Dr. Lang joined IUSD in 2022 as a tenured professor and associate dean for faculty affairs. She is an experienced educator, administrator, and respected academic prosthodontist. She most recently served as the Dr. and Mrs. Julian B. Woelfel Endowed Chair in Restorative and Prosthetic Dentistry and chair of the Department of General Practice and Materials Science and the Department of Restorative and Prosthetic Dentistry at The Ohio State University.
Dr. Lang earned her DDS from University of Michigan School of Dentistry. She also completed a certificate in advanced education in general dentistry from Columbia University, a certificate and master’s degree in prosthodontics from University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), and a master’s degree in business administration from Rawls College at Texas Tech University.
Dr. Lang began her academic teaching and administrator career at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry and rose through the ranks at UTHSCSA, Case Western Reserve University, and The Ohio State College of Dentistry. Throughout her career, she has garnered grants and shared her scholarly work at national and international forums and in journals and book publications.
Dr. Lang is a diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics and is immediate past president of the Academy of Prosthodontics.
Q&A with Dr. Lisa Lang
1. Surprise, you’re interim dean! This was highly unexpected. How do you feel about the opportunity to lead the one of country’s largest public dental schools?
I am very honored to have been chosen to lead our premiere dental school. It has been a dream of mine someday to be a dean, so while I was not expecting it to be now, I have been planning and preparing for it my entire academic career.
2. As you transition to the dean’s office, who will provide leadership in the Office of Faculty Affairs?
Over the course of the next six months, I will be wearing two hats. Fortunately, we have been planning for expansion in the Office of Faculty Affairs. I have a great team who will continue to provide support as I assume the responsibilities within the dean’s office. Our Assistant Dean of Faculty Development, Dr. Kelton Stewart, whose role was re-imagined to provide guidance for faculty throughout the promotion and tenure process, faculty mentoring, and creation of faculty development programs, will play a significant role in the continuity of the office. My existing staff, Damon Spight, Lauren Levendoski, Meredith Lecklider and our student worker Riya Singh, will be joined by a new HR generalist this summer. Many of our plans for the fall semester are fully developed or well on their way, so I am confident, with Dr. Stewart’s assistance, we won’t miss a step, and the office will continue to run smoothly and provide faculty with the services they need to be successful.
3. How has your experience in academic and clinical dentistry prepared you to lead at this level?
I have been fortunate over the 28 years of my career to take on leadership opportunities to lead faculty, staff, and students in a variety of settings. Whether it be running clinical enterprises, large academic departments, curriculum innovation, or multicenter clinical research projects, I have learned the importance of communication and collaboration. Actively listening to people, providing transparency, and articulating a clear plan of action creates opportunities for people to thrive and move an organization forward.
4. What will be your priorities as interim dean?
My goal as the interim dean will be to move forward the existing initiatives set forth by Dean Murdoch-Kinch and the leadership team. We will continue to achieve the goals created in the IUSD strategic plan, prepare for the upcoming renovation projects, and support and uplift our IUSD community of faculty, staff, and students to provide a superb education to our students, care for our patients, and expand our research enterprise.
The last few weeks I have immersed myself into learning as much as possible about all schoolwide and department-level initiatives. I have been meeting with administrators, department chairs, and touring the clinics to meet staff I had not interacted with previously. I will continue to meet with others over the course of the next several weeks and months. While I knew many things about IUSD prior to my appointment as interim dean, I am continuing to learn more each day. Over the course of the summer, I will learn even more as I meet with each of the department’s faculty and staff members. I ask your patience as I transition to wearing the two hats of associate dean for faculty affairs and the interim dean.
5. What are you most looking forward to as interim dean?
I am most looking forward to working with a great group of people. We have wonderful faculty, staff, students, and alumni who care about IUSD and want it to be a successful place to learn, work, and live. Since it was announced that I would be assuming this position, I have had an outpouring of positive correspondence, people eager to assist, collaborate, and help in any way they can. I can’t think of a better place to be.
6. You are new to living in Indiana. How have you adjusted to the Hoosier state?
It’s the Midwest, and I’m a Midwestern girl. While I have lived in many areas of the U.S., there is no place like the Midwest, where the people are the friendliest and always willing to lend a helping hand. I recently purchased a house, so finally I will be settling into the community and feeling a more permanent sense of home.
7. What looks like fun for you outside of work?
My two favorite activities are traveling and Big Ten Football. I love traveling because I love going to new places and learning about other cultures. I love football because of the sheer enjoyment of the sport and the comradery of the team and fans.