Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Cutting Edge Changes Coming to Salus!

I've been following the social media activity that some of our students have been generating about the condition of some of our facilities, namely the library and our optometric clinical procedures lab.  Since the first day I arrived at Salus I too have noted that both of these important resources were sorely in need of an update.  As luck would have it, this is the year we've developed a new strategic plan for the University that prioritizes and addresses these and other upcoming improvements to Salus. 

Beginning several months ago, working very closely with the Board of Trustees as well as faculty and students, we've begun to develop plans to completely renovate our optometric clinical procedures lab, review and update the entire optometric curriculum and modernize our library.   

Since all of these projects require a good deal of financial and human resources, we're spending an appropriate amount of time doing deliberate planning to ensure we're capturing best practices and obtaining the best and most effective equipment, technology and designs as possible.  In order to accomplish this, we've been sending teams of faculty members to several different optometry programs to look at clinical procedure lab designs, curricula and other aspects of their programs. We're also studying current literature and designs from non-optometric sources. Additionally, we've already learned a great deal from administering our new Optometric Scholars program that will be applied to the curriculum review.

We anticipate the cost of these renovations and updates could be upwards of $3 million.  In order to help fund these necessary initiatives I'll be reaching out to our alumni and industry base for assistance. Concurrently, we are developing a design and build timeline that hopefully will see a new clinical procedures lab by the end of summer 2016.  The new lab will have an integrated electronic health record, state-of-the-art clinical equipment and an efficient design allowing faculty and students to interact seamlessly. 

Changes in the library are commencing now with removal of antiquated, superfluous reference materials that have already been replaced with online resources. Removal of shelving is planned within the next couple of months and replacement carpeting and furniture will soon follow. We also hope to update the current computer lab with more modern equipment. 

The optometric curriculum review has already begun with a timeline for incremental implementation to commence sometime next academic year. The entire update to the curriculum will likely take about three years to complete to ensure our students don't miss out on essential material. 

I'm excited about all these changes as it will ensure that Salus remains at the cutting edge of optometric education by leveraging our extremely talented faculty, innovative technology, and the most progressive optometric curriculum taught in the country. 

I'll keep everyone posted as to our progress with these major projects. 


  1. Thanks Dr. Mittelman; change has truly come to SU.

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