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Dr. Eric Hovland, Past Dean, Retires

Eric J. Hovland, DDS, MEd, MBA, professor of endodontics, and dean of the LSUHSC School of Dentistry from 1993 to 2008, retired at the end of January. He had directed the Office of Advanced Education since 2008.

Dr. Hovland received a BS from the University of Maryland in 1968 and a DDS from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry in 1972. Following graduation he served in the Air Force Dental Corps for three years. He then completed the endodontic residency at the Medical College of Virginia in 1977; at the same time he received a masters in adult education from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Dean Gremillion presents a George Rodrigue Blue Dog poster to Dr Hovland (left)

In 1977 he joined the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry where he served in various positions including director of undergraduate clinics and head of the Department of Endodontics. In 1980 he received a masters in business administration from Loyola College in Baltimore.

Throughout his career Dr. Hovland held many national leadership positions. He was president of the American Dental Education Association in 2005. He is past-president of the American Association of Endodontists and received the Edgar D. Coolidge Award, the AAE highest honorary award. He also served as a delegate to the ADA House of Delegates and as commissioner of the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation from 1997 to 2001, chairing the commission from 2000 to 2001. He was also president of the Southern Conference of Deans and Dental Examiners.

Dr. Hovland has written numerous publications; he is co-author of two editions of the textbook Problem Solving in Endodontics and editor of two Dental Clinics of North America symposia. He has lectured extensively to national and international associations.

Dr. Hovland is a fellow of the International College of Dentists, the American College of Dentists, and the Pierre Fauchard Academy. In 2004 he received the Academy of General Dentistry Thaddeus V. Weclew Award for exceptional contributions to the art and science of dentistry. In 2006 he received the Outstanding Dental Leader award from the International College of Dentists and the Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Award as an Outstanding Transformational Leader. In 2007 he received the Award of Merit for Exceptional Leadership during Hurricane Recovery from the Louisiana Dental Association.

As dean of LSUSD during Hurricane Katrina, which closed the school buildings for two years, Dr. Hovland was responsible for the successful development of a temporary campus in Baton Rouge, allowing students to continue their dental education. In addition, in partnership with various agencies, he established a satellite dental hygiene program and clinic in Lafayette, a clinic in New Orleans for the treatment of patients with HIV/AIDS, and the Tooth Bus for the treatment of children throughout New Orleans. He also strengthened the continuing education program, created a master of science degree in oral biology (now master of dentistry), created a competency-based curriculum, and established the first patient simulation laboratories for preclinical instruction. Among his efforts to expand the research functions at the dental school were the creation of a research center and a clinical research facility. He created four positions for patient care coordinators who work closely with students to monitor patient care. Under Dr. Hovland’s leadership, the school significantly increased its fundraising effort and strengthened relations with alumni.

(l-r) Drs. Kent, Gremillion, and McClugage celebrate with Dr. Hovland

Among those who gathered at Dr. Hovland’s retirement party on January 30 were LSUHSC Chancellor Larry Hollier, Dr. Joseph Moerschbaecher, vice chancellor for academic affairs, Dr. Sam McClugage, professor and head of the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, and Dr. John Kent, retired head of oral and maxillofacial surgery at LSUSD. Dr. Hovland was accompanied by his wife Carol and his daughter and son-in-law Whitney and Patrick Reed.

As a licensed, experienced tour guide, one of Dr. Hovland's retirement activities will be leading historic tours in the French Quarter.

Dr. Eric Hovland with wife Carol, daughter Whitney and son-in-law Patrick Reed


Dr. Hovland was presented with a Baccarat Crystal tiger


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