Bloomberg School of Public Health
Members Present: Drs. Steven Knapp, Miriam Alexander, William Eaton, Margaret Ensminger, Diane Griffin, John Groopman, Bernard Guyer, Jonathan Links, Roger McMacken, Noel Rose, Jonathan Samet, Alfred Sommer, James Yager and Scott Zeger; and Ms. Robin Fox, staff.
Members Absent: Drs. William Brody, Robert Black, Martha Hill, Robert Lawrence, Edward Miller, and Donald Steinwachs.
Guests: Drs. Sharon Krag and 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 855th meeting on December 20, 2001 were approved.
Remarks by the Provost
Provost Knapp reported that three searches are taking place at the University level. The search for the dean of University Libraries is moving forward. A short list of candidates for the SAIS deanship has been identified and candidates are being invited for a second round of interviews. The School of Nursing deanship search is now starting with an initial round of interviews. Nominations for the Nursing deanship are welcome and should be forwarded to Provost Knapp.
Dr. Knapp reported that efforts to coordinate the University's response to terrorism are focussed on two areas: the response to bioterrorism and anthrax, including research and educational initiatives, led by APL and BSPH; and preparations for mass casualty situations, in which Dr. Kelen and JH Medicine are taking the leadership role.
The Maryland legislative session is now underway. Dr. Knapp reported on some important fiscal issues that may affect the University, in particular the unique Maryland State Aid program for private colleges and universities, as well as several capital requests.
Dr. Knapp noted that the University is involved in protecting faculty who do tobacco-related research from unwarranted and onerous subpoenas by tobacco companies.
Remarks by the Dean
Dean Sommer reported briefly on the recent Executive Board meeting of the Association of Schools of Public Health, which met with the director of the CDC. Selected tables on admissions and enrollment trends from the most recent ASPH Student Data Report will be circulated to the chairs. The Ellison Foundation has a new program to support young scholars. Dr. Krag will coordinate the School's response and review the program with interested applicants.
Department of Environmental Health Sciences Self Study
Dr. William Spannhake joined the Advisory Board. He described the process by which the Department of Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) Self Study was prepared, involving faculty, staff and students across the Department. The Self Study evolved into a departmental strategic plan, concentrating on plans for the future rather than assessing the Department's recent past.
Dr. Groopman, now entering his 10th year as EHS chair, reviewed the vision and mission of the Department, its structure and organization, and its priorities in the future in education, research and professional practice. He described the "EHS paradigm," which offers opportunities to assess exposure, health and susceptibility status, and opportunities for intervention at many points. He noted that the Self Study was a consensus, but not a unanimous, document.
Dr. Groopman addressed the major issues raised during the 1991 department review and commented on the current status of each of the issues. He then outlined how the department has created a number of faculty committees, and described the function of each committee. The most important issues raised during the current Self Study were: improving student recruitment and retention; increasing the role of EHS in the MPH program; increasing professional practice activities in EHS: improving the "esprit de corps" among the faculty; and assessing the relative strengths of the current strong divisional structure compared to department that is stronger centrally, from an administrative perspective. Dr. Groopman then cited 2 examples of the "EHS paradigm" where he felt the Department has excelled: lead exposure as a model for the EHS interface with public health; and the rapid response to environmental exposure assessment at the World Trade Center through the Department's NIEHS Center.
He concluded by noting the Department's strengths across the environmental continuum: exposure assessment; identification of the agent or source; its distribution across the environment; exposure; dose; early biologic effects; altered structure or function; and clinical disease. He noted that there many opportunities to develop or implement intervention strategies at every step along this continuum. Dr. Sommer thanked Dr. Groopman for his presentation.
In response to a question, Dr. Groopman commented that the divisions of the Department serve important functions and will for the most part be preserved, particularly to serve the training programs. However, communication across the divisions must be greatly improved, and student recruitment strategies must be developed across the divisions to improve efficiency and success. Dr. Groopman did not see much tension between the tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty, of which there are relatively few.
Dr. Knapp thanked Drs. Groopman and Spannhake and noted that a faculty committee to review the Department will be constituted shortly.
Faculty Recruitment in the Department of Epidemiology
Dr. Samet reviewed his request for three new professorial positions in the Department of Epidemiology, one of which will be in the tenure- track. One position will not have a search. After discussion, the Advisory Board approved the positions.
Dr. Sommer commented that the School's leadership must be more proactive in identifying new publications by and activities of the faculty that can be publicized to donors, friends of the school, the public health community, and the public at large. Department chairs will be asked to share information of this nature about their faculty periodically at Advisory Board meetings.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:50 p.m.
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