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About Larry Davis

Larry J. Davis was appointed Dean for the college in 2002 following two years of service as the interim dean.  Under his leadership, the faculty revised faculty governance, the college strategic plan, curriculum, and measures for program outcomes.

He also helped advance several investments, totaling more than $20 million, to improve the college facilities including renovations to the Lindell Eye Center in Midtown Saint Louis, updates to classroom and laboratories in Marillac Hall, and a three-phase plan for new construction to co-locate the College of Nursing and Optometry. The UMSL Patient Care Center, Phase-I of that plan, opened in September 2016. The 48,000-square feet of space provides opportunities to expand health care services to the North County area through community partnerships. In addition, during the period between 2000 and 2014, he helped establish sixteen new endowment funds, increasing the college-wide endowment fund balances by 300%. Investments in the twenty-one endowment funds now total more than $1.6 million. More recently, a major gifts initiative began in support of the Patient Care Center. Gifts and pledges for that campaign now total nearly $1 million.

He is a graduate of Indiana University (B.S.V.S. and O.D.) and completed residency training at the University of Missouri-Saint Louis. He later joined the faculty there following five years of service on the faculty in the Department of Ophthalmology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, where he also served as the Director of the Contact Lens Service.

He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and Diplomate of the Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses, and Refractive Technologies. He has served on the Scientific Program Committee of the Academy. He has served on the board of directors and as president of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry and the Heart of America Contact Lens Society. He also served as President of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry and the Saint Louis Optometric Society (SLOS). He has been recognized as Outstanding Optometric Educator of the Year by students at UMSL and as Optometrist of the Year and Distinguished Optometrist by SLOS.

Dr. Davis’s area of academic specialization is cornea, contact lenses and anterior segment ocular disease with an emphasis in refractive management of the diseased and/or injured eye. He has authored or co-authored more than fifty scientific papers, book chapters, and abstracts.


Present Dean | Associate Professor, University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry


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Faculty Expertise (1)

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