Bulletin of Dental Education

University of Oklahoma COD Mourns Loss of Founding Dean, Dr. William Brown

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William E. Brown, D.D.S., Founding Dean of the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry (OU COD), died Jan. 16, 2020. 

“Dr. Brown was a phenomenal individual, who laid an incredible foundation for the outstanding program we have here today,” shares Raymond A. Cohlmia, D.D.S., Dean of the OU COD. 

The son of a practicing dentist, Dr. Brown was originally from Benton Harbor, MI, and earned his D.D.S. from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry (U-M SOD). After graduation, he joined his father’s dental practice. He pursued specialty training in pediatric dentistry, ultimately establishing a pediatric dentistry practice in Ann Arbor, MI, which continued for 15­ years. 

Dr. Brown taught in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the U-M SOD and in 1961, he became a full professor, and a full-time faculty member in 1962. He also served as Associate Dean for Graduate and Post-graduate Dentistry. Concurrent with his leadership role in dental education, he became actively involved in organized dentistry and served as President of the Michigan Dental Association, the American Society of Dentistry for Children and the American Academy of Pedodontics. 

He was recruited to OU in 1969 to initiate a facility and curriculum plan for what would become Oklahoma’s premier dental school, the OU COD. The college officially opened its doors in 1972 and saw its first dental class of 24 students graduate in 1976. Dr. Brown served as Dean from 1969 to 1987 and was Acting Provost for OU Health Sciences Center from 1973 to 1975. He successfully recruited high-caliber dental educators in order to develop a dental program that became the standard of excellence in dental education.

Dr. Brown retired in 1987 and returned to his home state of Michigan after serving as founding dean for 18 years. He leaves a legacy of service and academic excellence and will be remembered for his invaluable contributions not only to OU COD but to the entirety of the educational mission of the university. OU faculty, staff and students will continue to benefit from the foundation of high-quality education he established at the OU COD.

Courtesy of Oklahoma University College of Dentistry

Published on Feb. 12, 2020

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