Southern College of Optometry

Vice President for Clinical Programs

Seeking a Vice President for Clinical Programs who brings strong business and operational acumen and believes in the power of diverse, hands-on clinical experience to prepare the next gen of optometrists!


As one of the nation’s leading accredited and independent optometry schools, Southern College of Optometry (“SCO”) maintains an unwavering commitment to providing students with exceptional academic, laboratory, and clinical experiences. Founded in 1932, SCO boasts enrollment of 500+ students, affordable tuition, low student to faculty ratios in class and clinic (9:1, 4:1), above national-average board passage rates, cutting-edge curriculum taught by 60+ distinguished faculty, 32 residency programs, and robust exposure to patient care and clinical technology.

Reporting directly to SCO’s President, the Vice President for Clinical Programs (“VPCP”) will serve as a key member of the college’s President’s Council, partnering closely with SCO’s clinical leadership team, faculty, staff, and students with oversight for all clinic operations and responsibility for developing and driving SCO’s future vision for clinical programs. Poised for ongoing growth and innovation, SCO is seeking a passionate connector of people who thrives in a fast-paced, high volume clinical setting and is eager to shape next-gen clinical programs. Learn more at

SCO is proud to offer upwards of 2,000+ patient encounters for the SCO graduate through intentional and differentiated clinical experiences. SCO’s internal, external, and community-based clinics (The Eye Center, FocalPoint, and University Eye Care), service over 60K patients per year, with a demonstrated commitment to underserved individuals in Greater Memphis. In addition to providing adult and pediatric primary care, cornea and contact lens, advanced care ocular disease, vision therapy and rehabilitation, low vision, community vision, and tertiary/surgical services are available. Visit us at


  • ADVANCE THE MISSION [Vision, Strategy & Leadership for Clinical Training]: Serving as a partner to SCO’s leadership, faculty, and staff, you will spearhead SCO’s next chapter of clinical education for future optometrists. In alignment with SCO’s mission and strategic plan, you will identify and evaluate clinical opportunities to enhance and diversify student training and patient care. Develop vision, collaborate on direction, and implement new clinical training models. Lead by example with the highest ethical standards, integrity, compassion, and enthusiasm for SCO’s mission, patients, and student development. 
  • LEAD A HIGH PERFORMING TEAM [Drive Team Culture & Collaboration]: Provide leadership and development for five (5) members of clinic leadership who oversee 58+ internal team members. Foster a collaborative, team-oriented culture that ensures challenge, accountability, recognition, and reward. Lead team to build trusted relationships with internal and external stakeholders across the college and leverage shared resources such as marketing, legal and fundraising to drive success of clinic operations. 
  • ENSURE SUCCESS IN CLINIC OPERATIONS [Oversee Clinic Training, Quality, Accreditation, Finance, Process Improvement, Technology, & Compliance]: Drive efficiencies across scheduling, technology, patient flow, and student and faculty training. Instill financial discipline throughout clinic operations while supporting the development of a balanced budget with P&L accountability. Partner with college leadership on financial planning and analysis. Ensure all health care services provided meet or exceed standards of care and comply with local, state, and federal regulations for the delivery of health care. Maintain necessary accreditation, licensure and or certification of all clinical facilities and programs.
  • DEVELOP STRATEGIC EXTERNAL PARTNERSHIPS [Engage Greater Healthcare Community]: Identify and develop new partnership opportunities to enhance and expand clinical services. Build strong Memphis-based community relationships while serving as the “face and voice” of SCO’s clinical programs at large. Develop relationships with local universities, optometry and ophthalmology practices, nursing homes, schools, community health organizations, local and state government, and top industry partners.
  • SERVE AS PASSIONATE ADVOCATE FOR THE OPTOMETRIC PROFESSION [Advocacy, Policy & Legislation]: Represent SCO in the greater optometric community through involvement and affiliation with the Tennessee Association of Optometric Physicians (TAOP), the Tennessee Board of Optometry and the American Optometric Association (AOA). Maintain awareness of local, state, and national changes in healthcare policy impacting the practice of optometry. Utilize cutting-edge insights to forecast the needs of the profession related to the development of future curriculum and top-notch student training models.
  • SPEARHEAD GROWTH & INNOVATION [Future Vision of Clinical Training & Technology]: You will anticipate change and act with the future as you proactively research, develop, evaluate, and test new clinical processes, training opportunities, practice-related resources, and optometric technology and equipment to find new and creative ways to expand SCO’s clinical offerings, service, and scope.


  • You are passionate about SCO’s mission of leading the profession by educating the best healthcare providers through the provision of superior clinical program opportunities to further their education and to excel as successful optometrists of today and tomorrow.
  • You have gained 10+ years of progressive and relevant clinical optometric practice experience, including a demonstrated record of success in growing and developing people, programs, products, processes, and/or organizational resources. Knowledge of healthcare delivery and payment systems as well as quality and compliance required. Prior experience in academic setting preferred, yet is NOT required.
  • You have gained 5-7+ years of experience in a leadership or administrative capacity with an aptitude and readiness to assume an executive leadership role on SCO’s President Council. You are willing to serve as a hands-on team leader with the ability and desire to flex between strategic and tactical priorities required. Superior project management skills and proactive, can-do mindset are a must-have.
  • You bring experience leading a diverse and high performing team of direct reports, with leadership of people-leaders preferred. You demonstrate success in creating a healthy organizational culture that emphasizes teamwork, collaboration, communication, inclusion, and accountability. You have a well-honed ability to influence internally, externally, cross-functionally, and between departments.
  • You have developed a solid business acumen, including prior budget management and/or P&L responsibility and savvy technology skills.
  • You are well-versed in proactively communicating in a transparent manner with internal and external stakeholders. You confidently interact at all levels and react with diplomacy and tact. You bring experience communicating a vision and navigating a road map with key stakeholders and constituents. Prior experience working with or serving on a Board of Directors a plus. Experience working with industry stakeholders, sponsors and/or institutional giving donors a plus.
  • Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree from an accredited institution with eligibility for licensure in Tennessee is required. Relevant residency strongly preferred. Related graduate degrees (MBA, etc.) a plus.


  • YOU WANT TO EQUIP NEXT GEN OPTOMETRISTS – You are an educator and mentor at heart! Serve as a key member on the President’s Council with an opportunity to shape first-class clinical education.
  • YOU ARE EXCITED TO BUILD THE NEXT CHAPTER OF CLINICAL PROGRAMS – We are seeking an entrepreneurial leader with energy, drive, and operational know-how to support SCO’s strategic plan and to drive both growth and impact through clinical programs.
  • YOU THRIVE IN BUILDING EXTERNAL PARTNERSHIPS – You thrive in building relationships and in crafting partnerships that yield win-win outcomes, ranging in size and scope from institutional advancement to marketing and communications to clinical programs and curriculum development.
  • YOU WANT TO IMPACT THE GREATER MEMPHIS COMMUNITY – Continue SCO’s legacy of providing high-quality patient services and community-based vision care within the Greater Memphis community.


This full-time position is located and must be based in Memphis, Tennessee, with an on-campus office located at The Eye Center at Southern College of Optometry. Travel requirements are limited yet willingness to travel for SCO and optometry association and industry events locally, statewide, and nationally is desired. Relocation stipend available.


This position holds an academic appointment and faculty rank.

SCO offers a competitive base salary alongside a comprehensive benefits package, including choice of three medical plans, two dental plans, and SCO’s vision care program plus discounts. Basic and voluntary life and AD&D insurance, STD/LTD insurance, health and dependent care FSAs, and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provided. 403(b) retirement plan available immediately with employer match at 10%+ after one year.

SCO also offers generous paid time off and paid leave programs, including accrual of seventeen (17) PTO days, two (2) floating holidays, and sixteen (16) holidays which include ten days between the Fall and Spring Semesters. SCO provides up to eight (8) pre-approved days of paid convention leave for attendance at state and national optometric conventions and up to five (5) pre-approved days of paid service leave.


To apply, share resume with Occhio Search at Please direct questions, referrals, and applications to our retained search consultants at Occhio Search. All resumes, referrals and inquiries will be held strictly confidential. Contact Angie Akerman ( and Sarah Krueger ( with questions. SCO is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We welcome differences in form of gender, race, ethnicity, disability, geography, socioeconomic status, age, politics, religion, philosophy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and veteran status. All applicants who share this goal are encouraged to apply. We look forward to hearing from you!

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