When I spoke to our community during my “state of the college” address last month I used our strategic plan as my guide in order to gauge our progress and to illustrate what I expect our path ahead to look like. But without the hard work of our entire community and without their firm commitment to our institutional mission and the goals that we have laid out for the months and years ahead, our ability to move forward will be hindered.
It is imperative that we engage in a clear and open dialogue that will help us understand and successfully navigate the inevitable challenges that arise at institutions with a multi-faceted mission like we have. That is why, during my state of the college address, I announced a series of focused, community conversations in the coming months designed for any member of our College community to discuss their thoughts, concerns and ideas about how we can better work together to achieve our strategic priorities.
Our goals are lofty, and our ability to do everything that is required in order to achieve them will certainly test us as a community. But we simply cannot compromise. As I said during my presentation, we must provide excellent patient care AND
an outstanding clinical education. We must provide excellent patient care AND
demonstrate intellectual leadership through clinical research. We can’t live with “or,” it has to be “and” because any compromise on these goals will cause us to fall short in our ultimate mission of providing the best possible education to our students, the highest quality patient care to our community and conducting vital, transformative research. Achieving the three, intertwined elements of our institutional mission are not mutually exclusive.
Our ability to work together closely as a community and to communicate the challenges that we face in achieving our goals is paramount for our success. I look forward to our conversations and discussions on these important issues and I am enormously confident that, working as a community, we will continue to move the SUNY College of Optometry to greater heights.
I’ve scheduled our first community discussion for Wednesday, February 26 at Noon in Room 222. More information will follow. I look forward to a fruitful discussion.
David A. Heath, OD, EdM