ATSU moves forward with dental school

Officials at A.T. Still University (ATSU) have voted to issue a $26 million bond to build the Missouri School of Dentistry and Oral Health.

The school hopes to admit 40 students by fall 2013. The 61,000-sq-ft facility will be an interprofessional education facility for the dental school and medical school students from ATSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine, according to ATSU.

In addition to approving the bond issue for construction and equipment, the board of trustees also endorsed a change from a dental program (distant-site branch campus) under ATSU's Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health (ASDOH) to a standalone school of dentistry and oral health. The new approach will allow the Kirksville school more flexibility and enhance the process of accreditation by the Council on Dental Accreditation.

Board Chairman Carl Bynum called the decision "a major move forward in establishing a new ATSU dental school in Missouri that will have lasting benefits for the citizens of Kirksville and for the underserved population of the state."

Construction on the Interprofessional Education and Dentistry School Building is expected to begin in spring 2012.

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