Pamela Zarkowski

Pamela  Zarkowski

Vice President for Academic Affairs

Pamela Zarkowski
Contact Info:
Campus: McNichols Campus
Building: FAC
Room: 500
Phone: 313-993-1585
Pamela Zarkowski
Areas of Expertise:
Legal, Ethical and Professional Issues in Dentistry
Health Literacy
Dental Public Health


  • Juris Doctor, Wayne State University
  • Masters of Public Health in Dental Public Health, University of Michigan
  • Teaching Certificate in Community Dentistry, University of Michigan
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Michigan


Professor Pamela Zarkowski is provost and vice president for Academic Affairs of University of Detroit Mercy, a Catholic and Master’s Comprehensive University sponsored by the Religious Sisters of Mercy and Society of Jesus (Jesuits) founded in 1877 by the Jesuits.

Provost Zarkowski is chief academic officer for the University, which includes a School of Architecture, College of Business Administration, College of Engineering & Science, College of Liberal Arts & Education, School of Dentistry, School of Law and College of Health Professions. In addition to academic oversight, Provost Zarkowski supervises key student and institutional support offices, including Libraries and Instructional Technology, Student Success Center, Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness, Office of Sponsored Research Activities, Institute for Leadership and Service, Title IX and Equity and Compliance, TRIO program, Women’s and Gender Studies, the Honors Program, Student Fellowships and Catholic Studies.

An educator for 40 years, she has served in various administrative and leadership roles at the University, including chairperson of two departments, associate dean for academic administration, curriculum, dental admissions and community relations and executive associate dean in the School of Dentistry. In 2008 she was named provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

She has held various leadership roles in national organizations, including President of the American Dental Education Association, 2001-2002; Society for Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine, 2007-2008; and the American Society for Dental Ethics, 2003-2006 and 2016-2018. She was also chairperson of the ADEA GIES Foundation from 2002-2007. She is a member of the Resurrection University Board of Trustees and chairperson of the Student Experience Committee. Some of her previous professional positions include mentor for the ADEA Leadership Institute, American Dental Association (ADA) Foundation board director, member on the ADEA Women’s Advisory Affairs Committee, commissioner on the Joint Commission on National Board Examination and chairman of the Visiting Committee of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry.

Provost Zarkowski is a nationally and internationally recognized speaker who has provided over 250 presentations, workshops and seminars. Her scholarly activity and research is focused on professional, legal and ethical issues for dental and health professionals, leadership, women’s health, cultural competence and sensitivity and health literacy. She has more than 60 publications and abstracts. She is a contributor to dental, dental hygiene and dental assisting textbooks.

Provost Zarkowski has received various honors and recognition. In 2001, she was inducted as an honorary member of the dental honor society Omicron Kappa Upsilon. In 2006 she was selected as an honorary fellow in the American College of Dentists and in 2015 she was inducted as an honorary fellow of the American College of Legal Medicine. She was a fellow in the Ignatian Colleague Program and is an honorary member of the Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit Honors Society. In 1996-1997 she was one of the first two dental educators to be selected as a fellow in Hedvig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine-ELAM program. In 2011 she received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Dental Education Association. Most recently she was honored by the ADEAGies Foundation as the 2017 recipient of the Gies Award for Achievement – Dental Educator. In 2019 she was named as one of Crain’s Notable Women in Education Leadership.

Provost Zarkowski is a faculty speaker for the ADEA Leadership Institute and Allied Dental Director Institute. She is a senior consultant for AAL and a former curriculum consultant for the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

She received a Bachelor of Science, a Master of Public Health in Dental Public Health and a Teaching Certificate for Special Purpose Program for Teachers of Community Dentistry from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and a Juris Doctor from Wayne State University, where she was the articles editor for the Wayne Law Review. She has a certificate from the Wayne State University Geriatric Institute Program and a certificate in ethics education from Kennedy Institute for Ethics. She was admitted to the Michigan Bar in 1989 and holds an active law license.


    Areas of Research

    • Professionalism and Ethics in Dentistry
    • Access to Care
    • Women's Leadership