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20139ofdentistryssuccessoverthepastcenturyinreinventingitselfnotonlyasadisciplineandvocationbutasalearnedprofes-sion.Answeringthisquestionrequiresknowingwhichuniversi-tiesqualifyasthenationsbest.Rosovskyneveractuallyenumeratedhislistofthetop50or100USuniversities.Buthedidmakeclearthekindsofplaceshehadinminduniversitiesthatleadtheworldinbasicscienceresearchprovideasignifi-cantshareofthemostcompetitivegraduateprogramsandaregener-allyatthecuttingedgeSuchuni-versitiesarecompetitive.Institutionsofthesameclasscompeteforfac-ultyresearchfundsstudentspublicattentionandmuchelse.RosovskysaysthatattopAmericanuniversi-tiesfacultiesareassembledlargelyonthebasisofindividualqualitywithouttheconstraintofconsideringwheretheyreceivedtheireducation.Qualityandcompetitivenessdictate.Atsuchplacestherearenoreserva-tionsaboutthebeneficialeffectsofcompetitionseeingitasastrategytopreventcomplacencyorindolenceandpromptingthedriveforexcel-lenceandchange.Suchuniversitiesassumethatthequalityoftheirfacultyplaysthesinglemostimportantroleinmaintain-ingreputationandposition.Thebestfacultyattractsthefineststudentsproducesthehighest-qualityresearchandgainsthemostoutsidesupport.3Fewwouldarguethatdentistryshouldnothaveaseatatthetablebutincreasinglydentaleducationinstitutionsarenotwillingtocommitthem-selvesfinanciallyorpsychologicallytomakingthishappen.InfactthetrendsthatimpelledtheconveningoftheAnnArbormeetingsuggestthatdentalschoolsareworkingtoreversethegainsofthelastcentury.ASlipperySlopeContemplatethisstatisticBetween1982and2000sevendentalschoolsclosednoneofthemhavingasignificantre-searchportfolio.Forgetthedentalschoolsthemselves.Lookinsteadattheparentuniversitiesofthedentalschoolsthatclosed.Fiveofthesevenparentuniversitiesarethekindsofinstitutionsthattodayhaveinaggregatealmostabilliondollarsofresearchfundingandqualifyasresearch-intensiveuniversities.Lackingasignificantresearchportfoliothoseparticulardentalschoolsdidntreallyfitwithintheparentuniversitiesthathousedthem.Nowlookattheparentuniversitiesofthefirstfivedentalschoolsthathaveopenedsince2000TheNIHresearchfund-ingoftheparentuniversitiesamountstoonly3.5million.Rememberweretalkingabouttheparentuniversitiesnotthedentalschools.ThismeansthattheaggregateNIHfundingofthesefiveparentuniversitiesequatestoaboutthesameamountastheresearchfundingofthesingledentalschoolranking21stamongdentalschoolsinNIDCRfundingtoday.Whatthismeansisthattheparentuniversitiesoftheseinstitutionsthemselvesdonotseeresearchaspartoftheirmissionwillnotattractresearch-orientedfacultyandthatthedentalschoolstheyhoststate-mentstothecontrarynotwithstand-ingwillhavelittleorientationtowardresearch.Thishastomeansomethingabouttheenvironmentwithinwhichstudentsintheseschoolswillbeeducatedyetwepretendthatalldentalschoolsarethesamebecausetheyareallaccredited.ShouldanyonecareItsnotformetosaybutitshouldatleastbeknown.Somesystemformakingsuchadifferencemoretransparentwouldbeamorehonestwaytogo.Ratingsinhighereducationarenothingnewwithperhapsthemostwell-knownbeingtheCarnegieClassificationofInsti-tutionsofHigherEducation.4TheinterestingthingisthatitappearsthatdentalschoolsarenolongerbeingestablishedwithinthehighestCarnegieclassificationofdoctorate-grant-inguniversitieswithveryhighresearchactivityRUVHorhighresearchactivityRUH.Todaywithonepossibleex-ceptionnewdentalschoolsaremainlyassociatedwithparentuniversitiesidentifiedasspecialfocusinstitutions.ThisCarnegiecategoryincludestheologicalseminariesBiblecol-legesotherfaith-relatedinstitutionsfreestandingmedicalschoolsandmedicalcentersotherhealthprofessionsschoolsandotherspecial-focusinstitutions.Thisisnotnecessarilyabadthingbutitmaysignalashiftinthepublicsperceptionofthedentalprofessionandmorethanthatitmaypredict