School of Hygiene and Public Health Advisory Board
Members Present: Drs. Steven Knapp, James Anthony, Robert Black, John Breitner, Margaret Ensminger, Diane Griffin, John Groopman, Bernard Guyer, Robert Lawrence, Roger McMacken, Edward Miller, Alfred Sommer, Donald Steinwachs, James Yager, and Scott Zeger; and Ms. Robin Fox, staff.
Members Absent: Drs. William Brody, Ellen MacKenzie, and Jonathan Samet.
Guests: Drs. Gary Ketner, Sharon Krag, Noel Rose, and E. William Spannhake; and Ms Diane Glover.
Meeting Convened: Provost Knapp convened the meeting at 3:00 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes Minutes of the 834th meeting on March 21, 2000 were approved.
Remarks by the Provost
Provost Knapp reported that the search for the dean of the School of Professional Studies in Business and Education (SPSBE) has been completed. Dr. Ralph Fessler, formerly interim dean with a background in education, has been appointed dean. SPSBE is expected to become increasingly interactive with the other divisions, particularly as the academic core of the business group in SPSBE expands. Dr. Knapp noted that every division of the University now has a permanent dean.
Dr. Knapp remarked that Dr. Ellen MacKenzie is stepping down from her leadership role in the School as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and will return to her full-time roles as teacher and researcher. Dr. Knapp acknowledged Dr. MacKenzie's many contributions to the academic leadership of the School and the University. Dr. Knapp then welcomed Dr. James Yager, who has been named to the position.
The Maryland legislative session has concluded, and the University did well in several areas. Dr. Knapp reported that the final Board of Trustees meeting for the year will include a presentation of the University's 5 year plan, which predicts that the University as a whole will break even or experience a small surplus. This narrow margin puts a great deal of emphasis on fund-raising activities, even as costs of recruiting and retaining the best faculty rise, the costs of libraries rise, and reimbursement for clinical care declines.
Dr. Miller thanked Dr. Groopman for his leadership of Hopkins' efforts to use tobacco settlement funds to improve the lives of Baltimore residents, in addition to funds for research. Dr. Miller then announced that a day care center that will serve Hopkins faculty and staff will open in the Church Home Professional Office Building, adjacent to the Church Home Hospital property, in the fall of 2000. A contract has been signed with a professional day care company to develop and manage the center. The center will initially have openings for 160 children, with the potential for expansion to accommodate approximately 240 children in the future. The survey conducted in part by SHPH was very useful in establishing the need for the center.
Remarks by the Dean
Dean Sommer thanked Drs. Groopman and Abeloff for their important roles in the Maryland legislative session. He remarked that Dr. Yager will assume the Senior Associate Dean position on June 1, and thanked Dr. MacKenzie for her guidance and leadership. He noted that Dr. Rose had visited with the School of Medicine's professorial promotions committee and commented on the many similarities and few differences in the procedures used by the two divisions.
Report of the Faculty Senate
Dr. Yager reported that the Senate and Committee of the Whole had an interesting discussion at the recent joint meeting with members of the Academic Ethics Board, and that the Ethics Board is expected to make several recommendations to prevent ethics violations as a result of the discussion.
Report of the Committee to Review the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Dr. Spannhake, chair of the Committee to Review the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB), and Dr. Ketner, a member of the Committee, joined the Advisory Board. Other members of the Review Committee who were unable to attend were Drs. J. Thomas August, Ron Brookmeyer, Valeria Culotta, M. Daniel Lane, and Ellen MacKenzie. Dr. Spannhake commented that the Committee met with the faculty and students in BMB, and with persons outside of the Department to obtain a broad spectrum of input. He noted that the Department occupies a unique position as a very basic laboratory science department in a school of public health. The Department is internationally recognized with research and educational programs of the highest quality, enabling it to attract top- notch students. Through recent efforts, the Department increasingly provides training for some students in other departments of the School.
Dr. Spannhake commented that historically BMB has made great contributions to public health, and that with some of the newer technologies and interest by its faculty, BMB is poised to make even greater contributions to public health and the School. Interest by the faculty might include increased collaboration with faculty in other departments and more applied research in public health problems. The department is now "graying", with a bolus of older faculty nearing retirement. Recruitment of new junior faculty has the potential to modify the culture and emphasis of the department while retaining its excellence, however the Review Committee recognized that recruiting the number of faculty needed to retain a critical size over the next several years will likely be beyond the current resources of the Department.
Dr. Spannhake and the Review Committee acknowledged Dr. McMacken's leadership, noting he had served during two critical junctures in the Department's history, most recently when the Division of Reproductive Biology of the former Department of Population Dynamics joined BMB. Furthermore, new faculty recruitment under Dr. McMacken's guidance has been excellent. After further discussion, Dr. Knapp thanked Drs. Spannhake and Ketner.
Dr. McMacken expressed his appreciation to the Review committee for its thoughtful report and constructive suggestions. He agreed that BMB has an acute need for new junior faculty to replace the present, graying faculty. He commented that the merger with the Division of Reproductive Biology has been a seamless one, and that issues related to student training raised during the review process have already been acted on. While students will be trained more uniformly across the entire department, the Division of Reproductive Biology will retain its divisional structure, primarily for external funding and visibility. Dr. McMacken remarked that BMB has a longstanding training program in molecular carcinogenesis with direct public health relevance. The Department plans to offer a course in genomics to appeal to the diverse student body in the School, and is instituting a seminar program that will be required of BMB students to introduce them to research done by non-BMB faculty from across the SHPH. Dr. Knapp thanked Dr. McMacken for his comments.
The Advisory Board discussed a number of points raised during the discussion. BMB graduates find desirable positions, more so these days in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies than in academia. Dr. Zeger discussed funding mechanisms for BMB faculty and students and suggested that team-based research would lead to more diverse types of support for BMB faculty and students, thereby freeing up departmental resources to recruit new faculty rather than to support existing faculty. Dr. Sommer pointed out that as new areas of interest are identified (e.g., molecular epidemiology, quantitative genetics), the best faculty can adapt and/or be retrained in some of the new areas. Dr. Sommer then asked that BMB engage in a strategic planning exercise that would include input from faculty external to the Department.
After further discussion, Dr. Knapp thanked all members of the Committee to Review the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The Advisory Board subsequently made, seconded and unanimously passed a motion thanking the Committee for their cogent and effective report.
Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health dual degree program and proposed revisions to MPH Program PPM - for vote
Dr. Lawrence commented the proposed dual Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health program grew out of discussions with the University of Maryland School of Social Work. The program will remain small, and is expected to handle no more than 4-6 students per year. Student advising will be by University of Maryland School of Social Work faculty who have public health training and by MSW-trained SHPH faculty. After further discussion, the Advisory Board voted to approve the Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health dual degree program.
The Advisory Board then reviewed proposed changes to the MPH Program PPM. After discussion, the group modified the language for students enrolled in dual degree programs such that students with two years of prior experience (as required for other MPH applicants) would not be required to complete both degrees before receiving their MPH. The Advisory Board voted to approve the MPH program PPM with the modification.
ASPH Prevention Research Fact Sheet
Dean Sommer circulated a "Prevention Research Fact Sheet" developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and provided to the Association of Schools of Public Health. The Fact Sheet was not meant to be all-inclusive of public health issues, but can be used for talking points in discussions with legislators at many level. Dr. Sommer requested that faculty who have additional suggestions for the Fact Sheet forward comments to him, and he will in turn forward them to CDC.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:45 p.m.
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