Chair of Department of Ophthalmology

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is seeking a dynamic academic leader with a national reputation to guide the growth and development of the Department of Ophthalmology as a regional, national and international leader in medical education, research, patient care and service. The duties of the Chair of Ophthalmology contribute in the effort to further the mission of UAMS: To improve the health, healthcare and well-being of Arkansans and of others in the region, nation and world.

This position serves as the Chair of Ophthalmology within the UAMS College of Medicine, Director of the Jones Eye Institute, and will hold an endowed Chair position, guiding significant growth in a Department and Institute that is clinically, educationally and fiscally strong. As an integral member of the executive leadership team, the Chair of Ophthalmology reports directly to the Dean of the UAMS College of Medicine.

The future Chair of Ophthalmology should demonstrate:

  • The passion, energy, and drive to lead the Department of Ophthalmology
  • Commitment to clinical excellence
  • The ability to strengthen relationships with current and potential donors
  • The ability to develop effective and collaborative relationships with other clinical, academic and research units
  • Genuine interest in educational mission
  • A fundamental commitment to diversity
  • Strong diplomatic skills, patience, and flexibility
  • The ability to engender trust among a broad range of constituents
  • Well-developed management skills grounded in the best practices of universities and their academic units

About the Department of Ophthalmology

The Department of Ophthalmology, along with the Pat & Willard Walker Eye Research Center, a state-of-the-art clinic and other educational programs are located within the 100,000 square-foot facility. This facility has nine stories with dedicated operating rooms, administrative space, educational space (the simulation lab) and research space, dedicated entirely to Ophthalmology by the immutable donor gift agreement. The department has a superb endowment which provides latitude for growth, and it has a supportive community-based advisory board. The Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute specializes in providing caring and compassionate treatment for a wide range of eye conditions and illnesses. Along with state-of-the-art equipment and technology, our research and education programs ensure a better state of health now and in the future.

Our collaborative faculty represents every ophthalmic subspecialty, and allows our patients to enjoy a multitude of services. The Pat & Willard Walker Eye Research Center is involved in sight-saving research, particularly regarding viruses of the eye. The department currently has seven endowed chairs and a strong focus on educating doctors and technicians to become skilled ophthalmic practitioners through the residency program and the Ophthalmic Medical Technology program.

The Department of Ophthalmology’s vison is to establish an environment for patient care, education, research and community service that inspires teamwork, innovation and collaboration; and create a workplace that values the caregivers and their teams. This vision and core beliefs of the Department of Ophthalmology align with their mission to provide, teach, discover, promote and inspire patients first, and cost effective eye care to fulfill UAMS’s mission to provide quality healthcare to all Arkansans, the nation and the world.

Role & Responsibilities:

  • Oversee clinical operations in conjunction with practice management partners to optimize effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Formulate, in conjunction with the faculty and administration, a clear vision and strategic plan of the short and long term goals and objectives of the Department and provide regular feedback on performance - jointly identifying goals and monitoring progress toward goals.
  • Demonstrate the leadership, management ability, and administrative expertise to grow the department in all ophthalmology specialty areas.
  • Lead and facilitate recruitment effort into all subspecialty areas.
  • Be supportive of the educational needs and contributions of students, residents, faculty, and staff in the Department.
  • Develop a Departmental research portfolio that stresses collaboration and maximizes opportunity for synergistic productivity across the University’s campuses.
  • Remain abreast of essentials of accreditation, certification, and regulations.
  • Promote and support advances in clinical care while maintaining fiscal responsibility.
  • Lead projects and initiatives as requested by the Dean of the College of Medicine.
  • Be actively involved in demonstrating the value of the Department and the Jones Eye Institute to the community.

Focus and Impact for Leadership

Articulate a distinctive strategic vision for the College

The Chair will bring a strong vision of clinical excellence and academic innovation, grounded in scholarly accomplishment and public leadership, with demonstrated experience in building public and private partnerships that will maximize the Department’s intellectual resources. Developing a vision and strategy, the Chair will work with faculty, colleagues, key stakeholders, and partners to continue to build for the future. The Chair will define strategic positioning in ophthalmic education, research and clinical care.

Maximize academic programs

While the UAMS Department of Ophthalmology is considered the best of its size in the country, the Chair will take action to grow the Department’s educational platform. Advance and support recruiting efforts for top tier subspecialists. The Chair will assess current status as the leading edge of ophthalmic practice and research.

Focus the Department’s philanthropic and research efforts

As a highly visible, public institution, the Chair will work to continue to advance the reputation and priorities of the Department of Ophthalmology among external constituents. It is important that the new Chair establish and strengthen relationships with government and community leaders across the state. The Department has a history of strong philanthropic support, and the Chair will lead fundraising efforts, demonstrating the ability to cultivate and sustain relationships with current and potential donors. The Chair will identify and pursue the strategic research priorities for the Department, utilize UAMS’s inherent strengths, including the Translational Research Institute, and work collaboratively with fellow Institute Directors and Chairs across UAMS to maximize the potential for increasing funded research.

Candidate Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have the following professional qualifications and personal characteristics:

  • M.D. degree
  • Currently Board Certified in Ophthalmology by the American Board of Ophthalmology; fellowship training in any subspecialty of Ophthalmology is welcomed
  • Demonstrated commitment to research and education
  • Qualified for faculty appointment in Department of Ophthalmology of the College of Medicine at the rank of Professor. The ideal candidate will have national recognition in the field of Ophthalmology as an educator, clinician, research scientist, and/or physician leader
  • Experience in operational and financial management and leadership in a hospital or academic health center
  • Demonstrated clinical acumen
  • Leadership, organizational and interpersonal skills needed to effectively operate in the complex environment of an academic health center

Preferred Professional Experience

  • Additional training or advanced degree in management or administration. Experience in medical staff functions is essential as is a working knowledge of hospital operations, and quality improvement
  • Strategic planning skills and expertise in management, finance and clinical operations
  • Balanced commitment to educational, clinical and research missions
  • Commitment to employee, environmental and patient safety and quality initiatives
  • Strong commitment to interdisciplinary cooperation and learning
  • Demonstrated track record of mentorship and evidence of having developed others in their academic careers
  • Philanthropic, alumni relations and development experience a plus
  • Understanding of compliance requirements at the federal and state levels

Preferred Personal Characteristics

  • Well-developed emotional intelligence with exceptional interpersonal and communication skills
  • Passion for excellence and a high level of energy and enthusiasm
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a matrixed organization with multiple lines of reporting
  • Demonstrated record of promoting collaboration and cultivating strong internal and external relationships
  • Capacity to embrace change with an appropriate respect for culture and tradition
  • Analytical and intellectual skills to lead cogent planning and sound management systems
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity
  • Motivator and mentor capable of developing strong teams and developing others
  • Unquestioned personal integrity

Interested individuals are asked to submit their CV and a letter addressing their experiences that fulfill the criteria for this position to Julian Tunno, Manager of Executive and Faculty Recruitment at jtunno@uams.edu. Contact Julian Tunno by phone at 501-686-2590.

Written nominations, inquiries, and applications (including emails) may be subject to disclosure under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

UAMS is an inclusive Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer of individuals with disabilities and protected veterans and is committed to excellence.

Our Community

Little Rock skyline at sunset



UAMS at night

Did You Know?

UAMS was founded in 1879 by eight physicians. Today UAMS is the state’s only academic health center, part of a statewide network of postsecondary education institutions of the University of Arkansas System governed by a 10-member Board of Trustees.



About the University

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) is the state’s only academic health sciences center, comprised of five health professions colleges (Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions, and Public Health), a graduate school, six institutes, eight Regional Centers (six of which include family medicine practices and residency programs), and a comprehensive Medical Center. Its College of Medicine has held a unique and vital role in Arkansas for more than 130 years. UAMS is the largest public employer in the state of Arkansas with more than 11,000 employees. UAMS and its clinical affiliates: Arkansas Children’s and the VA Medical Center, are an economic engine for the state with an annual economic impact of $3.92 billion. Centrally located within the state, UAMS’s Little Rock campus is a tertiary referral center and the only Level 1 adult Trauma Center and Comprehensive Stroke Center for Arkansas.