Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine Dean Bruce Rotter, DMD, MS, announced his retirement on Thursday, effective December 2021. Rotter was named SDM dean in Nov. 2012 after serving as interim dean for more than a year.
An SIU SDM Class of 1982 alumnus, Rotter joined the SDM as a faculty member in 1993. He brought a unique perspective to the dean’s position, fully participating in the SDM’s progress as a student, faculty member and administrator.
“On behalf of SIUE and the SIU School of Dental Medicine, I want to thank Dean Rotter for nearly 30 years of service,” said Chancellor Randy Pembrook. “Bruce has an incredibly informed perspective having been a part of SDM as a student, faculty member and long-serving administrator. In particular, I want to commend Dean Rotter and the School for their dedication to the community as evidenced by their free clinics for Veterans and the Give Kids a Smile Program which annually provide more than $100,000 of free dental service to valued constituencies, as well as their work at the WE CARE Clinic in East St. Louis. We wish Bruce and his wife, Cindy, best wishes as they plan for retirement in 2022.”
Rotter was SDM associate dean for academic affairs for six years prior to serving as interim dean. He joined the SDM faculty as an assistant professor in 1993, was named associate professor in 1997 and professor in 2009. During that time, Rotter created and administered one of the first implant fellowship training programs in the country. That program led to the creation of a freestanding implant clinic, which he designed, helped develop and directed.
Highlights of Rotter’s distinguished career include:
• Three times led the School through reaccreditation from the Council on Dental Accreditation.
• Jan. 2021, Appointed Cornell Thomas, DDS, as SDM chief diversity officer and director of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) to increase concentration on diversity, equity, inclusion and well-being.
• Nov. 2020, was elected vice chair of the Commission of Dental Accreditation (CODA), the national programmatic accrediting agency for dental and dental-related education programs at the post-secondary level.
• Nov. 2020, launched SDM clinical endodontic training graduate program.
• April 2019, SDM received a $2 million grant from the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF). The SDM is building a medical operating suite with general anesthesia capabilities for children with special dental care needs within a new Advanced Care Patient Clinic.
• Feb. 2017, SDM showcased its renovated clinic in University Park on the Edwardsville campus, expanding the scope of the SDM’s available care, providing that care to a greater demographic and esnuring an even higher level of training to SDM students.
• March 2014, SDM’s new and expanded presence in Alton earned an Award of Achievement from Pride, Incorporated, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to community beautification. The award recognized the construction of the School’s Multidisciplinary Simulation Laboratory and adjacent space, an 18,000-square-foot, $9.5 million project.
Throughout his academic career, Rotter continued to be active in the private practice of oral and maxillofacial surgery in order to maintain his knowledge and skills while bringing that experience to the academic setting. He has worked with Southern Illinois Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Ltd., in Belleville and Glen Carbon since 2002 until his appointment as dean. He also has served the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in St. Louis as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and/or consultant since 1994.
A member of 15 dental professional associations, Rotter has been elected to fellowship by the American College of Dentists, the International College of Dentists, and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
Rotter has been associated with more than a dozen hospitals throughout his career including affiliations with St. Anthony’s Medical Center in Alton, Belleville Memorial Hospital, Healthsouth Surgical Center in Belleville and the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in St. Louis.
The SIU School of Dental Medicine students manage approximately 35,000 patient visits each year at its patient clinics in Alton and East St. Louis. In addition, students offer oral health treatment, screenings and education to more than 10,000 people annually through a wide variety of off-campus community outreach events. These opportunities provide students the training they need to graduate and become highly skilled dentists. The School of Dental Medicine is a vital oral health care provider for residents of southern and central Illinois, and the St. Louis metropolitan region.
Photo: SIU SDM Dean Bruce Rotter, DMD, MS, is retiring effective Dec. 2021.