School of Dentistry Leadership Changes


As School of Dentistry Dean Marsha Pyle announced last September, she will be retiring from her role as dean effective September 1.


The interim dean will be School of Pharmacy Dean Russ Melchert, who will serve in this dual deanship until the university can conduct a national search and hire a permanent dean for the School of Dentistry. Melchert will oversee all aspects of School of Dentistry leadership, with support from the school’s strong associate dean team. His proven leadership experience in health sciences and at a professional school with a strong faculty research portfolio will make him an excellent fit for this dual role.

Pyle has served as dean of the School of Dentistry since 2009, steering the school through an excellent revalidation of accreditation with the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). In her role as dean, Pyle has led a well-respected academic program that produces 109 DDS, 30 dental hygiene, plus advanced education graduates annually; and dental clinics that serve the region providing more than 61,000 patient visits annually while donating nearly $600,000 in care to the community. Most recently, she has led the school in its response regarding the pandemic and worked with her faculty and staff to prepare to reopen its clinics and classrooms this fall.


Melchert has led the UMKC School of Pharmacy since 2010. During that time, he expanded Missouri’s only public pharmacy program to satellite sites to Columbia, on the University of Missouri campus, and to Springfield, in partnership with Missouri State University, to address healthcare needs throughout the state. UMKC School of Pharmacy faculty conduct nationally regarded research, winning numerous NIH-funded grants, and students excel on national licensure exams, in career placement and in their community-service-focused organizations, which consistently achieve top national honors among more than 100 institutions.

Please express your appreciation and well wishes to Pyle on her retirement, as well as congratulations to Melchert as he transitions into this new role.

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