The University of Washington School of Dentistry community has noted with great sadness the passing of Dr. Paul Robertson, who served as Dean from 1992 to 2001, on Dec. 24 at his home on Camano Island. He was 82.
Dr. Robertson’s highly successful deanship, in which he demonstrated formidable administrative abilities coupled with personal qualities of kindness and good humor, saw the school continue to thrive and enhance its reputation.
Dr. Robertson, who retired as Dean Emeritus, was not only an accomplished clinician and academician, but also a prolific researcher who once held the presidency of the American Association for Dental Research (now the American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research).
He received his DDS from the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston, after which he served as a dental officer in the U.S. Air Force for three years. He then earned his certification in periodontics and an MS in experimental pathology at the University of Alabama, after which he joined the university’s dental faculty. Succeeding academic appointments before he came to the UW took him to the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston, the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine, the University of California at San Francisco, and then the University of British Columbia, where he was Professor and Dean.
During his UW tenure, he served terms as chair of the Board of Health Sciences Deans and the Board of Deans and served on several high-level search committees. He was a Fellow of the American College of Dentists, the International College of Dentists, and the Pierre Fauchard Academy. In 1995, he received the Washington State Dental Association President’s Award in recognition of his outstanding service to dentistry.
In retirement, he was a frequent and welcome guest at School of Dentistry functions, and he was always available to provide helpful counsel to his successors.
Said School of Dentistry Dean André Ritter: “Our thoughts are with Dr. Robertson’s beloved wife, Marjorie, and the rest of their family. Dr. Robertson earned a secure place of admiration and respect in our school’s history, and he will be missed greatly.”