ADEA to launch major dental education-wide climate assessment on diversity and inclusion


WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) is launching a major dental education-wide climate assessment survey that will collect baseline data on diversity, equity, and inclusion in U.S. and Canadian dental schools and related dental programs . This inaugural climate assessment is a critical step in helping all institutions measure perceptions about campus climate as a support for inclusion, equality, and equitable outcomes for all stakeholders.

“This project underscores ADEA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and its responsibility and commitment to help all dental schools and dental education programs develop a better understanding of the dental landscape. current situation,” said ADEA President and CEO Karen P. West, DMD, MPH. “With the data we will collect, dental schools and programs will have valuable insights into what actions they can take to further promote inclusion, diversity and a strong sense of belonging for all.

The climate study will also include questions about well-being and engagement among specific demographic groups. Collecting baseline data will allow dental schools and related dental programs to assess their strengths and identify areas for improvement related to inclusion and diversity efforts and creating and maintaining a humanistic environment. . Additionally, climate assessment data will serve as an important tool to guide new and enhanced strategic initiatives related to diversity, equity and inclusion in dental education.

Some dental schools and related dental programs have already participated in campus-level climate studies. However, one of the major benefits of the ADEA climate assessment will be the availability of aggregated comparative data specific to dental schools and related dental programs, which was not available for the schools and programs participating in the assessments only. universities/campuses. Individualized, confidential, personalized reports and data tables will be available to assist with diversity and strategic planning at the school and program level.

ADEA is partnering with Nonprofit HR, a consulting group with offices in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, to conduct the survey, which will include all 78 dental schools and more than 800 allied dental programs in the United States and in Canada. ADEA and nonprofit HR will also work with the ADEA Collaborative on Dental Education Climate Assessment (ADEA CDECA) and other key stakeholders to develop the survey instrument over the summer and 2021. Tentative plans for survey implementation are early spring 2022 and final climate assessment results. will be available in fall 2022.

“For many decades, we have heard first-hand and second-hand accounts of microaggressions, macroaggressions and lack of cultural sensitivities in work environments in general, and in dental education in particular,” Keith said. A. Mays, Ph.D., DDS, MS, Chairman of the ADEA Board of Trustees and Dean of the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. “As a faculty member and administrator, I have too many confidential conversations about racial discrimination, sexual harassment, or discrimination based on sexual orientation. This makes me believe that we may not fully understand how many people within our institutions are affected. Therefore, ADEA’s climate assessment survey is an important step to further support healing and wellness in dental facilities.

Lisa Brown Alexander, Founder and CEO, Nonprofit HR, said she was looking forward to this project. “Nonprofit HR places great importance on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and is honored to partner with ADEA on such a monumental, timely and critical initiative,” said she declared. “We recognize the strength and value that a greater focus on DEI can bring to every organization in the dental education community. And we are in tune with the wealth of experience and perspective that a diverse and equitable workforce brings to the university community across North America.

The Climate Assessment Survey is the culmination of more than a year of collaborative work and research conducted by ADEA staff, the ADEA Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee (ADEA DIAC ) and the ADEA CDECA, which consists of six independent researchers from four ADEA member dental schools (University of Michigan School of Dentistry; University of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry; Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry; and University of Indiana School of Dentistry), a representative from the Academy for Advancing Leadership and representatives from ADEA DIAC and ADEA Personnel.

Before deciding to launch the study, ADEA, through the ADEA CDECA, spent several months reviewing the literature on assessing the climate of post-secondary and health professions. They also collected and analyzed information from faculty, staff, students and administrators by conducting six surveys and two rounds of focus groups. The data collected focused on three areas: 1) past climate survey activities in dental schools and related dental programs, 2) perceptions and considerations of dental schools and related dental programs regarding future study on the ADEA-led dental education-wide climate and 3) the effects of the COVID-19 crisis and the Black Lives Matter movement on the cultural climate for all members of our communities and related activities to the climate. Based on all the information gathered, ADEA CDECA recommended that ADEA contract a group of external climate survey consultants to conduct a dental education-wide survey. for all US and Canadian dental schools and related dental programs.

In December 2020, ADEA staff launched a competitive bidding process in which they invited vendors to submit a proposal to develop, administer and analyze climate survey data at the scale of dental education. ADEA selected Nonprofit HR as its supplier.

Many of those involved in developing the survey hope it will be a step forward for the dental education community in embracing diversity and inclusion.

“We should take action. We should have already been able to take action after the murder of George Floyd over a year ago,” said Dennis A. Mitchell, DDS, MPH, Co-Chair of ADEA DIAC, Representative of the CDECA and Vice-Rector for Faculty Advancement and Professor. at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine. “But we couldn’t take action and we are still trying to assess. We’ve already lost a year of action, so it’s important that we include next steps and measurable results in any survey we offer.

Ana N. López, DMD, MPH, FACD, FICD, co-chair of ADEA DIAC, representative of CDECA and professor and former dean of the School of Dentistry at the University of Puerto Rico, called on the community of l dental education to welcome this initiative.

“Now is the time to take action, to participate, to take it seriously and to answer these questions with our hearts, with our minds and with our own experiences,” she said. “We have to be committed to making this change happen and it only happens when we all get involved and do what we need to do and respond to these surveys.”

About ADEA: The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) is the voice of dental education. Our mission is to lead and support the health professions community in preparing future oral health professionals. Our members include all 78 US and Canadian dental schools, more than 800 allied and advanced dental education programs, more than 50 societies, and approximately 18,000 individuals. Our activities encompass a wide range of research, advocacy, faculty development, meetings and communications, including estimates Journal of Dental Education®as well as ADEA AADSAS dental school application services®ADEA PASS®ADEA DHCAS® and ADEA CAAPID®. For more information, visit


Comments are closed.