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By Satina Richardson


Robert Kleinstein, OD, MPH, PhD, retired UAB School of Optometry professor, has been appointed Professor Emeritus in the Department of Optometry and Vision Science by the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama System. Kleinstein retired from the UAB School of Optometry in 2019 following 45 years of service.

“Receiving this appointment is recognition of my contributions to UABSO and our profession,” Kleinstein said. “Most importantly the appointment recognizes my efforts to help educate 1,000-plus students who, in turn, will enable hundreds of thousands of people from birth to death to see well at school, work and play, and to maximize each person's quality of life. As a Professor Emeritus, I am encouraged to continue contributing to our school and profession.”

When starting his career, Kleinstein said he never imagined that this title would be bestowed upon him. He was simply excited to leave the UC Berkley School of Optometry to start his career at UAB with Henry Peters, OD. Peters was affiliated with UC Berkley prior to becoming the UAB School of Optometry’s founding dean.

A large volume of career-related information must be gathered in order to be considered for Professor Emeritus appointments. This process allowed Kleinstein to rediscover moments of his 45-year tenure that were long forgotten.

“It was exciting to think about all the experiences and interactions with excellent colleagues, patients, staff, and students,” he said. “It was also surprising to recall many things and accomplishments that I had forgotten as well as humbling to see some things I should have done better. As the old 1946 movie title said, ‘It's a wonderful life.’”