Goal Five: Enhance and Maintain a Supportive and Humanistic Environment

Our Vision

UFCD is a premier destination for dental patients, a top educational choice for students and residents, and a stimulating working environment for faculty and staff.

Smiles at graduation

An organization can only be strong when its human capital is united. Faculty, staff, residents, trainees and students at UFCD form a special community linked through interests, knowledge, science, curiosity and compassion. We will create a supportive and respectful climate that embraces and values diversity, equity and inclusion — acknowledging that with diversity, we gain a broader foundation of strength, wisdom and creativity. We will foster an environment of support, trust, effective communication, responsible and ethical behavior, and maintain an ongoing commitment to respect within our own institution while we provide care for others.


5-1. Foster a culture of inclusion, diversity, equity and access among students, residents, staff and faculty.

Students in sim lab

Rationale: Diversity is a means to institutional excellence, and inclusion is diversity’s natural partner. Recruiting trainees, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds is important for developing an atmosphere of cultural competence in which providers can effectively connect with patient needs and their concerns. Such an environment is essential for delivering optimal patient-centered care and learner-focused education.

Implementation Strategies

  • Create an Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access Strategic Plan to guide inclusive excellence across the college and develop a culture of individual and collective accountability and responsibility for these efforts.
  • Continue to use a holistic approach to evaluate and recruit the most talented faculty, students, residents and postdoctoral scholars to UFCD.
  • Recruit outstanding early-career scientists to secure the future of UFCD research programs; ensure that search strategies are objectively based and sufficiently broad in reach.
  • Dedicate resources for additional merit-based scholarships for DMD students and ensure that sufficient unrestricted scholarship aid is available to attract and maintain a diverse student body.
  • Enhance cultural competency in all learning, research and clinical environments.

5-2. Support recruitment, retention and professional and leadership development of faculty, staff, residents and students from diverse backgrounds.

Rationale: Quantum leaps in technology have transformed the way we interact, work, learn, provide care and discover new knowledge. As such, there is a great need to foster an environment of life-long learning and to invest in our college community with resources that underscore the inclusion of all, and drive the development of innovative, and culturally sensitive professionals.

Implementation Strategies

  • Provide diverse types of professional and leadership opportunities for faculty, administrators, staff, residents and students.
  • Develop and evaluate student-resident programming that addresses mentoring, career planning and professional skills management — including critical skills such as communication and cultural competency.
  • Provide evidence-based mentoring of faculty and trainees by promoting use of the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute Mentor Academy.
  • Recruit and retain high quality faculty and staff to support the college’s mission.

5-3.  Develop a comprehensive UFCD communication plan, promoting the college’s education, research and community engagement and service missions.

GDToday Spring Cover

Rationale: Effective and meaningful communication is a powerful catalyst for maintaining our preeminence and sharing our successes in education, research and patient care. Much more than pushing out information, good communication is bidirectional, involving listening to the needs of our students, faculty, staff — and above all — patient communities. A strategic approach will ensure that we capitalize on these important connections.

Implementation Strategies

  • Expand UFCD regional, national and global branding.
  • Build and maintain a strong relationship with UFCD alumni through social media and other communications approaches.
  • Highlight student and faculty success stories to stakeholders, including local and national media, community organizations and alumni.
  • Partner with UF Health in corporate-level communication efforts.
  • Develop and maintain cooperative and synergistic partnerships with other public and private institutions.
  • Increase marketing efforts to attract patients.
  • Work with communities to expand equitable access to care and create opportunities for academic-community partnerships.

5-4. Promote an overall environment of health and wellness.

Rationale: Individuals and communities are most effective and productive when they are healthy and happy. Access to quality care for body and mind is a high priority for us as a leader in the development and delivery of evidence-based oral health care. We will continue to assess the needs of our own UFCD community and develop resources to meet those needs.

Implementation Strategies

  • Promote responsible environmental stewardship in the communities in which we work and reside.
  • Fulfill our social responsibility to care for underserved communities including patients with special needs.
  • Support infrastructure changes and programs that foster and promote physical and mental well-being.