University Senate                                                                Proposed: September 16, 2005

                                                                                          Adopted:

 

 

 

RESOLUTION TO CHANGE THE NAMES OF

THE SCHOOL OF DENTAL AND ORAL SURGERY TO COLLEGE OF DENTAL MEDICINE;

THE FACULTY OF DENTAL AND ORAL SURGERY TO FACULTY OF DENTAL MEDICINE;

THE DEPARTMENT OF DENTAL AND ORAL SURGERY TO DEPARTMENT OF DENTAL MEDICINE

 

 

 

 

 

WHEREAS    the name of the School of Dental and Oral Surgery has been in use since 1923 and reflects a now antiquated terminology, which is no longer applicable, and

 

WHEREAS    the administration and the faculty of the School of Dental and Oral Surgery have requested a name change to reflect the current educational and professional focus of the institution, and

 

WHEREAS    this proposal has the strong support of faculty, students, and alumni, and

 

WHEREAS    this proposal has the endorsement of the Executive Vice President for the Health Sciences, and the Provost of the University;

 

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED              that the University Senate approve this proposal and forward it to the Trustees for action after the appropriate document has been prepared that sets forth each of the specific proposed changes in the University Statutes necessary to carry out the intent of this resolution.

 

 

 

 

                                                                                   

 

                                                                        Proponent: Education Committee 

 

 

 

 

PROPOSAL TO CHANGE THE NAME OF THE SCHOOL OF DENTAL AND ORAL SURGERY TO COLLEGE OF DENTAL MEDICINE

 

 

Brief history of the School and its name

 

            A proposal to establish a School of Dentistry was made by the Faculty of Medicine to the President of Columbia University in the Fall of 1915. The University accepted the proposal and in May 1916 issued a pamphlet entitled “A Dental School on University Lines”. In this pamphlet the University stated a policy, which put a strong emphasis on coordination of dental education with the education offered in the School of Medicine. On March 5, 1917, the Trustees of the University formally established a School of Dentistry as of September 27, 1916 1.

            On July 1, 1923, the College of Dental and Oral Surgery of New York was merged with the School of Dentistry and the combined institutions were named the School of Dental and Oral Surgery of Columbia University. Columbia acquired two large buildings at 302-306 East 35th Street and 309-315 East 34th Street in which the School was housed up to the time of its move into the Medical Center in the Fall of 1928.

 

 “College” rather than “School”

            The term “college” is defined as: “… a society or corporation of persons having common functions and rights…” 4 emphasizing a learner-centered institution, in contrast to a “school”, defined as: ”…a place or establishment of instruction”, in which a body of teachers “expound their views” 4,5.  This term is teacher-centered. We view our institution as an adult learning community, which would be more appropriately designated by the term “College”.

 

 Dental Medicine” rather than “Dental and Oral Surgery”

            On several occasions the University has stated and reaffirmed its policy on dental education. In the 1916 pamphlet “A Dental School on University Lines”:

Dentistry and dental education are on the threshold of extraordinary development but are unable to take advantage of their opportunities because of the traditional separation of dentistry and medicine. Dentistry has been shown by recent investigations and research to be logically a branch of general medicine. 1

At the time of the merger, the University’s policy was reaffirmed in the 1923-1924 Bulletin 6:

It is the purpose of the School of Dental and Oral Surgery to combine in the highest degree practicable a sound knowledge of the fundamentals of medicine, with adequate training in the technical procedures of dental science and arts.

 

The University’s policy for dental education has been consistently followed to the present day. The School was indeed a model for some of the recommendations that were made in the 1995 study of the Institute of Medicine: “Dental Education at the Crossroads” 7, recommendations that were echoed with some urgency by Baum (2004).8

The terms “Dental and Oral Surgery” in the School’s name have emphasized the manual operation of the profession. On the other hand the term “Dental Medicine” comes closer to the University’s policy and furthermore it more broadly describes the art of preserving and restoring the health of the teeth and their surrounding tissues.

 

It is for these reasons that a name change is proposed.                          

 

 

References

 

1. Bulletin of the Faculty of Medicine 1950-1951. Announcement of the School of Dental and Oral Surgery of the Faculty of Medicine

 

2. Minutes of the Meeting of the Trustees of Columbia University on October 1, 1923

 

3. Journal of Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery at the occasion of Gala 75. November 7, 1992

 

4. Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology

 

5. Oxford Latin Dictionary

 

6. Bulletin 1923-1924 School of Dental and Oral Surgery of Columbia University

 

7. Field M.J. (Ed) (1995) Dental Education at the Crossroads. Washington, DC. National Academy Press

 

8. Baum B.J. (2004) Will dentistry be left behind at the healthcare station? J Am Coll Dentists 71 (2): 27-30.