(Aug. 1, 2008)
Dr. James R. Hupp, dean of the dental school at the University of Mississippi for the last six years, will be the founding dean of the new School of Dentistry at East Carolina University, Chancellor Steve Ballard announced today.
"Jim Hupp is a superb leader and educator with remarkable breadth and depth of experience," Ballard said. "He has impeccable credentials and skills. He is a lead author of one of the world's best-known dental textbooks, author of a large number of book chapters and scientific articles and editor-in-chief of an international dental journal. He was a member of the team that reviewed the initial plan for our dental school two years ago, and we expect him to help us develop a new model for dental education."
The North Carolina General Assembly, in the recently completed session, appropriated $69 million to complete the construction of ECU's new dental school, which expects to enroll its first students in 2011. It will be the second dental school in the state and will include education centers and clinics in eight to 10 areas across the state where third- and fourth-year students will complete their dental education. The legislature also provided $1.5 million in operating funds for the school for this academic year.
"This is a once-in-a-career opportunity to help lead the creation of an educational institution," said Hupp, who will join ECU Nov. 1. "I feel my entire professional life has prepared me for the work necessary to carry forward the vision of a dental school that prepares individuals to become community- and service-minded primary-care dentists.
"I was impressed by the talent that already exists at the other schools and colleges of East Carolina University," He added. "Chancellor Ballard and Vice Chancellor (Phyllis) Horns are clearly visionary leaders with whom I look forward to working. I hope to have the new dental school live up to the high standards of this great university."
Bob Greczyn, chair of the ECU board of trustees and president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, said: "It is very positive for ECU and for eastern North Carolina that we have been able to attract a person like Dr. Hupp to be the founding dean of the ECU School of Dentistry. His background and training in both medicine and dentistry and his national reputation will help establish ECU on the forefront of a new model for dental education."
Horns, interim vice chancellor for health sciences at ECU, said: "We had a remarkably strong field of candidates who were drawn by ECU's reputation in health care and by the opportunity to build a new dental school. Even in that group, Dr. Hupp stood out. I want to thank Dr. Steve Thomas, dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences, who led the search committee, and all those who helped us fill this critical position."
Hupp previously served as chair of the Department of Dentistry in the University of Maryland Medical System and chair of the Department of Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Maryland Dental School.
He also chaired the Department of Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and directed the residency program in Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Connecticut Health Center.
He holds a dental degree from Harvard University, a medical degree from the University of Connecticut, a law degree from Rutgers University and a master's of business administration degree from Loyola College in Maryland.
He and his wife, Carmen, have four children, and his interests include gardening, the Civil War, cooking, wine collecting, golf and classic Ford Mustangs.