No-Hee Park to Step Down as Dean of the UCLA School of Dentistry

August 7, 2015

UCLA Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

To: Administrative Officers, Deans, Department Chairs, Directors, Vice Chancellors, Vice Provosts, and Faculty and Staff in the School of Dentistry

Dear Colleagues:

No-Hee Park, Dean of the UCLA School of Dentistry and Distinguished Professor of Dentistry and of Medicine, has informed me that he has decided to step down as dean on June 30, 2016, and return to his research and teaching.

A member of the UCLA faculty since 1984 and dean since 1998, Dean Park has worked tirelessly to elevate the School of Dentistry’s reputation for strong didactic and clinical training programs and state-of-the-art research initiatives. As dean, he has directed a nearly $90 million enterprise, with approximately 400 full- and part-time faculty, 450 students, 100 dental residents, 120 foreign clinical trainees and 300 staff. Under his leadership, the school has increased the amount of annual research funding fivefold; recruited a cadre of highly qualified faculty; constructed two world-class research centers; and modernized its clinics and research laboratories that have become home to many of the nation’s top health science practitioners and researchers.

The success and professional development of students has been another top priority for Dean Park. To that end, he created the Dean’s Leadership Institute, and he oversaw a major academic reform process that resulted in curricular changes with a focus on integration of basic and clinical sciences and patient-centered care. Dean Park has also dedicated himself to raising funds to support excellence in dental education, research, patient care and community service. During his deanship, the school increased by more than tenfold the amount of financial aid and scholarship support for dental students, and it increased fivefold the principal value of gifts and endowments. In 1998, the school had no endowed chairs, and today it has 10, including one that was created in Dean Park’s honor. Other endowed funds have also been established to support distinguished lecture series, student scholarships and patient care programs.

Throughout Dean Park’s tenure, he has remained active in his research endeavors, which have focused on oral and head & neck cancer and aging, and he has been frequently invited to deliver speeches and lectures regarding his research and the future of dental and health science education. A prominent scientist in oral and craniofacial research, he has authored more than 180 scientific publications, and his contributions to the understanding of cancer development mechanisms have resulted in a new mode of therapy. His earlier research on the molecular mechanisms of antiviral agents against the herpes simplex virus resulted in the marketing of many antiviral drugs for the treatment of herpes virus infections.

Among his many awards and accolades, Dean Park received the following noteworthy recognitions: Distinguished Scientist Award from the International Association for Dental Research (2001); Distinguished Scientist Award in Natural Sciences from the Korean Broadcasting System (2002); Alumnus of the Year by the Seoul National University School of Dentistry (2002); Alumnus of the Year by Seoul National University (2007); Silver Anniversary Award from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (2007); Distinguished Alumnus of the Year by the Medical College of Georgia (2010); Award for Outstanding Achievement—Dental Educator by the American Dental Education Association Gies Foundation (2010); Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2012); and Honorary Alumnus of the Year by the UCLA School of Dentistry Alumni Association (2015).

Chancellor Block and I are grateful for No-Hee’s many years of distinguished and dedicated service. Soon, I will form a search committee to identify candidates for a new dean of the School of Dentistry, and I will keep you informed as we initiate the search.


Scott L. Waugh
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost