The beginning of the year is always a great time to look both backward and forward to assess the work that we’ve done as well as to prepare for the future to come. This is a particularly important exercise for us to do at the College as we enter into 2013.
Looking back, there is plenty of good news, and much for us to be proud of. The quality of our student body is unmatched. Our newest class far exceeds the national average in both undergraduate GPA and OAT scores. The University Eye Center continues to be a growing and vital clinical facility for our community. Last year the UEC saw a record number of patients and expanded its outreach through increasing numbers of visits to homebound patients, vision screenings, support groups and community lectures. Our faculty has worked hard to make an indelible mark on the world of vision science through important research. And we have sustained our commitment to improving our facilities. In fact, in just a few weeks we will be officially opening one of the College’s most ambitious capital projects in its history: The $10 million, 20,000 square foot Center for Student Life and Learning.
Looking forward, however, we face some very serious challenges. As many of you know, State University system’s new Resource Allocation Method (RAM) could eliminate as much as $1.9 million in crucial support for the College.
While clearly this is a serious challenge that will require a close examination of how we operate as an institution, it will also provide us with a much-needed and long-overdue opportunity to fully analyze and assess everything that we do as an organization. I realize that those words may not sound comforting—few of us enjoy the prospect of change—but the opportunity to become more efficient and nimble will stand to benefit us all, and make us a stronger institution that will better serve our students, our patients, and our community for generations to come.
Certainly we are facing some obstacles in 2013, but I am certain that we will overcome these obstacles and emerge as a stronger, leaner, and better institution.
David A. Heath, OD, EdM
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