UNC Department of Ophthalmology Chair and Kittner Family Distinguished Professor Don Budenz, MD, MPH, has been elected President of the 580-member Association of University Professors in Ophthalmology (AUPO). The AUPO is the professional organization for Chairs of Ophthalmology and is comprised of 140 academic medical centers across the US and Canada. The mission of AUPO is to serve, strengthen, and represent departments of ophthalmology; to provide support, information, and leadership opportunities to department chairs, program directors, and other faculty members; to promote excellence in ophthalmic education; and to foster vision research and to promote ethical practice and excellence in eye care in order to ensure the best possible vision for the public.
AUPO membership also welcomes Residency Program Directors, Medical Student Directors, Research Directors, and Associate Chairs of Administration. The organization runs the San Francisco Ophthalmology Matching Program for ophthalmology residency and fellowships in the US and Canada, manages its own publication (Journal of Academic Ophthalmology), is responsible for the Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring program, and holds multiple parallel four-day annual meetings for its member constituent groups.
For the AUPO’s Annual Meeting, Dr. Budenz created the New Chairs Boot Camp, which has graduated more than 50 new chairs over the past six years. In addition to speaking at the annual meeting every year, Budenz has served as the Councilor from the AUPO to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. His term begins in 2023.