Cole professorship funding complete

March 27th, 2015
CAD/CAM units like this one  can be used to reduce the time required for dental restorations.

CAD/CAM units like this one can be used to reduce the time required for dental restorations.

The first item on the list: Integration of CAD/CAM technology for TAMBCD’s preclinical curriculum

Computer-aided design and manufacturing, commonly referred to as CAD/CAM, has transformed the accessibility of efficient, precise dental restorations. A CAD/CAM unit can, in conjunction with a patient’s digital images, be used to mill crowns, veneers and fixed bridges, among other uses, all while the patient reclines in the dental chair.

Now, as a result of the funding completion for the James S. Cole Professorship — a  $500,000 endowment — TAMBCD can begin to incorporate this technology into its preclinical curriculum. The improvements aren’t limited to CAD/CAM; they will continue in perpetuity as needs arise at the college for technology updates and instructional innovations. Funds from the professorship are earmarked for such uses.

Dr. James Cole, dean emeritus at TAMBCD, speaks to the stability of the professorship — named in his honor — when it comes to providing contemporary dental education.

“You can plan in advance the projects you want to accomplish and put those plans in motion. When you attend national meetings you can look at projects that you think would be good for the college and then follow up on them,” says Cole. “If you know that you will continue to have funds available, then you can realistically believe you can bring them to fruition and that they are not just ‘pipe dreams.’”

Dr. James S. Cole, dean emeritus

Dr. James S. Cole, dean emeritus

Cole didn’t initiate the professorship, but TAMBCD administrator Susan Mitchell Jackson and Dr. Robert Walker, 1947 alumnus, along with Baylor Oral Health Foundation President Robert Bigham, launched the fundraising in 2011 in anticipation of Cole’s retirement from the dental school in August of that year. The fund was established to support projects similar to the ones Cole had undertaken at the outset of his career shortly after graduation.

A member of the Class of 1975, Cole taught classes at TAMBCD during the day, and evenings and spare time were spent programming the college’s first clinical information management system. While Cole admits that the initial version may be rudimentary compared to Axium, the dental school’s current records system, electronic patient and student records were nearly unheard of in dental schools in the late ’70s. At the time, Cole certainly didn’t foresee his efforts would provide inspiration for an endowed professorship.

Funds are available now for Dr. Lawrence Wolinsky, TAMBCD dean, to put toward technology and instructional advancements, says Bigham, who also serves as treasurer of BOHF.

“This professorship provides the infrastructure needed for quality, cutting-edge improvements to dental care: high-tech classrooms, dental simulation, electronic patient records, you name it,” says Bigham.

This in turn helps recruit and retain dental students, as well as faculty.

Wolinsky, who with Dr. Frank Higginbottom, ’71, identified the need for the CAD/CAM technology, says advancement efforts stand to have a snowball effect as a result of the professorship.

“My hope is that the completion of the Cole professorship will encourage other departments to seek out endowed professorships and endowed chairs,” Wolinsky says. “This is a fitting tribute to Dr. Cole. He paved the way for the introduction of and constant updates to technology during his tenure at TAMBCD.”

Dr. Lawrence Wolinsky, TAMBCD dean, left and Cole, dean emeritus

Dr. Lawrence Wolinsky, TAMBCD dean, left, and Cole, dean emeritus

Leadership behind the fundraising initiative

The dedication of many individuals took the concept of the James S. Cole Professorship from ideation to completion.

Here’s a look at who helped make this endowment a reality:

  • Dr. Robert V. Walker, 1947 alumnus and Erle Nye, chairman emeritus of TXU Corp.  honorary chairmen of the fundraising committee
  • Dr. Frank Higginbottom, 1971 alumnus and Dr. Linda Niessen, dean at Nova Southeastern University’s College of Dental Medicine – committee chairs
  • Dr. Janice DeWald, dental hygiene and Dr. Amp Miller, restorative sciences – faculty chairs

Fundraising committee members

  • Ms. Moira Allen
  • Dr. Charles J. Arcoria
  • Dr. Todd Baumann
  • Dr. Patricia L. Blanton
  • Dr. Larry L. Bellinger
  • Dr. Charles W. Berry
  • Mr. Robert J. Bigham Jr.
  • Mr. George W. Bramblett Jr.
  • Dr. Jesse T. Bullard
  • Dr. Phillip M. Campbell
  • Mr. Dale A. Christensen
  • Dr. Jonathan Clemetson
  • Dr. Stacy V. Cole
  • Mrs. Lana S. Crawford
  • Dr. Frank K. Eggleston
  • Ms. Jane D. Evans
  • Dr. John S. Findley
  • Dr. Gerald N. Glickman
  • Dr. David M. Grogan
  • Dr. Kathy E. Hamilton
  • Dr. Thomas C. Harrison
  • Dr. Larry D. Herwig
  • Mr. Paul R. Hoffmann
  • Dr. Dean A. Hudson
  • Ms. Susan Mitchell Jackson
  • Dr. Daniel L. Jones
  • Dr. Steve W. Karbowski
  • Dr. Ernie S. Lacy
  • Dr. Jack L. Long
  • Dr. Thomas McDougal
  • Dr. Alton McWhorter
  • Dr. Barbara H. Miller
  • Ms. Juanna S. Moore
  • Dr. Loulou M.T. Moore
  • Dr. Lynne A. Opperman
  • Dr. Jeffrey A. Rossmann
  • Dr. N. Sue Seale
  • Ms. Carol Seay
  • Dr. Eric S. Solomon
  • Dr. Robert Spears
  • Dr. Scott Staffel
  • Dr. Michael L. Stuart
  • Dr. Mohsen Taleghani
  • Dr. W. Keith Thornton
  • Dr. Nathaniel G. “Tip” Tippit
  • Dr. R. Gilbert Triplett
  • Dr. W. Scott Waugh
  • Dr. Ronald D. Woody
  • Dr. John Wright

— Jennifer Fuentes