The new millennium dawned upon us like a ray of sunshine. Together with it brings changes to our faculty such as the ushering in of our new Dean, sub-Dean and a new Editor too. Quite big shoes to fill especially after Dr Winston Tan's stint as the editor! On behalf of the faculty, we thank him for a job well done over the past 4 years. Touching upon our new Dean, his vision is to bring the Faculty to a new growth pace in line with the challenges that the VC has thrown to all staff. Recent changes to University policies include clear definition and criteria for promotion and tenureship. New contracts, carved in performance-based criteria, are designed to infuse new energy and activity in academic development.
"New economy" - that is the new buzzword with all the changes one can imagine. Here in the faculty, we are carving inroads to this arena by striving to be our best in teaching, research or clinical work. Leading the way in teaching is A/Prof Lim Lum Peng who won the NUS Outstanding Educator award. Really an outstanding feat as this award is given only to a selected group of NUS staff who excel in teaching, and who have been identified by their colleagues and students as deserving of special recognition.
From Outstanding Educator Award winner to churning out a BDS Honours student after a lapse of 15 years is really something we should celebrate! No mean feat as to date only 6 persons including our present Dean, has achieved this honour and this started way back in 1937!
In the research field, we have chosen to go down to the basics by planning new research facilities for basic dental sciences and getting a full time scientist, an oral biologist in the person of Dr Cao Tong. In line with the life science emphasis, Prof. Chew, A/Prof Neo, Dr Winston Tan and I visited the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Dr Winston Tan ended up spending a month in their laboratories to gain more insight into their work there. Visiting professors like Professor James Wefel (USA), Professor Malcolm Harris (UK) and Professor William Davidson (USA) came and gave valuable advice in this area too.
in time to come, we'll be a force to reckon with. Challenges anyone?
Dr Chay Siew Han