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Office of the President

The president is the chief executive officer of the College and is responsible to the SUNY chancellor and the University’s Board of Trustees.  The president is supported in the administration of the College by five vice presidents: the vice president for academic affairs (dean); the vice president for clinical administration; the vice president for student affairs; the vice president for administration and finance; and the vice president for institutional advancement. Other administrative positions within the Office of the President are the assistant to the president, the director of institutional research and planning, the director of communications and the affirmative action officer.

The President

Directs current and long-range planning related to institutional goals, academic programs, teaching approaches, research, public service, financing and enrollment projections. While providing leadership and direction in the areas of teaching and learning, scholarship research and public service, the president assures the development and maintenance of administrative organization and policy-making structure for the most efficient and effective utilization of campus resources.

The president maintains effective working relationships with the College Council, the SUNY System Administration, the Optometric Center of New York, other colleges, regional consortia, the SUNY Construction Fund, the campus Faculty/Student Association, the State Dormitory Authority, other non-state organizations on campus, state and federal agencies and with faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents, local community and other constituencies.

David A. Heath, OD, EdM
Phone: (212) 938-5650
Email: dheath@sunyopt.edu

Director of Health Care Development

The director of health care development is responsible for developing the College’s external clinical affiliations in support of the educational, research and patient care goals of the institution. The individual in this position seeks to develop affiliations that reflect the full integration of optometry into the health care system, provide robust interprofessional educational opportunities for students while also increasing access to eye and vision care to more people within the community. The director of health care development leads the College’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act and other health care reforms and advises the president, the executive director of the University Eye Center and the college community on the strategic development of the College’s patient care programs. In collaboration with the president, the director of health care development advances the College’s interests within the health care community of New York City and among officials within city and state government.

Richard Soden, OD, FAAO
Director of Health Care Development
Phone: (212) 938-5761
Email: rsoden@sunyopt.edu

Director of Institutional Research and Planning

Responsible for coordinating the collection and maintenance of institutional data that are analyzed to assess institutional performance.  The Office of the Director is also responsible for reporting data to SUNY as to well to federal and state agencies and to other organizations such as ASCO and ACOE.  The director is also responsible for maintaining liaison with agencies that accredit the College and its programs and chairs the Committee on Institutional Research and Planning, which is charged with reviewing and assessing the College’s strategic plan and monitoring the development of operational plans.

Steven Schwartz, OD, PhD
Director of Institutional Research and Planning
Phone: (212) 938- 5712
Email: sschwartz@sunyopt.edu

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Director of Communications

The director of communications oversees the communications activities of the institution and consistently maintains and manages its brand identity as well as messaging to its various external constituencies. These activities include producing annual reports, newsletters, brochures and other materials, as well as websites, social media and other communications and marketing projects. The director of communications is responsible for media outreach, serves as the primary spokesperson for the institution, and is a member of the President’s Council.

Open Position – Search in Progress
Director of Communications
Phone: (212) 938-5600
Email: communications@sunyopt.edu

Liana Rhee
Digital Content Specialist
Phone: (212) 938-5753
Email: lrhee@sunyopt.edu

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Assistant to the President 

Reports directly to the president and is a member of the President’s Council.  The assistant to the president manages and supervises operations of the Office of the President, including those related to personnel. This position represents the president, as directed, in interdepartmental communication, coordination and advisement with respect to college activities, studies and programs. The assistant to the president manages all records within the Office of the President insuring their integrity and security and has responsibility for facilitating the reporting and transmittal of all new, revised and rescinded policies acted upon by the President as a consequence of recommendations made to him by the various committees and/or councils. The Assistant to the President also serves as liaison officer to the College Council, Student Council and to other organizations and units that are attached to, or related to, the college, and for those organizations for which the president has programmatic relationships.

Ayana Wint
Assistant to the President
Phone: (212) 938-5650
Email: awint@sunyopt.edu

Wendella Wegman
Assistant to the President
Phone: (212) 938-5650
Email: wwegman@sunyopt.edu

Affirmative Action Officer

Advises the president with respect to plans, procedures and other matters pertaining to the College’s equal opportunity in employment policy and program.  The AAO leads in the development of program, plans, procedures and regulations necessary to formulate and carry out the College’s program for equal opportunity in employment.  S/he also serves as liaison between the College and enforcement agencies, minority organizations, women’s organizations and community-action groups concerned with equal employment opportunities.  The title of Affirmative Action Officer is currently held by the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources.

Guerda Fils
Assistant Vice President for Human Resources
Phone: (212) 938-5883
Email: gfils@sunyopt.edu

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