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New Leadership in Key Role at the OU College of Dentistry

New Leadership in Key Role at the OU College of Dentistry

Published: Thursday, January 19, 2023

New Leadership in Key Role at the OU College of Dentistry


The University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry announced that Steven Sullivan, D.D.S., FACS, FACD, will step down from his position of Department Chair of Surgical Sciences after 30 years in the position.

A 1988 graduate of OU’s Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery residency program, he completed the last three months of his residency to train at the West of Scotland Plastic and Oral Surgery Unit in Glasgow, Scotland. From there, he went on to do a fellowship at the University of Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia, from July through December of 1988. 

Dr. Sullivan then spent a year on the faculty at the University of Michigan in 1989 and was recruited to a University of Minnesota-affiliated trauma hospital in Minneapolis in 1990, where he served as the oral and maxillofacial surgeon in charge of the Department of Dentistry’s Trauma Service.  

In 1992, he had the opportunity to return to Oklahoma as the interim chair and program director of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Training Program, making him the youngest chair in the country. He eventually was appointed permanent chair in 1995 and has continuing in that position until recently.  

Dr. Sullivan has been active in the profession serving as President of the Oklahoma Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and Southwest Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and has served in various capacities with the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, including being a frequent lecturer, as well as on the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Examination Committee. Most recently, Dr. Sullivan was awarded the Raymond Cohlmia Lifetime Achievement Award for his service to our college.

Dr. Sullivan is nationally and internationally recognized for his expertise in corrective jaw surgery, TMJ reconstruction and total joint replacement for idiopathic condylar resorption with patients traveling from around the country and world for treatment in Oklahoma.  

“The definition of a leader includes the ability of an individual to influence or inspire individuals, teams, or organizations – an individual with a vision and a path,” said Paul Mullasseril, D.D.S., M.S., dean of the OU College of Dentistry. “Under his guidance as program director and leadership as department chair, Dr. Sullivan developed what is considered to be one of the strongest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery programs in the nation. His influence in the field brought about the recruitment of remarkable faculty and outstanding residents.”

Dr. Sullivan will remain on faculty at the college as he continues to teach in the residency program and treat patients in his private practice. 

The college also announced Dr. Sullivan’s replacement, Paul Tiwana, D.D.S., MD, M.S., FACS, FACD. He transitioned to Department Chair in January 2023. Dr. Tiwana will continue his role as Division Head and as a Clinical Professor in the Department of Surgery in the OU College of Medicine.  

“The college is pleased to have Dr. Tiwana on faculty. I am confident that under Dr. Tiwana’s stewardship he will preserve the legacy of the department that Dr. Sullivan built and grow it going forward,” said Dr. Mullasseril. “Dr. Tiwana has already made a tremendous impact here at the college and across the HSC campus. He clearly has the success of our entire college in his focus, and I look forward to seeing the department continue to flourish under his leadership.” 

Prior to his recruitment to OU, Dr. Tiwana was the residency program director for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery in the Department of Surgery at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School/Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas with a joint appointment in the Department of Neurological Surgery. Before that, Dr. Tiwana was an Associate Professor at The University of Louisville School of Dentistry with joint appointments in the School of Medicine in the Departments of Surgery and Pediatrics with the award of tenure.

Dr. Tiwana is also an internationally recognized craniomaxillofacial surgeon and is an editor of the acclaimed textbook Atlas of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. He currently serves as a Director of the American Board of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, the Osteoscience Foundation, and the Strasbourg Osteosynthesis Research Group. 

He is the past chair of numerous professional committees’ most notably including the Committee on Education and Training of the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons and is the current Vice President of Southwest Society of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons.  

Dr. Tiwana has been the recipient of multiple national awards including the Clinical Fellowship Award from the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Foundation, the Faculty Educator Development Award from the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the Junior Faculty Award from the American Dental Education Association. He has received grants, authored more than 85 scholarly publications, and delivered more than 100 professional national/international lectures. He is also a member of the International Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons Education Committee.


OU College of Dentistry

The OU College of Dentistry is home to the state’s only doctor of dental surgery program and baccalaureate degree program in dental hygiene. More than 70% of the state of Oklahoma’s dentists are graduates of the OU College of Dentistry. The college provides general dental care and specialty care to Oklahomans through student, resident and faculty practice clinics. The OU College of Dentistry has established a reputation of training its students to provide the highest quality of clinical care available.