Dr. Arol Augsburger Announces Retirement from the Illinois College of Optometry
CHICAGO, November 3, 2017 – Illinois College of Optometry President Dr. Arol Augsburger will retire at the close of the 2017-18 academic year. As ICO’s fifth president, Dr. Augsburger has led the institution since 2002. His retirement will complete a storied career of leadership spanning forty-seven years and three academic institutions: ICO, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and The Ohio State University (OSU).
Dr. Augsburger’s sixteen years at ICO have resulted in many exceptional achievements. ICO’s faculty and staff have been awarded countless accolades, with many individuals elected or appointed to leadership positions within professional organizations and task forces. The performance of the ICO student body, which has often exceeded national averages, gives further indication of the impact that Dr. Augsburger has had on the College.
The Illinois Eye Institute, ICO’s on-campus clinic, has grown to accommodate over 110,000 visits from Chicago’s most vulnerable patients. The IEI is the largest safety net provider of eye and vision care in Illinois. It offers ICO students the most robust clinical training available at any educational institution.
During Dr. Augsburger’s tenure, ICO has doubled its investable assets. Earnings from these assets, combined with sound budgetary management and substantial fundraising, have paid for over $40 million in capital updates at ICO.
While serving as ICO President, Dr. Augsburger has been frequently recognized for his leadership in the profession of optometry. Some of his most noted achievements include:
- The Illinois Optometric Association – Keyperson of the Year (2005); Optometrist of the Year (2007)
- The American Optometric Association – Distinguished Service Award (2008)
- The Ohio State University College of Optometry Alumni Association – Distinguished Service Award (2012)
- National Optometry Hall of Fame – Inductee (2014)
- The University of Alabama at Birmingham – Dean Emeritus (2015) with a named endowed scholarship in his honor
- The National Academies of Practice – James A. Boucher Award of Excellence (2017)
Says Dr. Augsburger, “I have had the privilege to work with outstanding people at three distinguished institutions during the last five decades. Our collaborations to expand optometric education and clinical training have been fundamental to providing the highest levels of primary eye health and vision care to our citizenry.”