Bloomberg School of Public Health
Members Present: Drs. Steven Knapp, Robert Black, Ron Brookmeyer, William Eaton, Lynn Goldman, John Groopman, Martha Hill, David Holtgrave, Michael Klag, Thomas Louis, Ellen MacKenzie, Roger McMacken, Jonathan Samet, E. William Spannhake, James Yager, and Scott Zeger; and Ms. Robin Fox, staff.
Members Absent: Drs. William Brody, Robert Blum, and Edward Miller.
Guests: Professor Stephen Teret; Drs. Sharon Krag and Jonathan Links; and Ms. Diane Glover.
Meeting Convened: Provost Steven Knapp convened the meeting at noon.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of the 912th Advisory Board meeting of September 28, 2006 were approved.
Remarks by the Provost
Provost Knapp welcomed Dr. Laura Caulfield, professor of International Health, as Faculty Senate president-elect. He then thanked the Advisory Board for taking part in the School's recent accreditation site visit by the Council on Education for Public Health and commented that the reviewers seemed to be both familiar with the School and impressed by it.
Beginning on October 27, the University will be holding its annual leadership weekend, hosting the Board or Trustees, alumni and other friends of the University. New campaign goals and directions will be announced during the weekend, including any revisions to divisional priorities and goals. State and Congressional representatives will also be further educated regarding the University's funding sources and goals.
Dr. Knapp then announced that the Report from the University Committee on the Status of Woman is being released in the next several weeks. The report's findings and recommendations will be broadly circulated and discussed. The Report will request that a faculty group be convened to discuss the issues raised by the report, including gender equity in faculty recruitment, promotion, and compensation.
Remarks by the Dean
Dean Klag commented on the successful accreditation site visit and recognized Drs. Yager, Strobino and Holt and Ms. Fox for organizing the self-study and site visit. The site visit team was informed and laudatory about the School. The School was found to meet all the criteria; however two areas were commented upon by the site visit team. Faculty ethnicity and gender diversity were commented on; this is a continuing issue for schools of public health in general. Secondly, the documentation associated with one of the School's academic program needs to be bolstered.
Dr. Klag then reported that the School's present campaign goal will not change in light of the extension of the University campaign. The new vice president for development is very supportive of the School. Mayor Bloomberg will host the Health Advisory Board meeting in New York City; more faculty and chairs than usual have been invited. Topics for discussion at the meeting include informatics, emerging diseases, and urban health.
Report of the Faculty Senate
Dr. Louis reported that the Senate has discussed enabling alumni to have free access to the School's web-based courses and using funds generated from this source to further the School's educational programs. The recent Faculty Senate quality-of-life survey identified increased faculty diversity as a priority. Dr. Louis noted that the survey identified full professors as being more satisfied than other faculty with respect to the perceived value of teaching, including the level of financial support for teaching, its role in the promotion process, and visibility of faculty teaching efforts. Subsequent surveys will be conducted; however an increase in the response rate is also desirable.
School Pandemic Flu Preparedness and Response Plan
Dr. Links joined the Advisory Board. He reviewed a draft of the Pandemic Flu Preparedness and Response Plan of the School; he and Dr. Krag have taken the lead on its development. Dr. Links reported that the School plan interfaces well with the plan for the hospital and health system developed by the JHMI Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR) and that all major administrative offices of the School were consulted during its drafting. The School plan also assumes that a larger University/Health System plan is in place and can be built upon.
Dr. Links reviewed the three stages of the School plan; each stage has specific triggers and actions. The "routine" level of activity is not our current level of "business as usual" but includes increased surveillance, communication and preventive strategies. The "reduced" level of activity is a transitional period. The "essentials only" level is when only mission-critical functions will take place. The overriding philosophy has been to develop a balance between safety concerns for faculty, staff and students and the need for "continuity of operations." Dr. Links noted that an influenza pandemic is likely to take place over a protracted period such that resources to sustain the School's continuity of operations may become seriously constrained, while short term events, on the other hand, will not strain resources to the same extent.
Dr. Links remarked that the vast majority of preparations for the "routine" level of activity will enhance existing routine operations in the School and that many of the preparations will also enhance preparation for other disasters. The priority activities in the "routine" level include a communications plan that will be developed by the Offices of External Affairs and Communications together with the Center for Communication Programs. The plan will include moving from awareness to behavior change (e.g., hand-washing and flu shots).
At the short-lived "reduced" stage, masks and additional protections will be put into place. The "essentials only" stage will focus on maintaining systems needed to support continuing School operations, including faculty, staff, and students who would by necessity work off-site; travel restrictions that involve the use of school funds; restrictions on returning to work after any travel; and offering as many courses as possible on-line to support the School's educational programs. Faculty will be asked to transfer more courses to the internet using CoursePlus as the principle delivery method; however some technical questions, such as bandwidth, will need to be resolved. Presently, CoursePlus is an adjunct or supplement to our teaching efforts rather than a primary instructional tool, so more thought will need to be given to additional or expanded on-line instruction. Dr. Links will visit the Faculty Senate and the Committee on Academic Standards for more discussion of this topic.
Dr. Links then commented that continuity of research, particularly laboratory-based research, will be as problematic as the continuity of our educational programs. Professor Teret remarked that in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak, there are likely to be demands on many members of the School community, and that faculty, staff, and students may need or desire to perform public service. This philosophy is not incompatible with the present draft plan, but should be taken into account. In response to a question, Dr. Links noted that the School's draft plan has been shared within and outside of the University. Several issues that have not yet been resolved include payroll and human resources in the event faculty and staff cannot work, and insurance coverage: both are being examined by the University.
The financial aspects of the Plan's implementation are now being identified. After further discussion, the Advisory Board thanked Dr. Links for the interesting presentation.
Revision to the Academic Ethics Code
The Advisory Board voted to approve the change in the Academic Ethics Code.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 1:55 p.m.
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