Creighton University has named Mark A. Latta, D.M.D., M.S., associate dean for Research and professor of General Dentistry, as dean of the School of Dentistry effective July 1, 2011. Latta, who has been on the Creighton faculty since 1995, becomes the 18th dean of the School of Dentistry since its founding in 1905. He succeeds Wayne W. Barkmeier, D. D.S., M.S., who will support the transition and continue as a professor of General Dentistry.
In his current position, Latta is the chief administrator of research, and was personally awarded more than 100 research grants on prosthetic dental restorative materials, adhesives and bonding and dental material clinical trials. A speaker and lecturer of international renown, he has published more than 50 manuscripts and 170 abstracts and presented at numerous state and national dental association meetings and throughout the world. His teaching responsibilities include direct clinical supervision of junior and senior students, lecture contributions to dental materials and Operative Dentistry courses and as course director for Evidence-Based Dentistry.
“ Both the Rev. Timothy R. Lannon, S. J., and I agree that Creighton is fortunate to have an outstanding current faculty member with the vision, academic credentials and values-centered approach to teaching that makes Dr. Latta the right person to lead the school,” said the Rev. John P. Schlegel, S. J, Creighton president. “The national search was exhaustive and I wish to acknowledge the excellent work of the Search Committee headed by Dean of Nursing Eleanor Howell, in making this recommendation. “I also want to express my gratitude to Dr. Barkmeier for his outstanding leadership and contributions to the School of Dentistry, filling the role of dean twice in his 30-year career,” he added.
Prior to joining Creighton, Latta served as director of Research and Development for the Trubyte Division of Dentsply International, York, Penn. During his industrial career he contributed to or was responsible for more than 20 new dental product introductions and was an inventor or co-inventor of numerous patents. He has also served as the immediate past president of the Dental Materials Group, International Association for Dental Research, is a Fellow in the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists and is a member of Omicron Kappa Upsilon, the national honorary society. Throughout his career he has lent his leadership and skills to numerous national, regional and local professional organizations, committees and boards.
“For more than 16 years, I have seen the impact that Creighton and our dental school have had on its students, its alumni, and the community, and our ability to provide vital Jesuit, Catholic values-centered health care,” said Latta. “ I embrace the School’s mission and I am truly honored and humbled to be serving this institution in a new capacity and helping to shape the future of our institution,” said Latta.
A graduate of Lafayette College in Easton, Penn., Latta earned his dental degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, and his master’s degree in oral biology from the University of Maryland Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. He also spent one year in hospital general practice residency at York Hospital, York, Penn. He and his wife, Victoria, have two daughters, Mary Kathryn and Megan Victoria.