University of Iowa. Dental Hygiene Program
The Dental Hygiene program at the University of Iowa (then the State University of Iowa) was begun in 1949, when the Board of Regents approved the development of a dental hygiene program at the State University of Iowa. The first class of twenty-four students launched the program in 1953. Students spent two years in this early program and received a certificate in dental hygiene from the College of Dentistry. Students who wanted a bachelor's degree in addition to their certificate could earn a Bachelor of Arts or Science degree with a general science major from the College of Liberal Arts. After 1967 all students received a bachelor's degree. In 1964, a Master of Science degree program was started for dental hygiene students. In 1969 the Board of Regents approved a dental hygiene major, allowing students to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene from the College of Liberal Arts.
In 1986, budget cuts in the College of Dentistry resulted in the loss of some full-time faculty. In the fall of 1991, an ad hoc committee was appointed by University and College of Dentistry administrators to review the Dental Hygiene program. This committee made a unanimous decision to recommend closure of the program. In 1992 the Board of Regents voted to close the program even though faculty from the Department of Dental Hygiene and dental hygiene students protested. Later three dental hygiene faculty members filed a lawsuit alleging sexual discrimination, retaliation, and lack of due process. The last class of dental hygiene students graduated from the University of Iowa in May 1995.