Rowan named dean of College of Dentistry

Dear faculty, staff and students,

It is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Susan A. Rowan, DDS, MS, FACD, FICD, as dean of the University of Illinois Chicago College of Dentistry, effective April 16, 2024, for a two-year term, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

Dr. Rowan has provided exceptional, consistent leadership of the college as interim dean since 2022. This appointment positions the college to advance important strategic initiatives toward its vision of “better oral health through transformative innovation.” UIC will launch a national search for the next dean of the UIC College of Dentistry in 2025.

During Dr. Rowan’s tenure as interim dean, the college has revamped its mission, vision and values. Strategic planning within the college has helped expand student success and belonging initiatives, faculty and staff development programs and a new Ignite Team Science research award program. In response to Illinois’ workforce needs, the college’s new Dental Assisting Pathway Program recruits high school graduates from the community to become certified dental assistants.

Additionally, the college has opened two clinics to enhance the care we provide to patients. The Pilsen Center for Oral Health Promotion, created in partnership with the community and the University of Illinois Hospital & Clinics, provides preventative oral health care in the underserved Pilsen community. Last month, the college opened the Inclusive Care Clinic, which was supported by a $2 million contribution from the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation. To improve access to dental care, the Inclusive Care Clinic will train fourth-year dental students in caring for patients with special health care needs.

Prior to her service as interim dean, Dr. Rowan served as the executive associate dean and associate dean for clinical affairs at the College of Dentistry, where she provided administrative oversight for the college’s clinical services. These responsibilities included administering the college’s pre-doctoral, postgraduate, community outreach and faculty practice clinical operations; overseeing pre-clinical and clinical education courses and programs; coordinating the student clinical experience in the Group Practice Clinic and across its community-based partnership sites; and assuring the college’s compliance with the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation.

Dr. Rowan is a professor of restorative dentistry in the college and is a proud UIC graduate, having received her bachelor’s and DDS degrees from the UIC College of Dentistry and a master’s degree in patient safety leadership from the University of Illinois College of Medicine. Additionally, she has completed a teaching fellowship with the College of Medicine’s Department of Medical Education and a leadership fellowship with the American Dental Education Association.

With all these accomplishments to date, please join me in congratulating Dr. Rowan on her appointment. I look forward to the College of Dentistry’s continued success in enhancing the oral health of our community one smile at a time.


Robert A. Barish, MD, MBA
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs

For more information, please contact:
Margaret Moser

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