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President Lewis Reich, OD, PhD

President Lewis ReichLewis Reich, O.D., Ph.D., was named Southern College of Optometry President in January 2016 and formally inaugurated on May 13 later that year. At the time of his appointment by SCO’s Board of Trustees, he had served as Interim President for the previous nine months.

He first joined SCO in July 2008 as Professor and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Under his leadership, the college nationally recruited and grew its faculty ranks to accommodate an increase in student enrollment.

A 1988 graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, he completed his residency in low vision rehabilitation at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO), where he later joined as a faculty member and researcher. In 1991, Dr. Reich entered the graduate program in physiological optics at the University of Houston and soon after was hired there as a Research Assistant Professor.

After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Reich joined the faculty of Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry (NSUCO) as Associate Professor. He was Assistant Dean for Student Affairs from 2003 to 2008.

He serves on the Executive Committee as Secretary/Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the National Board of Examiners in Optometry. A Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, he previously chaired the Academy’s Maintenance of Fellowship Committee and served on the Optometric Education Section’s Diplomate Program Committee.

Dr. Reich additionally has served the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry as the Chair of the Optometry Admissions Test Committee, Chair of the Chief Academic Officers, and was the inaugural Chair of the OptomCAS Committee, leading the profession in the implementation of a centralized application service. He now chairs the Applicant Development Committee.

He also currently serves on the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association Board of Directors.

Locally, he has served on the board of the Medical District Collaborative in Memphis upon its establishment in 2016. He currently serves as Secretary. He has made SCO’s greater involvement in the Medical District and the Memphis community at large a priority for the college’s faculty, staff, and students. Dr. Reich also serves on the Board of Directors of STARS (Students Tackling Autism-Related Syndromes). 

Dr. Reich’s research has been funded by the National Eye Institute as well as the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. He has published peer-reviewed publications and has presented his research at dozens of national and international meetings. Dr. Reich is an active manuscript reviewer for major optometric and vision science journals and has served as a vision expert in legal cases.

He and his wife, Diane, are the parents of a son, Isaac, and reside in Memphis.


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