On Oct. 1, the office of the president announced that the decision to rename the NSU College of Optometry to the National Vision College of Optometry had been withdrawn. Previously, on Sept. 25, NSU announced that the College of Optometry had received a significant donation from National Vision Inc., and would be renaming the college for an initial period of 10 years. An article titled “NSU’s College of Optometry receives new name” was published in issue eight of volume 29 of The Current.
Soon after the original memorandum was released, an online petition was created anonymously. As of Oct. 2, the petition had received over 2,500 signatures, surpassing the original 1,000 signature goal, and garnered over 600 comments. The anonymous petition alleged, “the decision to rename NSU College of Optometry, the National Vision College of Optometry, was made… without having considered the opinion of staff, current students and alumni.”
While the memorandum sent out on Oct. 1 did not directly address the petition, Dr. George Hanbury, NSU’s president and CEO, explained “the CEO of National Vision and I appreciate the passion and engagement that many NSU optometry students, faculty and alumni have expressed.”
“Although our organizations share many core values – particularly for serving our larger communities – we have come to realize that the issues associated with corporate philanthropy in the health sciences are still too nascent,” said President Hanbury. “This topic deserves further thought and consideration over time from the broader academic, professional, philanthropic and alumni communities. To that end, the CEO of National Vision and I have mutually agreed to end this philanthropic partnership. We greatly appreciate National Vision’s well-intended philanthropic gift and partnership, and look forward to continuing to explore meaningful collaborations between our two organizations in the future.”
The endowment would have supported the college with student scholarships, faculty research and equipment for the simulation lab, according to the original memorandum.
“All gifts received have been and always will be for the greater good of the university, its students and faculty; however, no gift has been or will be received that has control of curriculum, operations or academic freedom. All gifts are only for the advancement of knowledge and success of all students and faculty,” wrote President Hanbury in the memorandum sent to the NSU community on Oct. 1.
President Hanbury expressed that both NSU and National Vision Inc. will be exploring options for collaboration in the future. The corporation has been a longtime supporter of the university, and has donated equipment in the past.
The staff at The Current, Nova Southeastern University’s student-run newspaper, works hard to deliver you up-to-date news as efficiently and accurately as possible. Based on the time of the announcement, an article written based on the first memorandum was published in our print edition on Oct. 2. This article serves as a retraction and a correction to that initial story. We apologize for any confusion.