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Dean's Column - Spring 2024

Friends and alumni of Michigan College of Optometry:

Dean Daniel Taylor

Dean Daniel Taylor at the Hooding Ceremony

The current challenges in optometry and eye care are known to us all. Questions like telemedicine implementation, scope of practice, labor shortages, vertical integration of vision plans, and medical panel representation, require our thoughtful attention. Each optometrist deals with these and other questions to varying levels, but none is entirely isolated from them. In the midst of these complex questions, our profession’s commitment to patient care shines brighter than ever, as the lodestar that will guide us to the right outcomes.

The people of Michigan College of Optometry share this commitment. As you know, our college exists to “prepare…doctoral and post-doctoral students for successful careers as optometric health providers serving patients and society with integrity and professionalism.”[1] We meet this lofty mission as well as any program in the world, with graduates that demonstrate success in licensure and practice, research and education. 

This past year, Michigan College of Optometry hired two tenure-track faculty members, Drs. Keith Moulds and Eric Syverson. Both bring a wealth of experience and a student focus that has already yielded dividends; they are outstanding additions to our already profession-leading faculty.

You may have read that Michigan College of Optometry’s 2022 Doctor of Optometry graduates were one of only two OD cohorts in the nation to achieve a 100% ultimate pass rate on all three parts of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry licensing examination sequence. This occurred at a time when passage rates across the nation are in a mild state of decline. Our students’ success in achieving licensure is testament to our excellent faculty and student populations; their intelligence, scope, and professionalism.

Our relationship with our alma mater, Ferris State University, remains strong as well. This past year, Ferris State administration provided us with increased funding for faculty development, hiring of needed administrative, faculty, and staff positions, program advancement, and student recruitment, changes which I have mentioned in this column before. New to this writing is a $1 million commitment to update our clinical and didactic technology over the next four years. This funding has already permitted Michigan College of Optometry to acquire equipment that will ensure our patient care and clinical education remain at the state-of-the-art for years to come. Such support demonstrates the close bond of support between Ferris State University and Michigan College of Optometry, as we seek to follow President Bill Pink’s mantra of being relevant and responsive.

This year, Michigan College of Optometry developed Vision 2028: a statement of aspiration. Based upon the college’s mission, Vision 2028 has four main points that describe the college as we expect to build it by 2028. It reads:

“The Michigan College of Optometry:

  • Provides state-of-the-art education to the student and resident doctor, reflected in:
    • The breadth, practical integration, and agility of our curriculum;
    • The effectiveness and student-focus of our andragogy; and
    • The affordability of our offerings
  • Provides excellent, full-scope patient care with every encounter—locally, statewide, nationally, and internationally—improving the health of the patients we serve and their communities
  • Conducts clinically-meaningful research with internal and external partners to advance clinical and andragogical optometric practice
  • Continuously assesses the optometric profession, the healthcare industry, and the practices of higher education to ensure excellence in optometric education.”

In the months past, our Strategic Planning Committee has used Vision 2028 and our mission together to undergird the development of a new five-year strategic plan for the college. This plan, which is on track to be completed by July of 2024, will take the aspirations of the vision and restate them into clearly defined, measurable outcomes which—when completed—will lead to achievement of our vision. As this process continues, I will keep you updated. 

All told, it is an exciting time to be at Michigan College of Optometry! We are always looking for creative ways to engage our alumni. This June, during our yearly Continuing Education event, I will have the privilege of providing you with a State of the College address (don’t worry; I believe brevity is the soul of wit!). I look forward to bringing you up to speed with what is happening at Michigan College of Optometry, and how you can all be involved, as we seek to continue preparing “doctoral and post-doctoral students for successful careers as optometric health providers…”


Daniel A. Taylor OD EdD


Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University.


 [1] FromMichigan College of Optometry Mission.”