Rod W. Nowakowski, OD, PhD, to Retire as Dean of The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Rod W. Nowakowski, OD, PhD, who has served as interim dean, and currently, dean of The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, has announced plans to retire but will maintain his position until a successor is named. Work is underway to name a committee that will conduct a nationwide search for his successor, according to UAB provost Linda Lucas, to whom Nowakowski reports.

“I am grateful for Dean Nowakowski’s nearly four decades of service to UAB and am pleased with his commitment to remain in leadership until a new dean is named,” Lucas said. “That dedication is the cornerstone of his legacy of tremendous service as a clinician, researcher, educator and administrator.”

A three-time graduate of UAB, Nowakowski earned his bachelor’s degree in physiological optics in 1973, as well as his doctor of optometry degree in 1975 as a member of one of the first classes of the newly established School of Optometry. He was also in the charter class of the PhD program in medical genetics, earning that degree in 1989. He joined the faculty at UAB as chief of low vision rehabilitation service and later became director of ocular disease and low vision service. In 2000, he was named chief of staff for UAB Eye Care, a leadership position responsible for all clinical activities of the school.

“From my time as a student at UAB to my time as dean, I have seen and had a hand in transformational growth in the institution and in the School of Optometry,” Nowakowski said. The School of Optometry graduated its first class in 1973 and has awarded more than 1,300 doctor of optometry degrees, 322 residency-completion certificates, 62 master’s degrees and 58 doctorate degrees.