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Volume XXXVI - October 2001

New Educator's Research Grant

Since its inception in 1914, OKU has been committed to encouraging dental students to achieve academic excellence and we acknowledge student accomplishment through scholastic awards. Recently, the Supreme Chapter of OKU chose to expand these efforts through the establishment of the "Charles Craig Teaching Award", which recognizes the excellence of newly appointed dental educators. This recognition and the accompanying monetary award is given to faculty members early in their careers to acknowledge those individuals who have demonstrated new and innovative teaching techniques. It also serves as an incentive to encourage other newly appointed faculty to strive for teaching excellence.

I believe that OKU has the opportunity to take this concept of encouraging dental faculty, early in their careers, one step further.

Consequently, this morning at the Board of Directors meeting, I proposed the establishment of the "OKU New Educator Research Grant." This grant would provide research monies to newly appointed faculty members who have never previously applied for or received a research grant. In addition to awarding a $15,000 grant, a mentoring mechanism would be established, in which an OKU member will serve as a resource to the newly appointed faculty member throughout the application of the grant and then finally in the publication of our new educator’s research in a refereed dental journal.

OKU will actively promote the program to the dental education community at large; and in particular, the members of ADEA Special Interest Group for Career Development for the New Dental Educator will be targeted as a source for potential grant applicants.

I believe OKU, with the establishment of the "New Educator Research Grant", can significantly contribute to the existing body of knowledge while simultaneously encouraging the career development of new dental educators.

(A proposal from Incoming President James Delahanty)

In order to insure that sufficient money is available to provide a grant of $15,000, once every three years, I am proposing the establishment of a $100,000 endowment to be invested conservatively with at least a 5% return.

I believe that the $100,000 necessary to establish this endowment can be raised by this organization in approximately 5-6 years via a 50/50 raffle.

The legalities of this venture have been investigated. As a non-profit organization incorporated in the State of Nebraska we are eligible to apply for a license to conduct a raffle under Nebraska law.

The Board of Directors feels that the "OKU New Educator Research Award" is a doable project and would be a great way to increase the visibility of this society. At this morning's meeting, the Board agreed to go forward and investigate the feasibility of this project. Dr. Suzuki will be obtaining bids from 2-3 Nebraska accounting firms who we could hire to administer the lottery. At this time I would like to assemble an ad-hoc committee* to develop criteria for the application process and the granting of this award. Dr. Suzuki has agreed that he would be willing to serve as an advisor to this committee. With the recommendations of the ad-hoc committee, I hope to have a final proposal for your consideration at next year's meeting.

*The following members have agreed to serve on the ad-hoc committee:
Dr. Curtis Kuster-Alpha Alpha Chapter
Dr. Michael Siegel-Phi Chapter
Dr. Anthony Vernillo-Omega Chapter