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UW removes ‘interim’ from Dean Chiodo’s title

Dr. Gary Chiodo, who became interim dean of the University of Washington School of Dentistry in August 2018, will no longer be interim and will serve a full five-year term, UW Provost Mark Richards has announced. The appointment was confirmed by the UW Board of Regents this month.

Dr. Chiodo head shotThe provost and UW President Ana Mari Cauce decided to make the appointment after conducting a survey of the school’s faculty, staff, and students. Members of the school’s alumni and volunteer boards were also consulted in the survey.

Dean Chiodo will serve at least the remainder of a standard five-year term, the provost said in an email to the school. The dean will also be appointed Professor – Clinical Dental Pathway.

The provost, who called the survey feedback “overwhelmingly positive and constructive,” said, “President Cauce and I believe that Dr. Chiodo has demonstrated the leadership needed to maintain the School of Dentistry’s quality while keeping it on a course of fiscal stability. Using the input from the survey, I look forward to working with Dr. Chiodo to align key priorities in his capacity as dean.”

Dean Chiodo came to the UW from Oregon Health & Science University, where he was assistant director of the Center for Ethics in Health Care and professor emeritus in the Department of Community Dentistry. From 2012 to 2014, Dr. Chiodo was interim dean at the OHSU School of Dentistry, where he addressed financial challenges. He stepped into the dental dean’s office at the UW at a time when the  school had faced a series of rising annual operating deficits that at one time reached $11 million.

In the most recently concluded fiscal year, 2019, the school’s operating deficit fell below $1 million. Halfway through fiscal year 2020, which ends on June 30, the school had generated a positive operational margin and was on a clear path to continue its fiscal recovery. With the onset of the coronavirus disease outbreak, though, the school and all other clinical institutions must now reckon with a significant loss of clinical revenue and added expenses.

However, the school has continued to maintain its high standing in global rankings. Last June, it placed second in the world in the research-oriented ShanghaiRanking Consultancy’s Academic Ranking of World Universities. This year, it tied for 12th in Britain’s more broadly based Quacquarelli-Symonds World University Rankings.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of the School of Dentistry team going forward,” Dean Chiodo said. “Although much remains to be done, we have made tremendous gains in the past 18 months.

“The COVID-19 outbreak has confronted us with challenges unlike any we have seen in our lifetimes. However, when I look at our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and dental community, I know that there is no place I would rather be and there is no team with whom I would rather work.”

From 2014 to 2017, Dr. Chiodo served as vice president and system compliance officer/ organizational integrity with PeaceHealth, a nonprofit chain of hospitals, medical clinics and laboratories in Alaska, Washington, and Oregon. At OHSU, he was a longtime faculty member in the Department of Public Health Dentistry, attaining the rank of full professor in 1992. He has received OHSU’s Distinguished Faculty Award for Leadership and the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon HIV Honor Award.

The dean obtained his bachelor’s degree in biology from Portland State University in 1974 and his DMD from the University of Oregon Health Sciences Center in 1978. He earned a certificate in health care ethics from the UW School of Medicine in 1992, and he spent two decades practicing at a Portland public health dental clinic that treated the majority of identified HIV-positive persons in Oregon and southwest Washington.