Dental School Dean to Step Down, Rejoin Faculty


Dr. Scott De Rossi will return to his roots as an educator, joining the Division of Oral and Craniofacial Health Sciences as a full-time faculty member. (UNC photo)

Dr. Scott De Rossi, who became dean of UNC’s Adams School of Dentistry in January 2017, is stepping down as of Jan. 15 and returning to the faculty.

De Rossi, the school’s eighth dean, led the school through its first strategic planning process in recent memory. Under his leadership, the school began to rework the doctor of dental surgery program courses into a new format, called the Advocate-Clinician-Thinker curriculum, which will see the initial phases of implementation next fall. He oversaw a reimagination of the school’s academic structure, creating five integrated divisions from nine departments, enhancing the school’s internal collaboration and providing new efficiencies to operations. These changes became critically important as the COVID-19 pandemic forced dental education to identify new, integrated ways to care for patients while educating its students.

De Rossi played a key role in helping the school exceed its For All Kind: The Campaign for Carolina fundraising goal of $70 million, one of the largest fundraising goals set by a U.S. dental school. He also deepened the relationship with his colleagues at UNC Health, opening new channels of communication and moving the school to the same electronic health record system to enable better and more comprehensive care for patients.

Globally, he is credited with the formation of DentAlliance, a first-of-its-kind international four-member dental school partnership designed to advance and transform research, education and practice in dentistry and the oral and craniofacial health sciences.

De Rossi is returning to his roots as an educator, joining the Division of Oral and Craniofacial Health Sciences as a full-time faculty member while pursuing opportunities outside the school to advance global partnerships.

Veteran medical educator and senior administrator Dr. Julie Byerley ’97 (MPH) will be interim dean starting Jan. 18. Byerley, vice dean for academic affairs and chief education officer at the School of Medicine, joined the department of pediatrics faculty in 2002. She also oversees the medical school’s Office of Faculty Affairs and Leadership Development.

A search committee will conduct a national search for the permanent dean.



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