Bloomberg School of Public Health
Members Present: Drs. Steven Knapp, Robert Black, Ron Brookmeyer, William Eaton, Diane Griffin, John Groopman, Robert Lawrence, Roger McMacken, Noel Rose, Jonathan Samet, Alfred Sommer, Donald Steinwachs, Jonathan Weiner, James Yager, and Scott Zeger; and Ms. Robin Fox, staff.
Members Absent: Dr. William Brody, Bernard Guyer, Martha Hill, Jonathan Links, and Edward Miller.
Guests: Drs. Robert Fitzgerald, Kathy Helzlsouer, Sharon Krag, Gary Ketner, David Levin, Kimberly O'Brien, and Charles Rohde; Professor William Ward; and Ms Diane Glover.
Meeting Convened: Provost Steven Knapp convened the meeting at 3:00 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of the 870th meeting on March 27, 2003 were approved.
Remarks by the Provost
Dr. Knapp reported that finalists for the School of Engineering deanship are presently visiting the University. An external review of the School of Engineering has been undertaken and is expected to provide positive opportunities for the School and enhance its relationships with the other divisions of the University.
Uncertainties about the epidemic of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in China has led to the decision to curtail the spring semester of the Hopkins- Nanjing program, located in Nanjing, so that American students can return home. Dr. Knapp expressed hope that SARS would not permanently affect the successful and growing Hopkins-Nanjing program, and noted the positive relationships between Hopkins and the University of Nanjing.
Dr. Knapp then updated the Advisory Board about the current status of the Sellinger program, and the partnerships developed among the City, State, Annie Casey Foundation and Hopkins to enhance the economic development and stability in East Baltimore through economic development.
Remarks by the Dean
Dr. Sommer commented on the productive retreat on April 22, 2003. He noted that the creation of the new Department of Behavior and Health has provided the opportunity to think about the interactions between health and behavior from a variety of perspectives. Dr. Sommer then announced that an anonymous donor has provided a $20 million gift to establish the new department. The next year will be devoted to thinking through the relationships between behavior and health from an array of academic perspectives. A faculty advisory committee will be convened to oversee inviting a series of experts from a variety of disciplines for an intensive series of seminars and symposia. Most of the gift will be used to endow the new department, and a portion of it will be used for faculty recruitment and student support. The search process will therefore be extended and is not expected to be completed until the middle of 2004.
Report from the MPH Program
Dr. Brookmeyer commented that the development of MPH concentrations traces back to the recommendations from the MPH review 2 years ago, when development of concentration areas was proposed. Working with the MPH Executive Board and the departments, Dr. Brookmeyer reported that ten concentration areas have been identified over the past several months. They are expected to provide a more rooted academic home for students, facilitate identification of student advisors, provide a coherent menu of courses, and facilitate a more-well defined capstone experience for students. The concentration areas are interdisciplinary and interdepartmental and will be overseen by a small number of faculty.
Dr. Brookmeyer commented that each concentration area has a set of objectives and requirements. Approximately half of the MPH Program requirements are in core courses, about one quarter will be concentration requirements, and the remaining quarter will be elective courses. Concentration area schedules have been mapped out and Dr. Brookmeyer thanked the chairs and faculty for working to resolve any significant course conflicts. He further noted that students will not be required to join a concentration area, and the MPH degree received by students will be the same whether a concentration area is selected or not. Approximately 75% of incoming MPH students are expected to select a concentration area, which will be of different sizes but are expected to average between 10 and 15 students each. Dr. Brookmeyer noted that 2003-04 will be the first year that concentration areas will be offered and should be considered an experiment.
The Advisory Board congratulated Dr. Brookmeyer on these important steps to improve the MPH program. Dr. Weiner asked if the MPH concentration in management would conflict with the MHS program in Health Finance and Management. Although the MPH and MHS programs attract students with different backgrounds, this issue will be revisited after a year of experience.
Dr. Brookmeyer also reported that the curriculum of the 8 week summer term has been revised to a great extent. The new MPH Scholarship Subcommittee made a strategic decision to provide larger awards to a smaller number of students. This strategy has improved the acceptance rate by scholarship candidates to over 70%. Additional efforts have been undertaken to improve the yield of accepted students.
After further discussion, Dr. Sommer thanked Dr. Brookmeyer and commented on the positive transformation Dr. Brookmeyer and the MPH Executive Committee have brought to the MPH Program in a remarkably short time.
Report of the Committee to Review the Department of Environmental Health Sciences
Drs. Ketner, Helzlsouer, Levin, O'Brien, and Rohde and Professor Ward joined the Advisory Board. Dr. Krag also was a member of the EHS Review Committee. Dr. Ketner, committee chair, thanked Dr. Groopman, and the faculty and students of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) for their cooperation during the preparation of the Review Report. He then briefly reviewed the history of the Department, which has provided many important contributions to practice, education and research. The Department has 3 masters programs, offers the DrPH, has an active PhD program, and programs in occupational medicine and occupational nursing. Despite these accomplishments, a number of concerns have been raised about the Department that may be substantial enough to interfere with its ability to retain its high visibility and prominence. While the report contains a number of specific recommendations, Dr. Ketner summarized its principle goals. First, the Department's administration should strive to improve communications among faculty at all levels. A number of faculty feel significantly isolated from the decision-making process in the Department. Secondly, while the Self Study identified new areas for growth, the Review Committee believes there are a number of existing strengths in the Department that should be nurtured. Thirdly, the Review Committee feels strongly that the internal organization and concerns within the Department should be addressed by the faculty of the Department. The Review Committee recommends that the Department undertake an inclusive self-assessment and develop it's own optimal organizational structure.
The Review Committee believes that a Departmental vision should be developed and articulated, and that the leadership of the Department must be more available and proactive and spend the time it will take to provide consistent and attentive guidance. The Review Committee believes that if the above challenges are successfully met in a timely and inclusive manner, the Department will maintain its preeminent role in the School and in its respective disciplines.
Dr. Groopman commented that many of the issues he has dealt with as chair of the EHS were remnants of earlier situations. He reported that he has begun to withdraw from some of his other activities so he can become more fully engaged in understanding and rectifying the concerns of EHS faculty. He noted that the faculty, staff and students of the Department have uniformly committed to improving the environment of the Department. There will be Department- wide retreat at the end of May to further discuss and resolve concerns.
In response to a question, Dr. Ketner commented that development of a common goal and vision in EHS will foster departmental unity, although it is not clear if a divisional structure is helpful in its present configuration and interdisciplinary nature. The Advisory Board then discussed some examples of departments formed from other departments, divisions and groups of faculty.
After further discussion, Dr. Sommer thanked Dr. Ketner and the members of the Review Committee for their thorough report and comprehensive recommendations. A motion was made to accept the report and recommendations of the Committee to Review the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, and to thank the members of the Committee for their hard work and diligence. The motion was approved by the Advisory Board.
2002-03 Faculty Salary Analysis
Dr. Kasper, chair of the Committee on Affirmative Action, joined the Advisory Board. Dr. Zeger reviewed the main findings of the 2002-03 Faculty Salary Analysis done at the request of the Committee on Affirmative Action. He noted the increased size of the non-tenure-track professorial faculty, and the declining difference between the salaries of MD and non-MD faculty. Dr. Zeger remarked that the salaries of male and female faculty did not differ overall, and that there was a small difference between the salaries of minority and non- minority faculty. The number of under-represented minority faculty was too small to permit meaningful group analysis, but Dr. Zeger reported individual salaries are being examined by the Dean and Chairs. While previous analyses have been cross-sectional, the present and future analyses will be longitudinal and trend analysis will be possible. A staff salary analysis is carried out by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.
Dr. Kasper thanked Dean Sommer on behalf of the Committee on Affirmative Action for supporting this analysis as an important tool for salary equity. The School's salary analysis methods have been adopted by the University, and Dr. Zeger noted that the Biostatistics Center has been asked to use these methods to analyze School of Medicine faculty salaries. The Advisory Board asked that Research Associates and Scientist faculty be included in future salary analyses, although they recognized that positions descriptions and responsibilities of such faculty vary widely within the same title and rank.
Tackling the Non-Tenure Cap
Dr. Samet commented that the Departments of Epidemiology and International Health have the highest proportion of non-tenure track professorial faculty. These faculty have been recruited to work on large studies, and the Departments do not make long-term commitments to them. To avoid exceeding the 35% cap in the proportion of non- tenure-track professorial faculty to all professorial faculty, Dr. Samet reported that he plans to recruit increasingly to the Scientist track now that the role and responsibilities of the Scientist track have been better defined. In addition, he plans to expand the size of the tenure-track faculty in Epidemiology and recruit those faculty more aggressively. Dr. Weiner commented that the relative roles and responsibilities of tenure-track, non- tenure-track professorial, and scientist faculty remain among the most heated issues among the faculty.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:45 p.m.
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