Bloomberg School of Public Health
Members Present: Drs. Steven Knapp, Ron Brookmeyer, Marie Diener-West, William Eaton, Diane Griffin, Bernard Guyer, Martha Hill, Robert Lawrence, Jonathan Links, Roger McMacken, Jonathan Samet, Alfred Sommer, Donald Steinwachs, Jonathan Weiner, James Yager and Scott Zeger; and Ms. Robin Fox, staff.
Members Absent: Drs. William Brody, Robert Black, John Groopman, and Edward Miller.
Guests: Drs. Cheryl Alexander, Donald Burke, Sharon Krag, Noel Rose and Daniel Scharfstein; and Ms Diane Glover.
Meeting Convened: Provost Steven Knapp convened the meeting at 3:00 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of the 878th meeting on November 20, 2003 were approved.
Remarks by the Provost
Provost Knapp remarked that the University Faculty Budget Advisory Committee is chaired by Dr. Steinwachs and includes Dr. Links as a member. The Committee met to review the University's five-year budget plan and associated assumptions. The state of Maryland's economy has been generally good, but it is unclear how the State budget will evolve.
Dr. Knapp commented on the positive financial state of the University, but noted that the next few years will require prudent budgeting. He expressed concern over the continued growth of "unfunded mandates" by the federal government that are not presently included in reimbursable Finance and Administration costs. The University is working to decrease unreasonable compliance burdens and increase reasonable reimbursable costs.
Remarks by the Faculty Senate
Dr. Weiner reported that the joint meeting of the Faculty Senate and Committee of the Whole led to a general consensus in support of the Senate proposal to develop a "silent" non- tenure professorial track. The Senate leadership is drafting associated changes in the PPM on Faculty Titles for review by the Senate and Committee of the Whole, and eventually by the Advisory Board. The Senate is also discussing the balance of effort among faculty with respect to service and resource expectations. A faculty committee is expected to finalize recommendations on this complicated issue by April 2004.< p> Other Items
Report of the Mental Health Review Committee
Dr. Rose, chair of the Committee to review the Department of Mental Health, joined the Advisory Board along with Drs. Alexander and Scharfstein. Other members of the Review Committee present were Drs. Krag and McMacken. Dr. Rose reported that the Committee met with faculty and students of the Department of Mental Health, with chairs of other department chairs, and with outside experts. Dr. Rose reported that the principal finding of the review was that the Department fills an important and unique role in the School, and needs to grow according to a defined plan.
Dr. Rose went on to review the specific recommendations of the Review Committee. Among them were: develop a departmental "long-range vision" and close partnership with the new Department of Behavior and Health; improve faculty interactions within the Department and with the rest of the School and University; increase the size of the Mental Health faculty, particularly focused on clinical and biological/genetics areas; increase professional practice opportunities related to mental health services research; improve the curriculum, in particular the MHS curriculum; improve advising and mentoring of all students with initial emphasis on the Humphrey fellows; and better integrate the departmental training programs and create Department-wide activities. Dr. Rose commented on the strong national reputation and unique niche of the Department, but expressed concern over its small size, noting that present resources do not appear to be sufficient to allow its expansion.
Dr. Eaton then summarized the response of the Department of Mental Health to the Review Report. A number of efforts had already begun as a result of the Departmental self study. Among them are the successful Mental Health Summer Institute (first offered in 2003), initiation of a process to evaluate and modify the curriculum, and ongoing efforts to recruit new faculty. The Department agrees that it needs to be more "visible" and interact more broadly across the School. It has outlined several areas in which it wishes to grow, pending the availability of resources, and prefers to remain a separate department, at least for the foreseeable future.
The Advisory Board then discussed several of the most salient recommendations of the Review Committee, in particular that the Department remain separate and not merge with the new Department of Behavior and Health. Dr. Rose commented that the Review Committee made a clear distinction between the issues and conditions studied and taught by the Department of Mental Health and the likely focus of the Department of Behavior and Health. Dr. Alexander commented that the educational mission of the Department of Mental Health seems unique and may appeal to mental health and community practitioners. The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences is strongly supportive of the Department of Mental Health and encourages its fellows to obtain training from it. Dr. Steinwachs remarked that there is a large public mental health system in the U.S. and suggested that the Department broaden its agenda to meet some of its research, practice and training needs. Additional resources needed to increase the size of the Department would vary with the discipline of the faculty recruited.
After further discussion, Dean Sommer made a formal motion to thank the Mental Health Review Committee for their helpful report. Drs. Sommer, Eaton and the Department of Mental Health will consider and follow up on the recommendations. The Advisory Board then voted to approve the motion to thank the Mental Health Review Committee.
Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology Self Study
Dr. Griffin introduced the Self Study by noting that the Department was last reviewed in 1993, prior to Dr. Griffin becoming chair in 1994. The last self study was done in 1992. All faculty participated in the present self study process and students completed a web-based questionnaire. Dr. Griffin then reviewed the current composition of the faculty, which has increased in size over the past two years as a result of recruitments by the Malaria Institute. She described the current areas of investigation by the faculty, and commented that they are broadly focused. Research support in the Department is derived principally from NIH, NSF, NASA, the Gates Foundation and the Malaria Research Institute. The size of the doctoral program has been relatively constant over time while the masters degree program has varied from year to year. The Department is fiscally healthy, with a tripling of its budget since 1994.
Dr. Griffin briefly reviewed the major initiatives of the Malaria Research Institute, including establishment of core facilities that are available to other investigators, new faculty recruitment, and establishment of pilot grants in malaria. Dr. Griffin commented that while Malaria Research Institute funds have been used for initial recruitment of faulty, the Institute does not provide much ongoing support for faculty to ensure that resources are spread equally.
The major action items identified by the Department during the self study were to increase structured mentoring for junior faculty, increase opportunities for informal social interactions among the faculty, and develop smaller more advanced-level courses. Among the challenges faced by the Department are the need for more and better animal facilities, improved graduate student support, and some concern over the Department's emphasis on malaria, although Dr. Griffin commented that this concern is being addressed through joint faculty recruitments and other mechanisms. In response to a question, Dr. Griffin noted that the Hopkins malaria group is different than other groups working on malaria. The Hopkins group is focussed on identifying basic protective mechanisms rather than on developing a vaccine per se. She reported that no successful vaccine for malaria presently exists, and that the goal of the Malaria Research Institute to inform the vaccine development process, and potentially partner with a vaccine testing site.
Dr. Sommer thanked Dr. Griffin for presenting the Self Study and commented that the Committee to Review the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology will be convened shortly.
New Tenure-track Faculty Appointment in Population and Family Health Sciences
Dr. Guyer remarked that the Department of Population and Family Health Sciences would like to recruit a tenure-track assistant professor without conducting a search. The candidate is being recruited by Dr. Blum, incoming chair of the Department, from his institution. The candidate's expertise in adolescent health is entirely consistent with the needs of the Department due to the recent departure of a faculty member working in the same area.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5 p.m.
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