BA, Biology, Queens College New York
DMD, University of Pennsylvania
PhD, Sociology, University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Ronald P. Strauss is the Adams Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Adams School of Dentistry. He served for 14 years as UNC’s Executive Vice Provost (2008-2022) and also was UNC’s Chief International Officer for a decade (2009-2018). He also holds joint appointments in three schools and is a member of the UNC Craniofacial Center Team. For twelve years, he was Chair of the Department of Dental Ecology in the UNC Adams School of Dentistry.
Since he came to Carolina, Dr. Strauss has been engaged in encouraging health professional students to understand and address social factors that influence health and the provision of healthcare. Dr. Strauss is a sociologist and ethnographer who has used qualitative and survey research methods in numerous social research projects, and he serves as the Faculty Director of the CFAR OCE Office (Office of Community Engagement) of the UNC Center for AIDS Research (CFAR). His global work has included being a visiting professor in Brazil and Israel, and conducting social research in Thailand, Moldova and China.
Ron’s research has focused on the social impacts of chronic health problems, especially oral/craniofacial differences and HIV/AIDS. His work combines his clinical, social science, ethical, and health policy interests as they relate to craniofacial care, research participation, HIV/AIDS, stigma, prenatal diagnosis, and access to healthcare. Dr. Strauss continues to work as a clinician on the UNC Craniofacial Center’s interdisciplinary team providing care for cleft lip/palate and other craniofacial conditions in children and adults.
As Executive Vice Provost, Ron oversaw the appointment, promotion and tenure process, directed the Targeted and Spousal Hiring Programs, the Faculty Retention Program, and coordinates senior academic searches and reviews. He provided leadership to the University’s accreditation and quality enhancement efforts, to Commencement and, to University Day.
Throughout his tenure at Carolina, Dr. Strauss has been extremely active in public service and engagement, both locally and globally. He is the lead faculty member of the Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars Program of the Carolina Center for Public Service. In recognition of the scope and impact of his work, dental alumni endowed the Dr. Ronald P. Strauss Community and International Health Award to support students’ understanding of the social and cultural influences on health care. Each spring since 1987, Ron has directed and taught the campus-wide “HIV/AIDS Course.”
Ron is a co-editor of the two volume series, The Social Medicine Reader, 3rd edition (Duke University Press). He has been a keynote speaker and trainer, especially for the E.U.’s European Cleft and Craniofacial Initiative for Equality in Care (ECCE). Dr. Strauss served as President of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association and received both its Distinguished Service Award and the Honors of the Association. In 2018, he was the recipient of the John C. Brauer Award, the highest recognition awarded to a faculty member in the UNC Adams School of Dentistry. In 2022, he was honored by UNC with the Ned Brooks Award for community service and scholarship and was the recipient of the Graduate School Dean’s Award for Significant Contribution in Graduate Education.