Dr. William K. Lobb, professor and dean of the Marquette University School of Dentistry, will retire on June 30, 2023, after nearly 30 years at Marquette University. The university will conduct a national search for the next MUSOD dean.
The longest-serving dental school dean in the country, Lobb came to Marquette in 1994 with a vision, mission and strategic plan to make Wisconsin’s only dental school a nationally renowned dental program.
“A visionary, steady leader, Bill Lobb has made exemplary contributions to dental education and the dental profession as dean of the Marquette School of Dentistry,” President Michael R. Lovell said. “Grounded in our Catholic, Jesuit mission, he has provided the strategy and creativity necessary to propel the dental school forward, ensuring that it continuously serves as an innovative educational leader and conscientious provider of dental care for hundreds of thousands of underserved Wisconsin residents. On behalf of the Marquette community, I wish Bill and his family great joy in his well-deserved retirement.”
“It has been my great privilege to serve as dean of the Marquette University School of Dentistry for the past three decades. I am grateful that Wisconsin’s only dental school has talented faculty and staff, passionate students and alumni, valued donors, and critical government and corporate partners to help carry its great momentum well into the future,” Lobb said. “I am particularly proud of the work we’ve done to provide world-class clinical training to generations of students, increase access to oral health services in urban and rural communities, and advance dental research and scholarship. It has been a fulfilling career, and I’m most proud that Marquette — together with all our partners — helped transform dental education for our country.”
In 2021, Lobb was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Dental Association. The organization’s highest honor, Lifetime Achievement Awards recognize an individual dentist who has given time, energy and expertise to the organizations representing dentistry throughout their career.
In nominating him for the award, Dr. James Conrardy, a pediatric dentist in Green Bay and 1978 MUSOD alumnus, called Lobb “one of the great leaders in our profession.”
“Dr. Lobb changed the faculty, community and dental student cultural relations at Marquette University School of Dentistry when he became dean. He created an atmosphere of safety, respect and dignity between administration, faculty, students, patients and patient caregivers,” Conrardy wrote.
MUSOD prospers under Lobb’s leadership
Under Lobb’s leadership and in a partnership effort with the State of Wisconsin, the Marquette School of Dentistry moved into a cutting-edge $35 million, 120,000-square-foot facility in which the dean and his leadership team revolutionized century-old dental education. Representatives from every dental school in the nation visited MUSOD to witness not only a new building, but also to learn and integrate Marquette’s innovative curriculum.
Since then, the dental school has provided more than 1.7 million patient visits, with significant service to underserved populations, including dental Medicaid patients.
In 2012, Lobb received the William J. Gies Awards for Innovation as a dental educator. Lobb was nominated by faculty members for his leadership for developing an innovative curricular model that incorporates a comprehensive care group model, which includes early clinical experiences, integration of content and instruction, evidence-based decision making, and a grand rounds education model with an emphasis on public health and statewide community-based clinical partnerships. Additionally, Lobb created a faculty-practice model to attract and retain world-class dental education practitioners.
In 2013, Lobb led another $20 million capital campaign for a 40,000-square-foot expansion to create additional clinical, lab and classroom space and increased class sizes to 100 students each year, for an annual enrollment of 400 students — 50% of whom are Wisconsin resident students. Approximately 80% of the state’s dentists are MUSOD alumni.
In 2017, 1974 MUSOD alumnus Dr. Paul Andrews pledged a $5 million estate gift to the school. The largest gift in the dental school’s history, it will provide scholarships for veterans and their families.
As a part of the university-wide Time to Rise campaign, Lobb launched the school’s current capital fundraising efforts with a goal to raise $28 million to upgrade the original clinics within the school’s patient service areas. In 2022, in an effort led by Marquette Trustee Emeritus John Bergstrom and MUSOD alumni Sue Meinerz, D.D.S., the school raised more than $5 million to totally rebuild the facility and clinics — including 151 operatories — with the latest in technology and equipment.
Also under this new campaign, MUSOD will establish a dedicated special needs clinic to increase its capacity to serve special needs patients by more than 65%. In spring 2022, the school received a $2 million gift from longtime supporter Delta Dental of Wisconsin Foundation to fund significant technology enhancements and establish the Delta Dental Advanced Care Clinic, a dedicated area that will strengthen care for individuals with special needs and enhance focused training.
The Delta Dental Advanced Care Clinic will include spaces for sensory affected patients and specialized equipment for patients who use wheelchairs to allow for better and more comprehensive care. The clinic is anticipated to serve more than 1,200 patients annually.
MUSOD clinics throughout Wisconsin serve nearly 30,000 patients each year, with more than 110,000 patient visits from 66 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties annually through its network of clinics.
As a native of rural Canada, Lobb has been committed to broadening MUSOD’s footprint in rural Wisconsin in partnership with the state and others delivering service in rural areas through affiliated clinical rotations. Additionally, Delta Dental Fellows participate in a one-year post-doctorate fellowship program serving rural communities.
MUSOD clinics in Milwaukee serve as a dental home to nearly 17,000 patients annually and has more than 27,400 active patients, providing $16 million worth of oral health care services annually in these clinics alone. Two-thirds of the patients are from Milwaukee County; one-third are from 52 other Wisconsin counties.
About Dr. William K. Lobb (full bio available online)
Lobb is a fellow of the American College of Dentists, the Pierre Fauchard Academy and the International College of Dentists, and is a member of Omicron Kappa Upsilon. Lobb received the W.W. Wood Award for Excellence in Dental Education from the Association of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry, and the ADEA/William J. Gies award for innovation in dental education in 2012.
Lobb received his pre-dental education at Notre Dame University in Nelson, British Columbia, and the University of Calgary from 1970-72 and received his D.D.S. degree from the University of Alberta in Edmonton in 1977. He completed a general practice residency at the University Hospital in Edmonton, received a master’s degree in orthodontics from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1981, and a Master of Public Health degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2008.