After 35 years of service, Dr. Rod Fullard, associate professor, is retiring from the UAB School of Optometry.

“Dr. Fullard has been a leader in the school who has risen to the occasion numerous times,” said Dean Kelly Nichols. “His efforts have exemplified the true meaning of stewardship.”

During his tenure at UABSO, Dr. Fullard successfully led the school through its accreditation process twice. He served as chair of the School of Optometry's Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) Self-Study Committee from 2016 to 2017 and 2007 to 2009. The ACOE is the accrediting body for schools and colleges of optometry. For his leadership with this process, he was awarded the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes exemplary leadership and service at Optometry. This special award is given only when the need arises.

Dr. Fullard also served the school in other ways, including as the director of the School of Optometry's Vision Science Graduate Program, the co-chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, chair of the Curriculum Committee for over 20 years and on the Admissions Committee. He has won numerous teaching awards and held numerous positions within the Optometry.

Dr. Kristine Hopkins, professor (as of October 2018), now leads the UABSO curriculum committee since Dr. Fullard is retiring. When asked about her colleague, she said that he is one of those people who works diligently in the background to keep the wheels turning, all for the greater good.

“He never seeks accolades for himself and quickly assigns praise where deserved,” she added. “He respects his students and demands much of them. Dr. Fullard has devoted countless hours to the maintenance and strengthening of our program over the decades. It truly wasn’t until I took the reins of the curriculum committee that I fully understood the magnitude of work he had been doing for years. As curriculum committee chair, he has left ridiculously huge shoes to fill.”