Kings College London

Professor Nairn Wilson praises 'illustrious alumni' as he retires as Dean of the Dental Institute

Professor Nairn Wilson discusses his ten years as Dean of one of the UK’s leading dental colleges.

Why are you retiring as Dean?
My 10 years as Dean and Head of the College’s Dental Institute has been busy and challenging, but most rewarding. The Dental Institute is now ready, however, to move on to the next five- to ten-year phase of its development as the world’s leading dental clinical academic centre and, as such, it is time for new leadership.

How do you feel the Dental Institute has changed during your tenure?
The Institute has come together and grown both in terms of its range of activities and standing. A great deal has been achieved, but more has yet to come as the Institute remains focussed on realising its full potential, across the spectrum of innovations in clinical practice, world-leading research and ground-breaking developments in learning and teaching. In short, the past ten years has seen the Institute develop from a fledgling, clinical academic centre into a world-class centre of excellence, with a tremendous reputation across the globe.

What will you remember
most from your time as Dean?
Teamwork and unswerving determination to pursue excellence. Much of what has been achieved would not have been possible without the constant support and encouragement of the Institute’s parent organisations - the College and Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospital Trusts and, in recent times, King’s Health Partners. Not forgetting the ever increasing support of friends, sponsors and - in particular - the illustrious alumni of the Institute.

What do you wish that you knew at the beginning of your tenure that you know now?
Looking back, there are things that could have been done sooner and, as a consequence, with greater effect. However, sustaining the substantial rate of continuous change and development in the Institute has been an achievement in itself and a more rapid programme of development could have carried much greater risk. Would I therefore do things differently if I had my time as Dean again - No, not much, but hindsight is easy relative to effective forward planning and the management of change.

As I come towards the end of my deanship, I wish the Dental Institute every success in the future.  It is a great institution with an excellent new Dean - Dr Dianne Rekow - and tremendous potential, notably amongst its next generation of outstanding senior staff.  I look forward to watching the Institute going from strength to strength, underpinned by all the expertise, support and encouragement, which has been crucial to its success to date.


Related links:

>> King's College London Dental Institute
>> King's Health Partners
>> King's appoints new Dean to its Dental Institute


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