Dentistry dean responds to questions about admissions

Dr. No-Hee Park, dean of the UCLA School of Dentistry, issued the following statement about allegations of preferential admission in the orthodontics program and testing irregularities.

The UCLA School of Dentistry has been committed to education, research, patient care and public service for more than four decades. I am confident that the school will emerge from current challenges stronger and even more purposeful in its mission.

The School of Dentistry recently faced allegations of preferential admissions associated with the orthodontics residency program. An independent, thorough investigation requested by former Acting Chancellor Norman Abrams found no credible and convincing evidence to support allegations of a donor legacy program in the orthodontics admissions process.

The investigation did, however, provide us with an opportunity to review our admissions policies and procedures. Consistent with the recommendations of UCLA's independent auditor, the Faculty Executive Committee and the faculty of the School of Dentistry have taken steps to improve the oversight and clarity of our admissions processes for all 13 of the school's postdoctoral/residency programs. The revised standards and policies are being utilized in the admissions processes now underway for applicants who will enter the school in the fall of 2008. Those guidelines are posted on our site for residency and postdoctoral programs. We also have posted fundraising guidelines on our development site. All of our students have worked hard throughout their academic careers to earn their positions, and these changes should in no way be viewed as a reflection on their qualifications.

In addition, the UCLA School of Dentistry has been made aware that the American Dental Association (ADA) Joint Commission on National Board Dental Examinations has notified some D.D.S. students that it is investigating allegations of testing irregularities. The exam in question is not administered by UCLA and is not a requirement for graduation. Because the students have a right to confidentiality, the ADA has not advised us of the details of the allegations. It is our hope that the ADA investigation provides adequate due process to the students and that the resolution is quick and fair.