classrooms, research laboratories, and administrative offices for
faculty. The building will be named the Ray and Tye Noorda Oral Health Sciences
Building and construction is expected to begin in early 2013.
Dr. Powell estimates the school will receive more than
500 applications in its first year from students hoping to enroll in the
school's inaugural class. "We're hitting the ground running in terms of
our reputation and applicant pool. We have tremendously talented and
well-prepared Utah students and the chance to keep them in Utah for their
training is really a dream come true for our program," he said.
Dr. Powell says one of his top priorities is
recruiting new faculty and staff. Glen Hanson, D.D.S., Ph.D., is the school's
new Associate Dean for Research. Many faculty members and community dentists
who have been part of the existing Regional Dental Ed Program are expected to
join the faculty in the coming months. The school has already received initial
accreditation from the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental