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Dr. Jim Weir Retires After 28 Years of Service

Dr. Jim Weir, beloved dean of admissions and longtime head of the Department of Oral Pathology, has retired from LSUSD after 28 years of service.

“I think I’ve taught 3,000 dental and hygiene students,” he said shortly before his retirement reception held December 16th. “If the students ever think about me, I hope they will remember that we laughed a little and that I made oral pathology fun.” At the reception, students were smiling and jockeying for position to have their photo taken with Dr. Weir.

Dr. Jim Weir at his retirement reception with some of the 3,000 students he taught during his 29-year career at LSUSD.

“Dr. Weir’s positive impact on LSUSD cannot be quantified,” said Dean Henry Gremillion. “He has been one of the most respected educators in the history of the school. His ability to teach complex concepts and topics in an entertaining and informative manner has greatly elevated the quality of practice in Louisiana and beyond.  His unselfish, tireless efforts related to the school’s admissions process are legendary.”

Most ironic of all is that Dr. Weir never intended to go into dentistry. His plan was to pursue a doctorate in biology and become a college professor. Dentistry was not even on his radar.

The story of the accidental dentist begins in 1971. He and a friend drove to New Orleans from their native Meridian, Mississippi, so his friend could take the Dental Admissions Test. After that, the duo would party a bit in the Big Easy.

The testing site was a classroom in one of the old barracks buildings on the campus of LSUSD. As Jim started to walk around, killing time, Dr. Harold Bruggers, who administered the test that day, insisted that Jim take the test. So, without preparation, Jim did as he was told.

Dean Gremillion and Dr. Weir

That led to his study of dentistry at the University of Tennessee where he was awarded a DDS in 1974. Two years later, he completed his residency program at Emory University and was awarded a certificate in oral pathology. He joined the faculty of LSUSD in 1981 as associate professor and head of the Department of Oral Pathology.

In 1985, he received his law degree from the Loyola University School of Law. In 1991, he was named full professor and assistant dean of admissions.

Dr. Weir will be moving to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where he has accepted the position of associate dean of student affairs and professor of pathology at the new College of Osteopathic Medicine at William Carey University.  

Best wishes to a great guy!

Dr. John Ritchie has assumed the position of director of admissions. Dr. Ritchie has served the school admirably in numerous positions over the years including head of the Department of General Dentistry and more recently, Director of Diversity and Minority Affairs. He has been instrumental in the development of the LSUSD Summer Enrichment Program.

Dr. Toby Cheramie will take on the role of Assistant Director of Admissions. Dr. Cheramie has been recognized on numerous occasions for his teaching prowess and student-oriented approach. He currently serves as Interim Department Head of Comprehensive Dentistry and Dental Biomaterials.

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Last Update 12/2009

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