Bloomberg School of Public Health
Members Present: Drs. Steven Knapp, Robert Black, Ron Brookmeyer, Laura Caulfield, Diane Griffin, John Groopman, David Holtgrave, Michael Klag, Thomas Louis, Roger McMacken, Jonathan Samet, E. William Spannhake, James Yager, and Scott Zeger; and Ms. Robin Fox, staff.
Members Absent: Drs. William Brody, Robert Blum, William Eaton, Martha Hill, Ellen MacKenzie, and Edward Miller.
Guests: Drs. Robert Allen, Sheila Fitzgerald, Michael Griswold, Murray Sachs, and Artin Shoukas; Professor Stephen Teret; and Ms. Diane Glover.
Meeting convened: Provost Steven Knapp convened the meeting at 3 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of the 918th Advisory Board meeting of March 29, 2007 were approved as submitted.
Remarks by the Provost
Provost Knapp commented on the investigation of private lender-based loans to students and their families. Until recently, the University, through their seven different financial aid offices, has identified "preferred lenders" to students. In response to concerns raised during the investigation, the University will no longer provide a list of preferred lenders to students and their families. One lender notified the University that a Hopkins employee was paid by the company as a consultant; that staff member is now on paid administrative leave during the investigation, which is being conducted by the US Department of Education.
Conflict of interest/commitment policies at Johns Hopkins apply to all faculty and staff; it is still unclear to what degree the staff member in question reported the extent of her involvement with the lender. Dr. Knapp indicated that greater awareness and possibly formal sign-off may be needed in order to assure that all staff are aware of the importance of full disclosure to avoid a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest. An internal investigation at Johns Hopkins and the federal investigation into student loan practices will continue to unfold over the next several months.
Remarks by the Dean
Dean Klag reported on the excellent School Alumni Advisory Council meeting, where approximately thirty alumni provided feedback on the direction of the School, including the strategic planning process, informatics, teaching initiatives, and how to more closely link to School alumni.
Dr. Klag then updated the Advisory Board on the status of several searches including the associate dean for development and external affairs and the associate dean for research administration. The search for the chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is starting, while the Department of Biostatistics is completing its self study in preparation for the search for a new chair. Dr. Klag reported that a number of applications have been received for the position of provost and that the first round of interviews will begin shortly.
Dr. Klag reminded the Advisory Board that the May 15 meeting will include credentialing all 2007 graduates. He will be visiting the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Taiwan over the next few months to assess the possibility of developing new educational programs in those countries.
Report of the Faculty Senate
Dr. Louis reported that the sole agenda topic at the April 19 joint Faculty Senate/Committee of the Whole meeting was a very informative presentation by Ms. Caroline LaGuerre-Brown on the prevention of sexual harassment. In order to reach a wider group of faculty, as well as staff and interested students, each academic department will be asked to organize a similar presentation for their faculty and senior staff. Subsequently, there will be one large session to which the entire School community will be invited. Dr. Knapp noted that outcomes of the training sessions have included not only increased awareness but also increased reporting of allegations of sexual harassment. The institutional obligation, through its faculty and senior staff, to respond to allegations of sexual harassment is a critical feature of the training session.
Appointing part-time faculty affiliated with the Interdepartmental Applied Public Health Program
Dr. Yager reported that the faculty appointments of several faculty affiliated with the Applied Public Health Program were not renewed by their respective departments, and that at times new faculty appointments proposed by the Applied Public Health Program have not been acted on in a timely manner by the departments. Dr. Yager has asked Dr. Goldman for a list faculty affiliated with the Applied Public Health Program who should be appointed or reappointed annually; even though such faculty may not play critical roles in a department, they may play a broader role in the Applied Public Health program and should be appointed expeditiously.
The Advisory Board discussed the possibility of approving such appointments without going through the departments but ultimately agreed that ideally such appointment should originate in departments; such faculty may also play a role in departmental programs. Dr. Yager has also asked Dr. Goldman to be certain that members of the Applied Public Health Executive Committee are closely involved in the discussions with their respective departments regarding faculty appointments, in order to facilitate the linkages between departments and the Applied Public Health Program.
Annual faculty salary analysis
Drs. Griswold and Fitzgerald joined the Advisory Board. Dr. Griswold, who completed the 2006 analysis, reviewed the purpose of the analysis. Separate analyses were conducted on salaries of professorial and scientist track faculty. With respect to the professorial faculty, the differences between female and male faculty and between minority and non-minority faculty continue to be non-statistically significant, although they are persistently slightly lower among women and minority professorial faculty compared to male and non-minority faculty respectively. Dr. Griswold pointed out that the major differences appear to be in higher ranges of the pay scale, e.g., the men who are paid more than average are paid more than the women who are paid more than average. Dr. Louis commented that different starting salaries may account in part for this difference; with the development of a longitudinal database, we hope to be able to address this question and others.
The analysis of the scientist salaries has indicated a very positive development in that the salaries of the female scientists are now indistinguishable from those of the male scientists. Dr. Fitzgerald thanked Dr. Griswold for completing the analysis, which was undertaken at the request of the School-wide Committee on Affirmative Action. After further discussion, Drs. Knapp and Klag also thanked Dr. Griswold.
Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design
Drs. Sachs, Allen, and Shoukas joined the Advisory Board. Dr. Sacks indicated the faculty affiliated with the new Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design (CBID) are interested in increasing collaborations with the Bloomberg School of Public Health. The CBID is based in the Department of Biomedical Engineering but works with faculty from several University divisions. He reviewed the mission of the CBID and commented that there is great interest in developing health and medical devices that would useful in the developing world, for example inexpensive health screening devices and tools. Dr. Shoukas added that the usual process is to identify needs, and then create teams of undergraduate biomedical engineering students to work with on design projects with CBID-affiliated faculty. He then reviewed several projects that have come to fruition.
Approximately eighty projects have been developed since 2001, several of which have led to patent and licensing agreements and start-up companies. In addition, a modest amount of funds have been generated to support future projects. Clinical departments have been particularly engaged in developing translational products of their research. Dr. Allen reviewed a number of other successful collaborations that have led to the development of medical devices.
In addition to the development of devices, the CBID conducts educational programs, including a design course, a master's program, and a fellowship program where products are taken from the design phase to market.
Faculty from across the University are invited to participate in the CBID by identifying problems and working with students, and developing partnerships with the biotechnology and medical device industries. The eventual goal is to organize fifteen projects per year, each involving faculty and students. Dr. Zeger proposed several areas for investigation that may apply to public health problems, while Dr. Knapp reminded the Advisory Board about the APL Partnership Fund that is a good source of support for faculty collaborating with APL scientists.
After further discussion, Dr. Knapp thanked Drs. Allen, Sachs, and Shoukas for informing the Advisory Board about the CBID. Interested persons were asked to contact Dr. Sachs.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:55 p.m.
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