Though signs of economic recovery are slowing emerging in some sectors, academic dental institutions across the United States and Canada are still dealing with the repercussions of the financial meltdown. Some institutions have seen slight improvements in endowments and investments, but this number is dwarfed by the institutions affected by cuts to funding. Public colleges and universities in 41 states had their budgets cut, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
As institutions jump into Fiscal Year 2011 today, it's not just difficult cost-cutting they must react to. Communication with faculty, staff, and students is crucial to establish understanding and maintain trust. This month, two dental schools share how they met these challenges:
Minnesota's New Normal: Meeting the Mission in an Environment of Increased Ambiguity and Reduced Funding, by University of Minnesota School of Dentistry Dean Patrick M. Lloyd
No one can say that dental schools have a proprietary lock on dealing with financial challenges. What can be said is that the breadth and magnitude of the current economic downturn is different from any we've seen before. It has affected everyone - our state and country, our academic institutions and corporate and community partners, our funding agencies, and the personal finances of individual patients and donors... Read the full article.
Crisis in California: Keeping Priorities Straight, by University of California, San Francisco Dean John D. Featherstone
While schools across the country face tough economic times, the situation has been particularly challenging at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Dentistry. The state of California is facing unprecedented funding shortages. As a state school, UCSF feels the impact through reduced direct support and the elimination of state programs like adult Denti-Cal, which serves Medicaid eligible dental patients in California. In addition, increases in health care and retirement costs are threatening UCSF's ability to invest in its mission... Read the full article.