First Faculty Development Institute Receives Rave Reviews

August 10, 2006

Kimberly O’Sullivan
Director, Communications
Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry
(301) 231-5944 ext. 3019

First Faculty Development Institute Receives Rave Reviews

August 10, 2006 — Post-meeting excitement was high among the thirty-two faculty members who attended ASCO’s first Summer Institute for Faculty Development, July 12-15, 2006. The faculty participants represented all 17 schools and colleges of optometry in the United States and Puerto Rico.

The four-day Institute was developed by ASCO’s Chief Academic Officers group and was held at the Eric P. Newman Education Center, Washington University Medical Center Campus, in St. Louis, Missouri. Serving on the planning committee were Drs. Linda Casser (formerly at PUCO and currently at NBEO), David Heath (NECO), Chuck Haine (SCO), Janice Scharre (ICO) and Karla Zadnik (OSU).

Among the comments received from participating faculty were: “Content was carefully chosen, perfectly presented, refreshingly applicable. Contributions from veteran faculty were nicely offered. Thank you!” “Excellent way to spend a day. Refreshing and reinforces what we do. Helps me know I am going in the right direction.” “Presenters were extremely enthusiastic, knowledgeable and presented information in a manner conducive to learning.”

Ten veteran administrators/faculty served as facilitators and mentors to participants. Also in attendance were four guest faculty speakers, four paid speakers and ASCO staff.

A key component of the Institute was a mentoring program in which all participants were assigned to work with one of eight mentors. Each mentor was assigned three to four attendees to help develop a set of long-term career goals, a corresponding set of objectives and specific action steps through which their goals may be achieved. The mentoring program was rated the most important component of the Institute by many participants.

Participants were welcomed by Dr. Larry Davis, dean at the University of Missouri St. Louis College of Optometry, and ASCO immediate past president. Dr. Davis said that “the most influential component of our institutions is the faculty….all successful transformational initiatives in education are made possible by the faculty.”

Dr. Tony Adams, professor and past dean at the University of California at Berkeley, gave the keynote speech on Life as an Academic. Other presentations during the Institute included: Learners and the Learning Environment, Developing and Delivering Effective Presentations, Reaching Your Professional Goals, Finding Your Path, How to Navigate the Publication Process and Situational Leadership.

ASCO contributed $25,000 in matching funds for the Institute. Generous funding was also received from Alcon Laboratories; CIBA Vision, a Novartis Company; Essilor Lenses/Varilux; Vistakon, a Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care; and Wal-Mart.

Planning has begun for the next Summer Institute for Faculty Development, which will occur in July 2007. It is hoped that the Institute will then be held in alternating years.