Chair, Department of Ophthamlology

Virginia Commonwealth Univeristy School of Medicine

The Chair of Ophthalmology is a senior leader within the VCU School of Medicine, the VCU Health System and the academic community. Reporting to the Dean and Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, the Chair will lead the Department across all missions while motivating, recruiting and developing faculty and staff to achieve clinical, research and educational excellence. The Chair will collaborate with other clinical departments and stakeholders across the University and Health System to maintain a robust clinical practice ensuring the highest level of patient-centered care while advancing ophthalmology education and supporting research. The Chair will provide strategic leadership, direction and coordination for the clinical, teaching and research components of the Department.

About the Position

Responsibilities include:    


Envision and lead a respected Ophthalmology Department to achieve the next level of academic excellence. Provide a strong and impassioned vision for building excellence in all aspects of the clinical and academic mission. Understand, appreciate and prepare for current and future trends in the field. Work effectively across a complex academic medical center.

Patient Care

Implement policies and systems to deliver superior patient centered ophthalmic care. Be active and resolute in advancing patient care, service excellence, patient outcomes and quality and safety. Maximize day-to-day operational performance of Department of Ophthalmology faculty and clinical Ophthalmology programs. Ensure superior quality and safety for Ophthalmology practices. Monitor and ensure patient access for all services. Coordinate with CMO of VCUHS to ensure compliance with institutional and regulatory requirements. Partner with the health system to provide growth opportunities for Ophthalmology practice within the region.  


Advance the education, research and clinical missions of the academic medical center in collaboration with VCU and VCU Health leadership and other departments and centers. Lead physicians who will further advance the full spectrum of adult and pediatric patient care in Ophthalmology. Champion the education of medical students and residents in the Department of Ophthalmology to offer an optimal educational experience.


Support principal investigators and other faculty within the school and department in efforts to secure appropriate grant funding (including NIH) and philanthropy to support research / academic priorities.


Provide the vision and leadership to achieve superior clinical programs. Work with the leadership at VCU Medical Center to build and grow areas of acknowledged clinical excellence.  Serve on School and University committees, study sections, academic societies and review groups as a journal editor and / or on editorial boards.  Commit to service within the community. Continue to develop relationships with key partners.


Prepare, oversee and implement the Ophthalmology departmental budget that encompasses all funding sources and ensures compliance with grant, legislative and institutional guidelines.  Effectively manage available resources. Ensure ethical and fiscally responsible practices within the Department of Ophthalmology. Support all institutional compliance activities.  Recruit, hire and retain outstanding, diverse faculty. Ensure an atmosphere of support and development.  Encourage philanthropic gifts. Be a highly visible collaborative leader in supporting VCU School of Medicine strategic direction in partnership with departmental chairs, SOM academic affairs, and research leadership.

Relationship Building

Build strong relationships with other Department Chairs, Center Directors and Health System and University leaders to further the shared goals of advancing across all missions and supporting continued growth and excellence in Ophthalmology and neurosciences more broadly. Collaborate with the Central Virginia VA Medical Center to build clinical, teaching and research relationships. 


Mentor and develop trainees and junior faculty. Commit to and actively participate in undergraduate medical and graduate education.  Identify, recruit and retain the next generation of superior faculty members.


  • Medical degree is required.  Board certification and a Virginia medical license are required.  Eligibility to work in the United States is required.
  • Academic rank of Associate Professor or Professor with sustained history of significant academic achievements.
  • Ability to develop and convey a vision for the department and inspire department members.
  • Seasoned educator and administrator who possesses national and / or international recognition in the education, research and clinical disciplines of Ophthalmology.
  • Successful administrative and leadership experience at an academic institution, such as a Department Chair, Division Chief/Section Head or Program Director. Experience developing academic leaders and a reputation for mentorship of students and trainees and development of junior faculty. Demonstrated ability to identify, recruit and retain a diverse faculty.
  • Clear evidence of accomplishments in teaching, research and other professional activities and related administrative experience commensurate with experience.
  • A strong track record of supporting extramural peer-reviewed and funded research. 
  • Demonstrated accomplishments in developing and leading an academic department are preferable.  Previous experience building or expanding a program, department or group within an organization may suffice.
  • Demonstration of successful collaborative academic leadership.
  • Demonstrated managerial and business acumen.  Experience in and demonstrated knowledge of the complex financial pressures facing academic medical centers, health care delivery organizations and academic departments of clinical excellence.
  • Experience in a competitive clinical marketplace.
  • Politically astute and able to work well with people at all levels - university, hospital, community, faculty and staff. A reputation as a consensus builder and someone who can resolve conflict for the betterment of the organization.
  • Unimpeachable integrity and personal ethics.
  • Outstanding communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Strong organization and process management skills.
  • High energy coupled with a strong work ethic and a desire to have a meaningful impact.
  • Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff and learner environment and a commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU.

Preferred Characteristics

  • Leadership by example with intent/desire to continue clinical practice while serving as Department of Ophthalmology Chair.
  • Ability to contribute in highly matrixed academic environment as member of SOM leadership team. 
  • Leadership in continuous quality improvement and demonstrated commitment to quality and safety in healthcare.
  • Willingness to engage broadly with VCU as an institutional leader and to be a highly visible ambassador for SOM both internally and in the surrounding communities. 
  • Outgoing and personable demeanor and a track record of forging win-win relationships.
  • Ability to see the bigger picture of issues and the role of the department.
  • Track record of trainees who have developed into successful faculty members at his/her institution or elsewhere.
  • Ability to organize and oversee the strategic and operational aspects of a clinical service in a teaching environment in the areas of department and strategic goal setting, finance and operations, education and research.
  • The ability to lead a group of physicians and collaborate effectively with hospital management and professionals in other disciplines.



How to Apply

Interested candidates should apply at VCU Jobs:  Chair, VCU Department of Ophthalmology

Please provide a CV, letter of interest and diversity statement, along with the names of three references. 

For more information contact Search Committee Co-Chairs:  Alice Coombs, MD at or Douglas Arthur, MD at


Virginia Commonwealth University is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Women, minorities and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply


Ms. Katherine Mulloy, Director, Faculty Affairs

1201 E. Marshall Street
PO Box 980565
Richmond, VA 23298
United States

Posting #

2023-02-03 (AdID:899)