Bloomberg School of Public Health
Members Present: Drs. Steven Knapp, Miriam Alexander, Robert Black, Diane Griffin, John Groopman, Bernard Guyer, Robert Lawrence, Jonathan Links, Roger McMacken, Noel Rose, Jonathan Samet, Alfred Sommer, Donald Steinwachs, James Yager, and Scott Zeger; and Ms Robin Fox, staff.
Members Absent: Drs. William Brody, John Breitner, Margaret Ensminger, and Edward Miller.
Guests: Drs. Sharon Krag and Ms Diane Glover.
Meeting Convened: Provost Steven Knapp convened the meeting at 3 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of the 852nd meeting on September 20, 2001 were approved.
Remarks by the Provost
Provost Knapp commented on the busy weekend for the University with: a number of alumni events; dedication of Clark Hall which will house Biomedical Engineering on the Homewood campus; a large meeting of University volunteers to review plans for the new fund-raising campaign; and the JHU Board of Trustees meeting. Dr. Knapp thanked the Applied Physics Laboratory for hosting the large meeting, which was attended by hundreds of volunteers and friends of the University. Volunteers, including Bloomberg School of Public Health alumni, faculty and members of the Health Advisory Board, reviewed drafts of the University and School case statements, and provided constructive feedback.
The Educational Policy meeting of the Board of Trustees focused on research subjects issues. Trustees were led through a series of interesting exercises on human subjects protection that illustrated the tradeoffs between research risks and benefits. The Board of Trustees heard much about the overall progress of the University, including updates on the Institutional Review Board, animal care facilities and procedures, and the status of several visible cases. Dr. Knapp noted that the State Appeals Court clarified the initial intent of their ruling on the Kennedy Kreiger case, so that pediatric research can continue according to the federal standard for acceptable risk.
Three searches for deans are now underway at the University. Dr. Yager serves on the search committee for the dean of Nursing. Search committees have also been formed for the deans of SAIS and for the University Library system.
A University-wide Crisis Response Steering Team has been organized across the University. It will sort out the responses and resources available at the University, including: Bioterrorism (anticipated to involve collaborations between the BSPH and APL); curricular coordination and development; international students and visa issues; timely communications and response; and coordination with an expanded response group that includes security, hazardous materials, and other crisis management needs. Dr. Lawrence noted that BSPH students have organized a week-long symposium on bioterrorism and appropriate responses, starting on November 5.
Remarks by the Dean
Dean Sommer commented that the terrorism alert on October 17 caused air handling units to be turned off, which in turn led to a number of problems in bench laboratories. School staff and faculty staff will convene to better coordinate and communicate about these and related emergencies.
The annual meetings of the Association of Schools of Public Health and American Public Health Association will be held in tandem next week. One major topic for discussion at the meetings will be how the tragic events of the past few months can lead to greater visibility and focus on the important role of public health, and to much-needed strengthening of the public health infrastructure.
Dr. Sommer reported that the Health Advisory Board meeting held on the previous weekend was energizing and engaging. He noted that media calls and requests for information about terrorism have overwhelmed the School. A supplement to the Public Health Magazine about the efforts of the Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies and many other activities in the School in bioterrorism and terrorism is now being developed.
Dr. Sommer reminded the Advisory Board of the retreat on October 25-27, where departmental strategic plans will be reviewed to see how they fit into the School's plan, campaign priorities and case statements will be examined, and the possibility of broad School-wide response to terrorism threats will be discussed.
Nominations for the JHU Society of Scholars are due by November 9, 2001.
Dr. Krag updated the Advisory Board on the progress of the Institutional Review Board #3 of the School in re-reviewing protocols that previously had been reviewed by the Joint Committee on Clinical Investigation (JCCI) and that had been suspended by the OHRP shutdown. All protocols have been reviewed at least once, and those with questions or comments have now been referred back to the investigators. Dr. Krag also announced that new protocols of BSPH investigators that previously would have been reviewed by the JCCI will now undergo review by the BSPH IRB. The size of the Committee on Human Research (CHR) needs to be modestly expanded to accommodate this new responsibility and add the necessary expertise. Dr. Krag reminded the Advisory Board that four identical half-day education sessions on the role of the IRB will be held for BSPH faculty, staff and students involved in human research on November 5 and 6.
Report of the Faculty Senate
Dr. Rose commented that the Faculty Senate held its first meeting under new guidelines intended to make the Senate more active and deliberative. A small faculty group convened by Dr. Links has developed a working paper on priorities to strengthen educational programs as elucidated in the Strategic Plan. The working paper, which addresses faculty incentives and resources, is now under discussion by the full Senate. This model will be a prototype for future issues facing the faculty.
Dr. Sommer commented that adjunct faculty should be reviewed annually, with justification for their continuing appointment provided annually by the chairs. Dr. Rose commented that review of adjunct faculty is part of the annual department review conducted by the Committee on Appointments and Promotions. Dr. Steinwachs noted the large number of part-time faculty appointments in his department and asked if there should be standard criteria for joint and part-time faculty appointments, while Dr. Knapp commented that there may be different levels of participation of part- time and jointly-appointed faculty among the departments.
iMPH Course Development Priorities
Dr. Lawrence commented on growth in the number of courses now available on the web, many of which were identified as priorities for web development by the departments. Most of those courses have appealed to large numbers of on-site MPH students, or are MPH program requirements. Dr. Lawrence asked whether courses that appeal to modest numbers of on- site MPH students should be adapted for the web, and noted that Distance Education staff are available to support these activities. He further noted that as individual courses are developed, the iMPH program would like to provide a few "clusters" of more advanced courses, based on areas of student interest. iMPH students are periodically surveyed to learn about those interests.
Several Advisory Board members commented that the MPH Executive Board should be critically involved in determining which web-based courses should be developed for iMPH students, rather than looking at numbers of course registrants. Department chairs then have the responsibility of identifying faculty to work on those courses, and must be certain their representative on the MPH Executive Board is empowered to speak on behalf of their respective departments. Dr. Yager noted that internet courses require significant effort to develop and update, and that faculty designated to work on this must be provided adequate time and tools. Dr. Lawrence will review priorities for web course development with the MPH Executive Board.
Draft Policy of "Faculty Responsibilities"
Dr. Yager noted that a major issue raised in the Strategic Plan was the desire for increased involvement of faculty in decision-making, mentoring and communication. The draft policy contains specific expectations on the role and responsibilities of the faculty, and also indicates the responsibilities of department chairs and others to those faculty members. This draft had previously been reviewed by the department chairs, and will also be reviewed by the Faculty Senate before implementation.
Dr. Knapp asked that the policy be made more explicit as to whom it applies, and whether it also applies to non-tenure track faculty. Members of the Advisory Board noted that faculty of different ranks and titles have different expectations, responsibilities and career paths, and that the policy should be as explicit as possible about where differences and similarities exist. Rather than develop a separate policy, the Advisory Board agreed that the present draft policy should be adapted and included in the appropriate sections of the existing faculty PPM.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:35 p.m.
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