Elkins Park, Pa — Long time Salus University president, Thomas L. Lewis, OD, PhD, whose leadership of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) led to the establishment of Salus University, as well as its audiology program, has announced that he is stepping down on June 30, 2012.

Jo Surpin, chair of the University’s Board of Trustees and president of Strategic Health Alliance, LLC, noted in the press statement, "Tom Lewis’ vision has had an extraordinary impact on this institution. Always with a focus on students, the results of his leadership are seen in the university’s programs and clinical facilities and its ability to implement new initiatives at a time when some institutions have postponed their plans."

Lewis, the institution’s second longest serving president, led the transition of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry from a single to multi-purposed institution with the addition of a variety of degree programs that built on PCO’s legacy of educating health care professionals. As a result of this growth, Salus University was established in 2008.

Today the university consists of four distinct colleges that offer 10 accredited degree programs in optometry, physician assistant studies, blindness and low vision rehabilitation and education, public health, and audiology.

Initiatives accomplished during Dr Lewis’ tenure as president include establishing the University’s Doctor of Audiology (AuD) professional degree and the George S. Osborne College of Audiology, which encompasses residential and distance learning programs.

Lewis reportedly informed the Salus Board of his decision to step down some time ago. The Board’s executive committee currently is in the process of choosing a search firm for his replacement.

SOURCE: Salus University