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Any comments on the SUNY dean sex scandal?!

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by Elfego Baca, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. Elfego Baca

    Elfego Baca Junior Member
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    http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publisher/EndUser?Action=UserDisplayFullDocument&orgId=652&topicId=13564&docId=l:337119947&start=5

    SUNY'S BLACK EYE - OPTOMETRY PREXY OUT IN SEX-HARASS SCANDAL
    KENNETH LOVETT, ZACH HABERMAN and DAVID ANDREATTA
    The founder and president of the SUNY College of Optometry has been accused of making a spectacle of himself by sexually harassing a male subordinate, The Post has learned.
    Alden Haffner, who has headed the Midtown college on and off since its inception in 1971, has been placed on administrative leave amid the eye-popping allegation.
    The 77-year-old visionary vacated his post on Dec. 5 and a State University of New York spokesman said it is not clear whether he will return to campus after his leave is scheduled to end on Dec. 31.
    SUNY spokesman David Henahan declined to comment on the reason for Haffner's departure, citing personnel privacy.
    But a source close to the situation said Haffner was asked to step down because the university received a complaint that he sexually harassed a male subordinate. The source would not say whether the alleged victim was a student or a college employee.
    Reached by phone at home, Haffner told The Post, "I'm sorry, I cannot talk to you. I'm not going to respond to your calls," before abruptly hanging up without even being asked about the accusation.
    Within hours of the call, his lawyer, Peter Sherwood, contacted The Post and said he had been advised by SUNY to direct inquiries about Haffner to the university's public-relations office.
    Haffner is widely considered one of the most respected and accomplished professionals in the field of optometry, and a survivor in a state university system that has changed dramatically over the last three decades.
    His latest tenure at the helm of SUNY Optometry began in 1988. Five years ago, Haffner was inducted into the National Optometry Hall of Fame.
    According to the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, of which Haffner is listed as an at-large member, he has authored more than 200 publications on topics ranging from public health to professional ethics.
    SUNY's acting chancellor, John Ryan, appointed go-to troubleshooter John Clark as the officer in charge of the school in Haffner's absence. Clark previously served as interim president at SUNY-Brockport and Plattsburgh State University.
    Most of the budding eye doctors at the 42nd Street campus said they were unaware that Haffner was no longer in charge, although the college convened a meeting of students last week to tell them of the change.
    SAD SIGHT: Alden Haffner, founder of SUNY College of Optometry, is accused of harassing a male subordinate. [Robert Miller]
    December 15, 2005
     
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  3. rpames

    rpames Optometrist
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    How unfortunate for the school and the profession.
     
  4. 3eb4me

    3eb4me Senior Member
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    Poor guy. Comments in his generation might not be interpreted the same way as today. We have to be politically correct all the time. I think he should have retired when he had the chance.
     
  5. r_salis

    r_salis SDN Supa-Mod Emmetrope
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    Dr. Haffner has done a lot of great things for optometry during his long and esteemed career -- http://www.sunyopt.edu/about/president.shtml . Hopefully in the long run those are the things he will be remembered for rather than for these allegations.

    (And just for clarification -- Dr. Haffner was the college President, not Dean.)
     
  6. Ben Chudner

    Ben Chudner Senior Member
    Optometrist Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor SDN Advisor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    With all due respect, he was not that well known. I'll bet if you asked OD's that are not in academia, or are not associated with SUNY in some way (students, faculty, or graduates) who he was, they would have no idea. This is unfortunate for SUNY and his family, but in the end it will have no effect on the profession.
     
  7. Opii

    Opii Senior Member
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    So we should make a list of schools with sexual harrasment rumors to warn incoming students. So far I've got these from the other forums.
    1. Suny
    2. IAUPR
    3. Berkley
     
  8. Ben Chudner

    Ben Chudner Senior Member
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    I don't think this is very constructive. To begin with, at SUNY the alledged harrassment has yet to be proven. As for IAUPR and Berkeley, there has never been any official allegations regarding harrassment to my knowledge. Rumors spread by anonymous posters on this forum should not be given any credibility unless they can be substantiated with fact.
     
  9. Commando303

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    News of Norman Haffner's death, 6/22/2016:

    http://www.visionmonday.com/latest-news/article/services-to-be-held-for-prominent-od-and-suny-optometry-founding-president-dr-alden-norman-haffner-1/

    Services to be Held for Prominent OD and SUNY Optometry Founding President Dr. Alden Norman Haffner

    By Staff
    Friday, June 24, 2016 12:15 AM
    [​IMG]
    Alden Norman Haffner, OD, PhD, FAAO.

    NEW YORK—Services will be held here on Sunday for Alden Norman Haffner, OD, PhD, FAAO, who passed away on June 22. He was 87 years old. Haffner was a prominent and recognized optometrist and was also the founding president of the SUNY College of Optometry.

    In an announcement issued yesterday, David A. Heath, OD, president of SUNY Optometry said, “Dr. Haffner has an enormous legacy that reverberates here at the College and throughout the optometric community. Without his tireless support for the profession of optometry, both in New York and beyond, as well as his prescient vision, not only for optometry but for public health and education, the College and optometry would not be where they are today.”

    In 1971, to address a growing need for optometric care in New York State, the legislature voted unanimously to establish the SUNY College of Optometry in New York City. The College was designed fill the void created when the state’s only school of optometry—at Columbia University—closed its doors in 1956. Haffner had been serving as the executive director of the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY), an organization of optometrists that maintained a clinic in New York City, offered post-graduate courses for practicing optometrists and lobbied the state on behalf of the optometric profession, when he was chosen to lead SUNY Optometry.

    The College began classes in September 1971 with an inaugural class of 23 students. Haffner remained president until 1978, by which time enrollment had grown to approximately 230 students. That year he became vice chancellor for research, graduate studies and professional programs at SUNY System Administration in Albany. He served in that role for a decade, returning to SUNY Optometry in 1988 to begin a second stint as president until his retirement in 2005.

    Haffner was a major champion of public health throughout his career. He served as president of the Public Health Association of New York City and received its coveted Haven Emerson Award in 1977. He was the founding chair of the city's Community Family Planning Council, an organization that works to provide access to quality health care services for low-income and uninsured New Yorkers. He also served as chair of the American Academy of Optometry’s Section on Public Health and Environmental Optometry from its inception for more than two decades.

    Haffner was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the Subcommittee Medical Advisory Group in the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1987. The American Academy of Optometry recognized his contributions to public health by naming him the inaugural recipient of the Henry B. Peters Memorial Award in Public Health and Environmental Vision in 2014. He was also president of the prestigious Hermann Biggs Society

    Haffner had nearly 200 scholarly publications during his career, mostly in the fields of public health, health care policy and optometric education. He was also credited with helping to lead a profound shift in the way that optometry was practiced beginning in the late 1960s, aiding the transformation that the profession made from non-therapeutic practice toward a more broad, “medical model” that was better suited to the training that optometrists received as well as the public health needs of the community, the College noted.

    A 1948 graduate of Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, Haffner received his Doctor of Optometry degree from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) in 1952. During the course of his career, he also earned an MPA and a PhD in public administration from New York University. Both Salus University, which houses PCO, and NYU have honored Dr. Haffner. In 1992, he received the Troy R. Westmeyer Distinguished Alumni Award from NYU. More recently, Salus University created the A. Norman Haffner Legacy Fund to support public health scholarships for optometry students in the Master of Public Health program.

    In 2011, at a SUNY Optometry dinner honoring Dr. Haffner, Richard Feinbloom, then-president of the OCNY which now serves as the College’s affiliated foundation, announced a gift to establish the Dr. Alden N. Haffner Innovation Chair. The first endowed chair in SUNY Optometry’s history, it was designed to attract promising, young faculty to the College. “Dr. Haffner was a great ambassador for optometry and his passing is a big loss for our community and our profession,” Heath said. “But his enormous impact and legacy will live on for generations to come.”

    Funeral services are planned for Sunday, June 26 at the Riverside Chapel at 76th and Amsterdam in New York City at 11:30 a.m. The family will be sitting Shiva on Sunday beginning at 3:00 p.m. at his residence.
     

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