Academics & Research News

College of Optometry dean resigns, search for successor begins

College of Optometry Dean Earl Smith.

College of Optometry Dean Earl Smith has been a part of the college for 50 years and will step down at the end of the semester to join the faculty. | Courtesy of UHCO Media

College of Optometry Dean Earl Smith will resign from his position at the end of the semester, according to a Wednesday email from Provost Paula Myrick Short.

Smith will return to research and teaching at the college, according to a letter by Smith announcing his resignation. Short said in the campus-wide email that a search firm has been hired to find his successor.

After earning his Doctor of Optometry and doctorate from the University, Smith joined the college’s faculty, according to the news release. He became dean of the college in 2003 and again in 2015 after spending two years as Interim Chief Health Officer of UH, according to his letter.

Short will also be appointing a search committee to find Smith’s successor. Smith will be interim dean until the appointment of his successor.

“I will continue to work to advance the College during the search for the next Dean, and well beyond as I transition back to the faculty,” Smith said in his letter.

Smith said during his tenure as dean, over 100 endowed scholarships and seven endowed professorships have been established for the college.

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