University officials announced in early June that Marjorie Jeffcoat, dean of the School of Dental Medicine, would be stepping down on July 1 after five years of service. Thomas Sollecito, associate dean of academic affairs, will replace her on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is found. Jeffcoat plans to return to teaching and research as a tenured faculty member in the school’s periodontics department.
University Provost Ron Daniels said that when Jeffcoat was first appointed, she faced “a tall order indeed” to improve the school’s financial situation, among other challenges, and that she has delivered on her ambitious expectations.
“Marjorie has done a very impressive job in terms of bringing budgetary discipline to the Dental School, she’s been very successful in fundraising, and in strengthening student programming and the academic experience. She has been very effective in strengthening the research reputation and the level of research activity in the Dental School,” Daniels said. “She’s a very accomplished, in fact stellar academic researcher in dentistry, and I think she felt that she had accomplished a lot of what she wanted to do and wanted to return to her lab.”
Arthur Rubenstein, dean of the School of Medicine and Penn’s executive vice president for the health system, has been appointed to chair the search committee for a new Dental dean.