AB Welcomes Dr. Robert Buckingham

A Message from Dr. Joan Propst, Provost/Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs

Dear AB Community,

I am honored to introduce Dr. Robert (Bob) Buckingham to Alderson Broaddus University as the Dean of the College of Optometry. Dr. Buckingham began his work with AB on June 1st in preparation for the self-study as we continue to plan for the educational preparation of optometric physicians.

The president’s cabinet, the deans’ council and I are excited to have Dr. Buckingham join us in his capacity. We look forward to having his expertise as we move these plans from concept to fruition.

Dr. Bob Buckingham is the founding dean of the Alderson Broaddus University College of Optometry, as the University is in the development stages of making this program a reality. Dr. Buckingham earned his Doctorate in Optometry at the Michigan College of Optometry in 1981. After graduation, Dr. Buckingham served in the United States Air Force. While in the Air Force, he was chief of numerous optometry clinics. In 1990, he was selected to be the supervisor of the Optometry Apprentice Course where he was responsible for training all optometry students for duty at over 90 Air Force Optometry Clinics.In 1994, he was the first optometrist to be selected as the Chief of Training Quality Assessment for the 882nd Training Group. In this position, he supervised the standardization/evaluations function, the training evaluation and research operation, and the Quality Air Force program for Air Force medical training.

In 1996, Dr. Buckingham joined the Tri-Service Vision Conservation and Readiness Program at the US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine (USACHPPM). While at the USACHPPM, Dr. Buckingham was the course director for the Department of Defense vision conservation and vision readiness training program as well as the Program Manager for the Defense Vision Information System. While assigned at the USACHPPM, Dr. Buckingham was handpicked to be the Secretary to the General Staff (SGS). As the SGS, he managed inquiries and taskings from Congress, Department of Defense, US Army Office of the Surgeon General, US Army Medical Command, US Army Major Commands and other organizations. Dr. Buckingham is the only Air Force officer to ever fill this SGS position.

After retiring from the Air Force in 2001, Dr. Buckingham was the Assistant Dean for Clinical Affairs as well as the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs at the Michigan College of Optometry. Dr. Buckingham is a past president of the Armed Forces Optometric Society (AFOS). He was named the AFOS optometrist of the year for 2001 and the Association of Military Surgeons United States Optometrist of the Year for 2001. He is past recipient of Ferris State University Distinguished Alumnus Award.

In addition, he received the Army’s Order of Military Medical Merit (OM3). The OM3 award is given to the top 10% of Army medics. Of the 5,385 recipients, Dr. Buckingham was the eighth Air Force officer to receive this recognition. Dr. Buckingham has lectured and is the author of numerous journal articles and posters on occupational and environmental vision. Dr. Buckingham received his PhD in Higher Education Leadership from Western Michigan University in 2012.

Bob has been married to Kim (Rokosz) Buckingham for 34 years. Kim has an associate’s degree in ophthalmic assisting from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan; a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado; and a master’s in business administration (MBA) from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas.

They have two children, JJ (Joseph James) and Brittany. JJ graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2010 and is an Air Force missiles officer at FE Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming. JJ is pursuing his MBA from Oklahoma State University. JJ is married to Jaimie (Koscielniak) Buckingham and they have one son, Liam.

Their daughter, Brittany, attended Northern Michigan University (NMU) on a soccer scholarship and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 2011. Brittany went on to receive her master’s in business administration from NMU in 2013. She is currently a fraud analysis evaluator for Well Fargo Bank in Des Moines Iowa.

Dr. Buckingham’s office is located at Burbick Hall 222 and he can be reached at ext. 6588 or via e-mail at buckinghamrs@ab.edu.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Buckingham to the Battler Family!