School of Hygiene and Public Health Advisory Board
Members Present: Drs. Steven Knapp, James Anthony, Robert Black, John Breitner, Diane Griffin, John Groopman, Robert Lawrence, Ellen MacKenzie, Roger McMacken, Edward Miller, Jonathan Samet, Alfred Sommer, Donald Steinwachs, James Yager and Scott Zeger; and Ms. Robin Fox, staff.
Members Absent: Drs. William Brody, Margaret Ensminger and Bernard Guyer.
Guests: Drs. Sharon Krag and Noel Rose; Mss Sandra Coleman, Diane Glover, and Teresa Schwartz; and Mr. Gregory Winkler.
Meeting convened: Provost Knapp convened the meeting at 3:00 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of the 831st meeting on December 21, 1999 were approved.
Remarks by the Provost: Provost Knapp remarked that a number of requests for capital projects have been discussed, which may include the use of State tobacco funds. President Brody recently met with Baltimore Mayor O'Malley, where they shared a number of interests concerning the University.
Remarks by the Dean: Dean Sommer noted that the Office of External Affairs will be undertaking intensive development efforts prior to the end of the current fund-raising campaign in June.
Report of the Faculty Senate: Dr. Yager reported that the Faculty General Assembly met on January 11, where the undergraduate public health major program was presented by Drs. Brieger and Goodyear. The faculty were enthusiastic about the evolution of the program. Dr. MacKenzie reported on the organization of courses to improve faculty development, and Dr. Miriam Alexander updated the faculty on the MPH program. Dr. Yager expressed hope that attendance at Faculty General Assembly and Faculty Senate meetings would improve.
Distance Education Update: Dr. Lawrence reported that six areas of emphasis for the MPH program will be presented to the department chairs. The Distance Education Program is exploring a partnership with the Intel Corporation. Dr. Lawrence further noted that current financial projections for the Distance Education Program include repayment of the entire initial investment by the end of the 2000-01 fiscal year.
Tobacco-sponsored support: In light of the State tobacco settlement, Dr. Sommer asked the members of the Advisory Board whether the School should continue to accept funds from tobacco companies or from tobacco company-sponsored organizations. He noted that the School presently accepts a very small amount of sponsored support from organizations funded by the tobacco industry. The JHU General Counsel's Office has advised Dr. Sommer that the School should not develop a policy that refuses funding from the tobacco industry so as not to infringe on the faculty's prerogative. Dr. Sommer then circulated a draft memo to SHPH faculty expressing the concern of the Advisory Board over acceptance by the School of funding directly or indirectly from organizations serving the needs of the tobacco industry, and asked for input on the draft. The Advisory Board discussed the rationale for developing a policy, and discussed a variety of wording changes to the draft policy. There was a general consensus among Advisory Board members that the School should refuse to accept funding from the tobacco industry due to the disconnection between the School's mission and acceptance of funds from an industry whose purpose is to misrepresent the truth about the health effects of tobacco. Dr. Lawrence suggested that the School maintain a list of tobacco industry-funded organizations to prevent the School from unknowingly accepting such funds. The Advisory Board also agreed that faculty should be free to pursue their own outside interests, which could include acceptance of tobacco industry funding, and that the School would accept an individual's philanthropy even if their personal wealth arose from tobacco products. After further discussion, Dr. Sommer will discuss the consensus of and concerns raised by the Advisory Board with the General Counsel's Office.
November 1999 Annual Student Data Report:
Ms Coleman, Ms Schwartz and Mr. Winker joined the Advisory Board. Dean Sommer commented that a number of trends seen in the SHPH are also taking place in other schools of public health. Ms Coleman remarked that the School has seen a decrease in the number of full-time traditional students, increases in part-time and distance education students, and continued rise in the proportion of women students (now at 65%). The MPH program was the only program to see increased enrollment in 1999-2000. While the number of doctoral students has remained unchanged, fewer are full-time, most likely due to lack of funding rather than for academic reasons. The Advisory Board discussed some of the possible reasons why accepted MPH students did not come to Hopkins, and Dr. Sommer suggested that more emphasis be placed on trying to recruit accepted students. A decrease in the number of full-time students will translate into decreased allocable tuition. Several suggestions to improve the School's ability to recruit qualified students were discussed, including improvements in the School's web presence and conducting market research on persons expressing interest in the School but not applying.
Dr. Sommer remarked that improvements in the School's website have cost implications, and a faculty committee is working with the Office of Information Systems to develop an improved web presence. Dr. Lawrence commented that growth in the iMPH program is anticipated, and Dr. Zeger suggested that Hopkins staff be targeted for on-site and web-based part-time programs to help increase enrollment. There are now more part-time SHPH students taking web-based courses than at the Montgomery County and Dupont Circle sites combined. As a result, the School will re-evaluate the types and intensity of teaching activity provided in the Washington, D.C. area in light of increased interest in web-based courses.
Dr. Black thought that applications that are rejected by one department may be of interest to another department. He suggested that a better process of referral be developed. Ms Coleman will raise this suggestion with the academic program coordinators as part of their larger dialogue about sharing student recruitment and program marketing strategies among the academic programs. After further discussion, Dr. Sommer thanked Ms Coleman, Ms Schwartz and Mr. Winkler for their comments.
Gallery Displays: Dean Sommer commented that the School Gallery and display cases have been productively used for exhibits by several departments and programs over the past years, however, he noted that exhibits are very expensive and labor-intensive to design and hang. Due to the need to divert staff time for other purposes in the next several months (External Affairs on the University fund-raising campaign and Housekeeping and Maintenance on helping settle faculty and staff in TR2), no new exhibits will be considered for the Gallery and display cases for the next 6 months. The Office of External Affairs has agreed to design an exhibit to celebrate the end of the fund-raising campaign in the Fall, after which the School will reconsider the uses of and resources needed to mount exhibits in the Gallery and display cases.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m.
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