Academic Affairs

Dr. Southerland


Biography for Janet H. Southerland, DDS, MPH, PhD

Dr. Southerland is an experienced clinician, educator, administrator, and interprofessional and collaborative trailblazer. She has led efforts at multiple institutions to transform the academic health sciences enterprise through active engagement with faculty, students and staff. LSU Health Sciences Center - New Orleans will greatly benefit from her proven success in aligning academic programs to best prepare the next generation of health professionals while promoting a culture of innovation, diversity, inclusion, and excellence.

Dr. Southerland’s previous experience includes as a professor and Dean of Meharry School of Dentistry, where she also served as Chair of the Institutional Review Board and a Co-Investigator of the NIH-funded Meharry Translational Research Center and co-leader of two cores. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, she was the Chair of Hospital Dentistry, Chief of Oral Medicine, and Director of the Hospital Dental Clinic.

Her most recent position was at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston Texas, where she was Vice President for Interprofessional Education, Institutional Effectiveness and Health Education. She was also a professor in the Department of Nutrition Metabolism and Rehabilitative Sciences and a clinical professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Dr. Southerland earned a Doctorate in Dental Surgery, an MPH in Health Policy and Administration, and a PhD in Oral Biology, all from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has been funded by NIH, HRSA, the VA, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is widely published, has led transdisciplinary research and clinical teams, and has served with numerous national, regional, and state professional, accreditation, editorial, and advisory organizations.

Vision Statement for the Office of Academic Affairs

Dr. Southerland’s vision for Academic Affairs embodies excellence through building outstanding programs across all disciplines that are grounded in collaborative evidence-based educational models, while using innovative-technology to deliver high quality training to students, research, and care to communities, particularly those in most need. Her philosophy is also reflected in a quote by Max DePree that says, “We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.” LSUHSC-NO will sustain and advance our distinguished history as a leader in education, research, and clinical care in the state and globally. We will improve educational experiences for students, value for community partners, and care outcomes for patients. We aspire to help future students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to be competent and lead in a constantly changing health care environment while maintaining a compassionate touch.  

She looks forward to working with our administrators, students, faculty, and staff to foster an environment that supports excellence, reflects teamwork, diversity and inclusivity, and productivity. Additionally, in a rapidly evolving healthcare environment that will see significant changes in the provision of care through access to “big” data, multidisciplinary approaches and discovery; another focus is to help align educational programs with these changes to ensure that we are adequately preparing a future generation that will have marketable skills and knowledge ready to become outstanding leaders, faculty, researchers, and practitioners that champion a culture of health, wellness, and well-being.