Bulletin of Dental Education

Closing Soon: Apply Today for the 2024-25 ADEA Council of Deans Fellowship

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The ADEA Council of Deans Fellowship (ADEA CDF) was developed in response to requests from the ADEA Council of Deans for a leadership program that addressed the lack of skills held by applicants to new dental school dean positions as well as higher leadership positions in universities. In the last few years, over 50% of deanships have opened, with many current deans in their roles for only one year or less. (Weinstein, GJ, Haden, NK, Stewart, DCL, Pyle, MA, Albino, AW, West, KP. A profile of dental school deans, 2021. J Dent Educ 2022; 86: 13041316. https://doi.org/10.1002/jdd.12933).

The program seeks to create a pathway for a diverse contingent of future leaders who have the skills and experience for successful application for and in the role as a new dean. The first cohort of four fellows opened in 2023, with nearly 30 applicants. The application process and fellow selection mirrored that of an application for the role of a dean.

The ADEA CDF Program Director is Steven W. Friedrichsen, D.D.S., and he works with two coaches: Ann Boyle, D.M.D., M.A., and John Williams, D.M.D., M.B.A. ADEA staff member and Former Dean Marsha A. Pyle, D.D.S., M.Ed., assists with the curriculum development, in-person learning and has incorporated the new fellows into several existing programs for new deans. Each of these educators brings with them a broad base of unique skills.

There are three in-person modules that include the extensive use of case-based learning; additionally, there are two four-to-five day site visits for each fellow as well as multiple online peer and coach discussions. The module titles are “The Fundamentals of Administrative Leadership,” “Practicing the Fundamentals of Administrative Leadership” and “Moving Forward as an Administrative Leader.”

During Module I in 2022, animated and rich discussions were held, as well as the exceptional feedback from the first cohort of fellows, about how the program is providing the fellows with the skills and experience needed to pursue dean, provost and other high-level leadership roles.

Below are some quotes from fellows:

  • “My experience with the onsite training and personal coaches has been superb. It is really humbling to have first-hand access to so much experience and learn from seasoned leaders who have ‘walked the path’ in dental medicine and higher health care education. The development of an individualized project with my current dean and other senior leadership at my institution and site visits to other schools round the great CDF experience!”
  • “It is not often that you get one-on-one education and training on leadership in dental academic institutions from the very best. The CDF Program is doing just that! The program has provided me with in-depth information and an experience that you can’t find in any book, just invaluable!” 
  • “Our first session at the ADEA headquarters in Washington, D.C., was an unforgettable experience with our coaches and many dental school deans, providing one-of-a-kind experience on what leadership is all about.”
  • “The ADEA Deans Fellowship exceeded all my expectations! I feel that being exposed to so many activities and extremely experienced dental educators gave me in a short period of time, knowledge that would have taken me years to acquire otherwise. Plus, it was an amazing opportunity to develop new professional and personal relationships with my peers and faculty advisors!”
  • “In the ADEA CDF Fellowship program, I have learned that leadership is not defined by a position or a title, but by a mindset. Through this program, I have been fortunate to have exemplary mentors who have taught me that leadership requires continuous learning, adaptability and a willingness to take risks. The experience has encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone in order to drive positive change. I am deeply inspired by the dedication of all the leaders who invest their time and energy into dental education through their mentorship and genuine care for the fellows. This fellowship has far exceeded my expectations, and I am truly grateful for the opportunity. I would like to sincerely thank the current deans, educational leaders and the wonderful CDF faculty and staff for their support and guidance.”

Apply today! The deadline for submitting applications to the 2024-25 cohort has been extended to Oct. 30, at 5:00 p.m. ET. 

More details about the ADEA Council of Deans Fellowship Program can be found at adea.org/cdf.

Published on October 11, 2023

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