News Release

November 6, 2006

Contact: Carolyn Pennington, 860-679-4864

New Dean Appointed for School of Dental Medicine

FARMINGTON, CONN. – Dr. R. Lamont “Monty” MacNeil has been named the new dean of the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine. He was appointed by Philip Austin, president of the University of Connecticut and Dr. Peter Deckers, executive vice president for health affairs and the dean of the UConn School of Medicine. MacNeil is currently the school’s vice dean and a professor in the Department of Periodontology. His appointment marks the first time a dean has been chosen from within the ranks of the dental school.

“Dr. MacNeil’s impressive academic experience and leadership skills will enable him to meet the challenges of his new position at the School of Dental Medicine and the University of Connecticut Health Center,” said Dr. Deckers. “It speaks to the quality and stature of the school that an extensive national search concluded with the selection of someone from within our own organization.”

MacNeil, the 6th dean in the school’s history, succeeds Dr. Peter Robinson, who will step down on December 31, 2006. Robinson has served as dean for ten years, during which time the school enhanced its strong national reputation for the academic performance of its students, its research programs, and its service to underserved populations. After taking a sabbatical leave, Robinson will return to the school to continue his work in the area of outreach and other programs. “I could not be more delighted than when I learned that Monty would be the school’s new leader,” said Robinson. “He has consistently done an outstanding job with both his role as associate dean of academic affairs and vice dean. He possesses all the critical skills, experience and talent necessary to lead this school to new heights.”

MacNeil received a dental degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a certificate of advanced training in periodontics from the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine, and a Master of Dental Science degree from the UConn Graduate School. He has held academic positions at four dental schools; Dalhousie, Indiana University, the University of Michigan and the University of Connecticut. His research has led to over 25 publications, primarily focused on cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating tooth development, periodontal wound healing and tissue regeneration. MacNeil is a consultant on curriculum to the Commission on Dental Accreditation and was a member of the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations from 2001-2005 serving as chair of the commission in 2004-05. He joined the dental school in 1998 as an associate professor in the Department of Periodontology, attained the rank of professor in 2002 and has served as vice dean since 2005.

“It is a great honor for me to be selected as the next dean of the School of Dental Medicine,” said MacNeil. “It is a school that over a brief 30 or so years has established itself as one of the finest in the country. The school has many strengths and I believe is poised for even greater things in the future. We are blessed with great faculty, students and staff and are part of a young, growing and inclusive academic health center. I know that together we can continue to be a leader and innovator in dental education.”

MacNeil’s career has not been limited to academics and administration. He was in full-time, private general dentistry practice for six years before pursuing advanced and graduate training at UConn, and his experience in private practice provide a strong understanding of the many professional challenges dental students face upon graduation and dental school alumni currently confront.

UConn Health includes the schools of medicine and dental medicine, the UConn Medical Group, University Dentists, and John Dempsey Hospital. Home to Bioscience Connecticut, UConn Health pursues a mission of providing outstanding health care education in an environment of exemplary patient care, research and public service. More information about UConn Health is available at

Note: News professionals are invited to visit the UConn Health Today news page ( for regularly updated news and feature stories, photos and media stories. News releases are archived at UConn Health news and information is also available on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.