Bloomberg School of Public Health
Members Present: Drs. Steven Knapp, Robert Black, Robert Blum, Ron Brookmeyer, William Eaton, Lynn Goldman, John Groopman, 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, Laura Caulfield, Diane Griffin, Martha Hill, and Edward Miller.
Guests: Drs. Thomas Burke, Sharon Krag and Pierre Vigilance; Professor Stephen Teret; and Mr. Herbert Hansen.
Meeting convened: Provost Steven Knapp convened the meeting at 3 pm.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of the 915th Advisory Board meeting of December 21, 2006 were approved.
Remarks by the Provost
Provost Knapp reported on the Governor's Higher Education transition team. It has been more labor-intensive than a similar process four years ago. The transition team has endorsed continued support of the Sellinger program as well as capital support for higher education. Of concern are future projections for a deficit State budget and its effect on higher education.
Dr. Knapp then reported that the search committee for the dean of the Carey Business School has been formed. Dr. David Nichols will chair the committee; Laura Morlock will represent the Bloomberg School of Public Health. A search committee will be formed for the Provost's successor and nominations from among the faculty-at-large will be solicited.
Remarks by the Dean
Dean Klag reported that two search committees are being convened in the School. The search for the associate dean for external affairs will be chaired by Herb Hansen; the search for the associate dean for research administration will be chaired by Jane Schlegel. Both searches will work with the same search firm.
Dr. Klag then announced that the 2007 Convocation speaker will be author John M. Barry. John Colmers has been named Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. A proposal for increased biodefense research and development was submitted by APL to Fort. Detrick in partnership with several other divisions of the University, including the School of Public Health.
Members of APL's Research and Technology Development Center have met with Dean Klag to indicate interest in developing research collaborations with Public Health faculty; they will be invited to meet informally with a larger group of faculty to discuss common areas of interest. Dr. Klag then briefly reported on his recent trip to the United Arab Emirates. A number of contacts in the UAE will visit the School to learn about our academic and scholarly programs most relevant to their interests.
Report of the Faculty Senate
Dr. Louis reported that Dr. Dominci recently presented the major goals and recommendations of the University Committee on the Status of Women to the Senate. The Senate is also looking forward to participating in the Strategic Planning process led by Dr. Strobino.
Dr. Louis asked whether the School calibrates its salaries to those of other schools of public health, and if so, how that information is shared. Mr. Hansen commented that the School's Committee on Finance, on which the Senate leadership serves, does this annually based on information provided by ASPH. Dr. Knapp noted that the University Faculty Budget Advisory Committee, on which a Public Health Faculty Senate member serves, also undertake benchmarking periodically. Dr. Louis then asked about reserved parking in 1st floor garage of 615 N. Wolfe St. for all Advisory Board members, thus the Faculty Senate officers; this matter was referred to Mr. Hansen.
Report of the Committee to Review the Applied Public Health Program
Drs. Burke and Vigilance, members of the Committee to Review the Applied Public Health (APH) Program, joined the Advisory Board, along with Drs. Blum, Groopman and Yager. Dr. Yager reviewed the background and mission of the APH Program that was initiated in April 2005. As part of the initial plan, a Review Committee was to assess the first year of the Program. Dr. Yager summarized the review process, which involved meeting with a number of faculty and associates. He then noted the accomplishments of the APH program, which has had a positive impact on the School's practice program. The APH Executive Board has been established, student practicum opportunities have been expanded through SOURCE and the MPH program, a number of part-time practice faculty have been identified, and a website was created.
Dr. Yager then remarked that several key issues that remain unresolved were identified as part of the review process, including the evolution of a top-down process; incomplete participation by some of the departments; lack of clarity about the role of the program and its leadership in the School; lack of distinction between practice and service; lack of planning for administrative support; and a partly unfulfilled role of the Executive Committee in building relationships between the departments and the practice community.
The recommendations of the APH Review Committee include increasing and improving the visibility, leadership and the structure of the APH program through the appointment of a Dean for Public Health Practice whose responsibilities would include the APH Program. This dean would be appointed following a focused search, and among his/her roles would be to better define and distinguish practice and service activities and the metrics for measuring success in such areas. The APH program should then be re-launched with greater visibility and integration with other service and practice activities across the School. The dean's role will include coordinating these activities, most of which will not be organized in the dean's office. Dr. Klag then thanked the members of the Review Committee for their report. Dr. Burke expressed support of the report and its recommendations. Dr. Vigilance noted that the opportunity to work with local health agencies is very exciting and will lead to strong partnerships with positive effects for both the School and the agencies. Dr. Yager especially thanked Dr. Vigilance for his thoughtful contributions to the review process.
Dr. Goldman noted that her response to the report of the Review Committee was circulated. She also thanked the Review committee for their deliberations and constructive suggestions. She reported that, among its other activities, the APH Executive Committee has begun to develop performance metrics for practice. Dr. Zeger drew an analogy between "medical practice" and "public health practice" and suggested creating a stand-alone organization to provide consulting services in public health practice. In response to a question, Dr. Blum reported that presently there are some commonalities between the APH program and the Urban Health Institute, principally through the MPH program's practice requirement; however additional connections can be made. Dr. Black stressed the importance of developing partnerships with international agencies along with US-based local, state, and national agencies, as well as representing the School's practice activities internationally. The dean's mission should be broad and he/she should also have and maintain a scholarly portfolio.
Dr. Yager noted that a position description has been developed and will be circulated to the chairs for their comments. Dean Klag will begin to assemble a search committee for a focused search for this position. The APH Review Committee was again thanked for their report and recommendations.
Update on new Epidemiology curriculum
Dr. Samet updated the Advisory Board on the new curriculum unveiled by the Department starting in first term 2006- 2007. The principal change was the development of "research" and "applied" tracks to help decrease the heterogeneity of the students and decrease class size. Dr. Samet reviewed the purposes of each track along with the track-specific course options. While Dr. Samet expected that most of the students taking Epidemiology courses would enter the applied track, in fact most students took the research track in substantial numbers. One course in particular, "Observational Epidemiology" was not well-received this year, and Dr. Samet conjectured a number of reasons for this. In response to concerns raised about the research track courses (340.751 and 340.752), some contents will be reshuffled and revised by Fall 2007. Dr. Samet noted that MPH students, more of whom enrolled in the research track than expected, did as well in the courses as did other students in the same courses. Another major concern was that many MPH students indicated that 340.751 was substantially duplicative of "Epi 1" that is taken by the full-time MPH students in the summer term.
Dr. Brookmeyer commented that the duplication between 340.751 and Epi 1 has been a major issue for MPH students. He suggested a number of ways to avoid redundancy, including allowing MPH students who have successfully completed Epi 1 to opt out of 340.751 and proceed directly to 340.752. This would also decrease the number of students taking 340.751. Other options to avoid redundancy were discussed, including teaching the courses in more than one term, developing separate sections geared to different levels of students, and offering additional or separate reading courses to provide additional information for students who opt out of 340.751. After further discussion, Drs. Samet and Brookmeyer will meet to think through different scenarios for MPH students to avoid course content duplication in Epidemiology.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:45 p.m.
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