To further the goal of elevating the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry's global profile, University of the Pacific encourages the dental school to play a central role in the university-wide initiative to launch a Global Project for Professional Development. The Dugoni School is well positioned to respond to this challenge by sharing its considerable repository of knowledge and experience with others, thereby benefiting from the pooled intellectual resources and collective wisdom of partner dental schools and educators across the globe. Consistent with the Dugoni School's Strategic Plan, the proposed initiative will elevate education and health care standards to the mutual benefit of patients, students, staff, and faculty, and offer a new international dimension to an exceptional dental school.
Today, commercial companies, academic institutions, and individuals must collaborate and compete on a global basis. Dental education, research, and the growing body of knowledge in the biomedical sciences are highly valued international commodities. In countries that are becoming more prosperous, such as China, Brazil, India, and Russia, there is burgeoning consumer demand for more education, oral health care, and increasingly sophisticated treatments. Leaders in dental education face new challenges in a competitive global community. Development and discovery in the biomedical, biotechnical, and psychosocial sciences continue at an explosive pace. This is combined with advances in communication technology.
These changes demand increasingly sophisticated approaches to knowledge acquisition, prioritization, and retrieval, and present new opportunities for professional educational institutions. Because the University of the Pacific is strategically positioned in the Pacific Rim, a geographic region inhabited by more than 3.5 billion people, there is significant potential for new initiatives, growth, and development and, specifically, targeting China.
Less than 5% of the world's population has access to basic or primary dental care. Even in the most developed countries there are high levels of unmet need for oral care. Poverty and inequality are the two most important causes of human suffering worldwide. Each week 210,000 children die as a result of starvation. Those living in the most impoverished regions are generally the most vulnerable to global challenges such as climate change and pandemics including HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. Furthermore, impoverished regions are often the most unstable geopolitical regions of the world, where human rights fall victim to conflict and abuse of power. Health was defined as a fundamental human right by Eleanor Roosevelt as part of the 1948 United Nations Charter on Human Rights. Oral health is an integral part of general health and well-being. To help ensure access to health care for all, the dental profession needs to engage more in reaching out to those most in need. The Dugoni School can play an important leadership role in articulating its own stated values of humanism, innovation, leadership, reflection, stewardship, collaboration, and philanthropy on a global platform in partnership with others around the world.
The Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry is already engaged in several international initiatives such as its strong International Dental Students program for those seeking to practice in the United States. The school has and continues to develop links and exchange programs with schools in the Middle East, Japan, China and other regions of the world.
The global education unit will be distinctive and intellectually stimulating, drawing upon study, research, and innovation at the School. Working with partner organizations, faculty will exchange expertise and case studies on the core attributes, requirements, and characteristics of effective leaders in dental education. The unit will develop a repository of knowledge and experience for an international audience. The unit will disseminate peer-reviewed, high-quality educational programs through the International Federation of Dental Educators and Associations (IFDEA). These activities will serve to further elevate the international standing of the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and the University of the Pacific.
To create a center of excellence that will be recognized as the premier unit in the Pacific Rim for developing professional dental educators and leaders.
To educate future leaders in dental education so they can lead in an effective manner in promoting and advocating the highest professional standards and humanistic values.