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R. Dennis Leighton

Dennis Leighton is a life-long Mainer who has been at the University of New England since 1992. Since August of 2016 he has served as the Associate Provost, assisting the Provost and Deans in a variety of initiatives to enhance the student experience at UNE. Prior to joining UNE, Dennis had been practicing and teaching physical therapy in the greater Portland area since 1984. After graduating from Greely High School in Cumberland, Dennis earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education from Springfield College in 1979 and a Master of Arts in Teaching Physical Education and Sports Medicine from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1980. After working for two years as an athletic trainer in Maine and Connecticut, Dennis returned to school at Boston University and graduated with a Master of Physical Therapy degree in 1984. Immediately returning to Maine, Dennis worked in out-patient orthopedic settings until joining the faculty at UNE in 1992. In 2004, Dennis earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of St. Augustine. Dennis taught the Kinesiology and the Physical Therapy for Patients with Problems of the Musculoskeletal System courses to first-year students. Pursuing his interest in international interprofessional medical collaboration, Dennis has been a member of the group of UNE faculty and students traveling to Ghana, West Africa to provide direct medical care to the citizens of Sekondi and Takoradi (see Outside of the classroom, Dennis serves as the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative.


B.S. in Physical Education

Springfield College


M.A.T. in Physical Education/Sports Medicine

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill


M.S. in Physical Therapy

Boston University



University of St. Augustine


Board Certifications and Licenses

Physical Therapy License

Certified Manual Therapist

Clinical Affiliations

Clinic Name

OA Physical Therapy Center




Orthopedic physical therapy; sports physical therapy; NCAA (National Collegiate Athletics Association).


Research Interests

Lower extremity function.

Cross cultural health care.

Interprofessional health care.

Selected Publications

Peer Reviewed Publications

Leighton RD: A Functional Model to Describe the Action of the Adductor Muscles at the Hip in the Transverse Plane. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice. October 2006;22(5):251-262.

MacKinnon J, Leighton RD: Physical Therapist Student Interest in Full-Time Faculty Positions. Journal of Allied Health. Summer 2002;31(2):70-7.  

Leighton RD, Sheldon MR: Model for Teaching Clinical Decision Making in a Physical Therapy Professional Curriculum. Journal of Physical Therapy Education. Fall 1997;11(2):23-30.

Frenzilli RJ, Leighton RD: A Kinesiological Description of the Rugby Spin Pass and a Rugby Training Program. National Strength and Conditioning Association Journal. June/July 1989;11(3):6-13.

Peer Reviewed Presentations

Fillyaw M, Keith J, Leighton RD. The Ghana Cross Cultural Health Immersion Program. APTA NEXT Conference, Baltimore, MD.  June 2015.

Morton J, Mason T, Leighton, RD. Fostering Interprofessional Education and Care Across Cultural Paradigms. All Together Better Health VII, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. June 2014.

Dennis Leighton headshot

R. Dennis Leighton


P.T., D.P.T.

Associate Provost

Associate Professor of Physical Therapy

NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative

Both Campuses

Decary Hall

(207) 221-4665

On Campus