The University of Otago is farewelling the dean of its
dental school, who is retiring after eight years of ''stellar''
performance in the role.
Otago University Faculty of Dentistry Dean Prof Greg Seymour
and his wife, dental academic Associate Prof Mary Cullinan,
are returning to Brisbane to be closer to their
Otago University Faculty of Medicine dean Prof Peter Crampton
said Prof Seymour had been an ''agent for change'' over the
past eight years and contributed a ''huge amount'' to the
This included advocating for a replacement of the
university's ageing dental school facility - now in the
planning stages and previously estimated to cost between $50
million and $100 million.
''One of the significant challenges for the new person will
be the exciting prospect of seeing the building project
through to completion,'' Prof Crampton said.
Other achievements included overseeing the establishment of
the Sir John Walsh Research Institute and growing the
faculty's research capability, which resulted in it
performing ''extraordinarily well'' in the latest Performance
Based Research Funding round.
He also oversaw the introduction of two new degrees and
helped build a relationship with the International Medical
University in Malaysia, resulting in a large number
international students coming to Otago.
''A really important achievement for Greg has been the
establishment of relationships with Maori oral health
providers up and down the country,'' Prof Crampton said.
His personal research contribution resulted in him in 2008
becoming only the second dentist to be elected as a fellow of
the Royal Society of New Zealand - the first being Sir John
Walsh, who among other achievements, invented the first
Prof Seymour will step down at the end of this month and Prof
Alison Rich will become acting dean until an appointment is
It was hoped a permanent dean would be in the position by the
end of this year. There had already been a ''a very good
level of interest'' from both local and international
applicants, he said.'