Boca Raton, Florida – Florida Atlantic University (FAU) is on track to secure a financial package of $30 million from the state, with Governor Ron DeSantis’ confirmation pending, to facilitate the construction of its innovative College of Dentistry. The proposed establishment will be the second public dental school in the state of Florida.
The FAU Board of Trustees disclosed the fiscal blueprint for this ambitious venture. The total requirement is estimated at $123.3 million, comprising $37.9 million as recurring operational expenditure and $85.5 million as nonrecurring initial costs. The College of Dentistry has also been bolstered by a significant philanthropic contribution of $30 million. This cutting-edge dental educational establishment will be sited within the FAU Boca Raton campus.
The university elucidated in its proposal, “FAU’s proposed College of Dentistry and Doctor of Dental Medicine degree supports the SUS Strategic Plan 2025 Goals for the state universities by increasing the number of graduate degrees awarded in an area of strategic emphasis, the number of graduate degrees awarded in STEM and Health, strengthening the quality, and recognition of commitment to community and business engagement.”
As per the documentation presented by the FAU Board of Trustees, the College of Dentistry will confer the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree, accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).
Supporting the inception and operations of the College, Senator Gayle Harrell proposed a $20 million state funding to facilitate the recruitment of crucial personnel such as a founding dean, associate dean for student affairs, assistant dean of curriculum, senior faculty, and administrative staff. The university also envisions appointing an assistant dean of admissions and additional staff to achieve student recruitment objectives.
The proposal reads, “This request would support the creation and operations of the College and will establish the infrastructure for the College to include the hiring of a founding dean, associate dean for student affairs, assistant dean of curriculum, senior faculty, and administrative personnel. We will also hire an assistant dean of admissions and staff to support student recruitment goals and faculty, administrative, and supporting staff.”
FAU intends to launch the College of Dentistry and its DMD program in 2025, starting with an intake of 45 students and gradually scaling up to 90 students annually over a four-year period, thereby enabling a total enrollment of 350 students.
Integrated within the FAU Health Network, the College of Dentistry will foster research in dental science and the advancement of novel clinical practices. Collaborative efforts with dental hygiene programs to provide supplementary clinical rotation opportunities are also planned to alleviate the scarcity of adept dental professionals.
The state of Florida is currently grappling with a severe shortfall of dental professionals, with over 5 million residents residing in areas having inadequate or no access to dental care. The Academy of General Dentistry reports that 63 out of the state’s 67 counties are facing a dental professional shortage.
Subject to the sanctioning of funding and construction, FAU’s forthcoming College of Dentistry seeks to alleviate this shortage and deliver high-quality dental education and care to the community.