Dr. Eric Hovland, professor emeritus, served as dean of the LSU School of Dentistry from 1993 to 2008. Following his tenure as dean, he served as a professor in the school’s Department of Endodontics and director of the Office of Advanced Education from 2008 to 2017.
Dr. Hovland received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland in 1968 and his dental degree from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry in 1972. Following graduation, he served in the U.S. Air Force Dental Corps for three years. He then completed his endodontic residency at the Medical College of Virginia in 1977; at the same time, he received a Master of Education in Adult Education from Virginia Commonwealth University.
In 1977, he joined the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry where he served in various positions including director of undergraduate clinics and head of its Department of Endodontics. In 1980, he received a Master of Business Administration from Loyola College in Baltimore.
Throughout his career, Dr. Hovland held many national leadership positions. He was the president of the American Dental Education Association in 2006 and president of the American Association of Endodontists (AAE) in 1993. He also served as a delegate to the American Dental Association (ADA) House of Delegates and as commissioner of the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation from 1997 to 2001, chairing the commission from 2000 to 2001. He was also president of the Southern Conference of Deans and Dental Examiners.
Dr. Hovland has written numerous publications; he is co-author of two editions of the textbook Problem Solving in Endodontics and editor of two Dental Clinics of North America symposia. He has lectured extensively to national and international associations.
Dr. Hovland is a Fellow of the International College of Dentists, the American College of Dentists, and the Pierre Fauchard Academy. In 2004, he received the Academy of General Dentistry Thaddeus V. Weclew Award for exceptional contributions to the art and science of dentistry. In 2006, he received the Outstanding Dental Leader Award from the International College of Dentists and the Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Award as an Outstanding Transformational Leader. In 2007, he received the Louisiana Dental Association Award of Merit for Exceptional Leadership for his extraordinary leadership following Hurricane Katrina. He is also the recipient of the Edgar D. Coolidge Award, the AAE’s highest honorary award.
As dean of LSUSD during Hurricane Katrina, which closed the school in New Orleans for two years, Dr. Hovland and his team were responsible for the successful development of a temporary campus in Baton Rouge, allowing students to continue their dental education. During his tenure as dean and in partnership with various agencies, he established a satellite dental hygiene program and clinic in Lafayette, a clinic in New Orleans for the treatment of patients with HIV/AIDS, and the Tooth Bus for the treatment of children throughout New Orleans. Dr. Hovland strengthened the continuing education program, created a Master of Science in Oral Biology (now Master of Dentistry), created a competency-based curriculum, and established the first patient simulation laboratories for preclinical instruction. He also established a research center and a clinical research facility to expand the research functions at the dental school and created four patient-care coordinator positions to help students monitor their patient treatment plans.
Under his leadership, the school significantly increased its fundraising effort and strengthened relations with alumni. Because of his extraordinary contributions to LSUSD and to dental education, he received the LSUSD Lifetime Service Award in 2017.Back to a Historical Overview