More than 20 university administrators and faculty members and staff from the School of Dental Medicine attended the signing ceremony Tuesday, in addition to a delegation from Qassim University.

More than 20 university administrators and faculty members and staff from the School of Dental Medicine attended the signing ceremony Tuesday, in addition to a delegation from Qassim University.

In a move to expand its international presence and influence, the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine has signed a six-year agreement to train junior faculty from Qassim University—a public university in Saudi Arabia—in specialties of oral health and care.

A delegation from Qassim joined Case Western Reserve faculty, administrators and staff on campus Tuesday for a formal signing.

David Fleshler

David Fleshler, vice provost for international affairs.

“Beyond the signing ceremony, our faculty and Qassim delegates are touring our facilities and developing robust, continuing personal relationships,” said David Fleshler, vice provost for international affairs.

“The visit creates goodwill that cannot be duplicated by email or Skype,” added Fleshler.

The agreement marks the second international collaboration between the dental school and a partner university in the Middle East announced this month.

“We are careful about the partnerships we choose, and this endeavor adds to the strengths and resources of both institutions,” said School of Dental Medicine Dean Kenneth Chance. “We’re going to make a strong team.”

Starting in July, up to eight junior faculty from Qassim will study at the dental school in a one-year Fellowship of Advanced Clinical Education program, while also serving as teaching aides, assisting with research in biomedical, clinical and educational sciences, and completing other requirements.

Kenneth Chance, dean of the School of Dental Medicine.

Kenneth Chance, dean of the School of Dental Medicine.

Qassim faculty who complete the fellowship are eligible to apply for up to two slots in one of the dental school’s highly-competitive Postdoctoral Education Programs in pedodontics, periodontics, endodontics, oral medicine or dental public health (leading to a Master of Science in Dentistry), or to an existing fellowship in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Upon returning to Qassim, they will become senior faculty at the school.

“We will immerse their newly minted faculty in knowledge they can take back to Saudi Arabia to better serve their students and patients,” said Nabil F. Bissada, professor at the School of Dental Medicine and chair of the Department of Periodontics.

Nabil F. Bissada

Nabil F. Bissada, professor at the School of Dental Medicine and chair of the Department of Periodontics, who helped initiate talks between the university and Qassim.

Case Western Reserve Provost and Executive Vice President William A. “Bud” Baeslack III and Chance hosted the visiting delegates from Qassim University, including Vice Provost for International Cooperation Abdulrahman Aba Alkhail, Dean of the College of Dentistry Mohammad Almohaimeed, and Associate Dean of Research and Graduates and International Affairs Alaa Abdelhamid.

“When international students come here—whatever the discipline—they gain an understanding and appreciation of new ways of problem-solving,” said Fleshler. “Their presence helps create an environment where all of our students—domestic and international—approach their disciplines from different perspectives and with open minds.”