Dr Paul Constable (L) and Professor Konrad Pesudovs
By Rhiannon Riches
Optometry South Australia has been advised that the Flinders University optometry course is to sit under a new Academic College of Nursing and Health Sciences, with a change to key staff roles, including that of Professor Konrad Pesudovs.
Optometry South Australia president Kurt Larson and CEO Libby Boschen met today with the Dean (Education) and other relevant decision-makers of the newly formed College at Flinders University to discuss the implications of the restructure.
The aim of today’s meeting was to better convey members’ concerns and to discuss the range of potential solutions available to the university to address these quickly.
Ms Boschen said they had been informed that Professor Pesudovs will no longer lead Flinders Optometry alone, but that course leadership will become a responsibility shared by all Flinders Vision staff members.
This structure, which will be adopted across all College disciplines, will provide Professor Pesudovs with more time to focus on his research and teaching. Dr Paul Constable’s role has been expanded for a two-year term to include additional responsibilities under a new title of Head of Teaching Section: Optometry and Course Co-ordinator.
Ms Boschen said the entire university was undergoing significant structural change in response to a comprehensive review undertaken recently.
Optometry South Australia has written to Flinders University decision-makers, seeking a better understanding of the reasons for the change, and assurance that strategies are in place to ensure the continued quality of the course and graduates.
In a communication to Optometry South Australia members, Ms Boschen said she had been contacted by many student members who were confused and concerned by recent events, which had taken them by surprise.
Ms Boschen said that Optometry SA recognised that any large organisation would undergo a restructure from time to time, and that this could lead to distress for all involved as the changes were rolled-out, particularly in this case, when it was unexpected.
However, she urged members to remain positive and keep an open mind. ‘Where there is change, there is always opportunity and we need to capitalise on this,’ she said.