Dean's Message

A message from the Dean of the College of Optometry
Karla Zadnik

“You have two hands. One to help yourself, the second to help others.” –Audrey Hepburn

You may have heard that I’m taking a break from the College of Optometry in 2024. I will still be a Professor in the college, but The Ohio State University has reached out for my “second hand,” and Acting President Peter Mohler, PhD, asked me to serve as the Interim Executive Vice President and Provost as of January 1, 2024, when I will report to the 17th president of The Ohio State University, Walter “Ted” Carter.  I will serve in that capacity until the new provost arrives on campus and will resume my role as dean of Ohio State Optometry then.

In the meantime, Jeff Walline (OD, MS’98, PhD’02) has graciously agreed to serve as the Acting Dean of the College of Optometry. Acting President Mohler was very much in favor of that appointment. Likewise, Heather Anderson, OD, PhD, has agreed to serve as the Acting Associate Dean for Research. The college will be in very good hands as they join Associate Deans Mike Earley (OD/MS’88, PhD’92) and Greg Nixon (OD’96) and Assistant Dean Jim Woods on the college’s Executive Committee.

I’ve also got a second gig. Since July 2023, I’ve been the interim dean of the College of Public Health. I will continue in that role until the new dean arrives on campus.

Candidly, this all surprises me at this stage in my career. It is so odd for me to consider leading in jobs that don’t involve the optometric profession. As I write this note, I have to pack up my Optometry office tomorrow. For those of you who have been in my office, I’m leaving my tree. Jeff and I hope he doesn’t kill it.

I’ve honed leadership skills in the College of Public Health over the last six months. I learn 10 things every day as I prepare for the interim provost role. Most importantly, I hope I can help others through this larger stage for this broader audience. Wish me well! 

Go BuckEYES,

Karla Zadnik, OD, PhD
Dean, Glenn A. Fry Professor in Optometry and Physiological Optics