The Board of Directors of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) elected a new Executive Committee at its Annual Meeting June 23-24 in Seattle, Wash:
• President – Dr. David Heath, President, State University of New York College of Optometry
• President-Elect – Dr. Karla Zadnik, Dean and Professor, The Ohio State University College of Optometry
• Secretary-Treasurer – Dr. Elizabeth Hoppe, Founding Dean, Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry
• At-Large Member – Dr. David A. Damari, Dean, Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University
• Immediate Past-President – Dr. Jennifer Coyle, Dean, Pacific University College of Optometry.
Dr. Coyle, presiding over her last meeting after two consecutive terms as ASCO President, welcomed attendees, including incoming ASCO Executive Director Dawn Mancuso, MAM, CAE, FASAE, who begins her tenure full-time on August 31. Dr. Coyle reported on her recent ASCO-related accomplishments, which include multifaceted initiatives in interprofessional education and collaborative practice and communication and cooperation with other national optometric groups. Dr. Coyle “passed the gavel” to Dr. Heath as he was installed as ASCO’s President for fiscal year 2016. Dr. Heath, who also served as the Association’s 2012-2013 President, spoke about his priorities, primarily ensuring a smooth transition for Ms. Mancuso, completing a long-term comprehensive strategic plan, and continuing the progress that has been made in the areas of interprofessional education and collaborative practice and expanding ASCO’s voice. Read a Q&A with Dr. Heath at ASCO’s website.
Also at the meeting:
► The Executive Committee approved a revised pre-membership fee for developing schools and colleges of optometry that have reached at least Stage One Applicant status with the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE). The Committee also approved Aston University (United Kingdom) as an ASCO Affiliate Member. Discussion of ASCO’s role in international optometric education will be a focus during the upcoming strategic planning process.
► The Board approved a change in ASCO’s bylaws to create a new “Associate Member” category for non-U.S. schools accredited by the ACOE.
► The Board agreed to a send a letter to the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO) communicating disagreement with ARBO’s decision regarding governance and decision-making for the new CE accreditation process.
► The Board approved an updated “ASCO Proposed Guidelines and Practices for the Admission of Transfer Students.”
► Presentations were given on the current applicant development plan, activities and future plans, including expanded marketing initiatives; optometric education support and optometry initiatives by Walmart; the redesign and update of ASCO’s journal Optometric Education; updates from the ACOE Fall 2014 Summit; and an overview of activities by the American Board of Optometry. The ASCO Board welcomed a new corporate contributor, RevolutionEHR, whose representative introduced the company and discussed its present and planned contributions to the future of optometry.
► Through the adoption of resolutions, the Board acknowledged and thanked Dr. Roger Boltz, Interim Dean, University of Houston College of Optometry, for his service on the ASCO Board; Dr. Jennifer Coyle, Dean, Pacific University College of Optometry, for completing two terms as ASCO President; and Dr. Earl Smith III, University of Houston, for his induction into the National Optometry Hall of Fame. A surprised Marty Wall, who retires as ASCO Executive Director in July, was recognized for his nearly 25 years of service.
The ASCO Board of Directors meets three times per year. Members will meet next in New Orleans in October 2015.