Dean of Indiana University School of Dentistry






Dr. John N. Williams Jr.


Dr. John N. Williams Jr. began his appointment as dean of the Indiana University School of Dentistry on June 15, 2010.

Formerly dean of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dr. Williams also served as a professor in UNC’s Department of Dental Ecology. Prior to joining the faculty and administration at UNC, he served in several positions with the University of Louisville School of Dentistry from 1986 to 2005. Dr. Williams was dean of the University of Louisville dental school from 1999 to 2005.

He is only the ninth person to assume the role of dean in the 135-year history of Indiana’s dental school, which began as the Indiana Dental College in 1879 and became part of IU in 1925. Four men in the school’s history were acting deans for periods ranging from 10 months to two years, and the school’s original leader was the president of the college’s board of trustees. Dr. Williams followed Dr. Lawrence Goldblatt in the position.

Dr. Williams has childhood ties to the Hoosier state. Born in Tennessee, he spent eight years in Indiana during the 1960s living in New Castle, Anderson, and finally Connersville, where he graduated from high school in 1970.

Dr. Williams' priorities as dean include raising the school's research productivity and funding; developing and executing a plan for new and improved building facilities; and substantially increasing the fund-raising outcomes for the school.

He is well-known nationally for his contributions to dental education and practice. Dr. Williams earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Louisville. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Transylvania University.

His extensive work with the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) has included his roles as commissioner and chair of many comprehensive site visits to U.S. dental schools. Having completed three years of his four-year appointment as a CODA board member in the fall of 2013, he is serving as CODA chair during the final year of his term.

He holds a position of prominence in the American Dental Education Association, having completed a term as vice president of the Council of Deans in 2012. He briefly served in 2012 as the IUPUI campus’s interim executive vice chancellor, and during the 2013-2013 academic year he led the search for a new dean for the Indiana University School of Medicine, which was completed in May 2013.

Dr. Williams is currently a board member for the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, which honored the IU School of Dentistry as “NCOHF Affiliate of the Year" for 2012.

The Indiana University School of Dentistry Alumni Association Board of Directors welcomed Dean Williams as an honorary alumnus at the 71st Dental Alumni Conference in May 2013. He was cited in part for his leadership in working with IU’s dental faculty and staff to develop a strategic mission for the school and in organizing a building campaign for new clinical and research facilities.

John Williams and his wife, Lucy Williams, have a grown daughter.

February 6, 2014