Bloomberg School of Public Health
Members Present: Drs. Kristina Johnson, Robert Black, Robert Blum, Ron Brookmeyer, Laura Caulfield, William Eaton, Stephen Gange, Diane Griffin, Martha Hill, David Holtgrave, Michael Klag, Thomas Louis, Roger McMacken, Jonathan Samet, James Yager, and Scott Zeger; and Ms. Robin Fox, staff.
Members Absent: Drs. William Brody, John Groopman, Ellen MacKenzie, and Edward Miller.
Guests: Drs. Gerard Anderson and Janet DiPietro; Professor Stephen Teret; Mss. Diane Glover and Alexandra McKeown; and Mr. Michael Ward.
Meeting convened: Dean Michael J. Klag convened the meeting at 3 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of the 922nd Advisory Board meeting of July 26, 2007 were approved as submitted.
Remarks by the Provost
Dean Klag introduced Provost Kristina Johnson and welcomed her to the Advisory Board. Board members introduced themselves and also welcomed her to the School. Dr. Johnson expressed great enthusiasm at the prospect of learning more about the School and the other areas of excellence across the University. She commented on her own research area and background, and is greatly interested in interdisciplinary research. She would like to continue developing interdisciplinary and collaborative research across the divisions of the University.
Remarks by the Dean
Dean Klag congratulated Dr. Lisa Cooper, professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, on receipt of a MacArthur Foundation Award. Dr. Cooper has been mentored by several faculty of the School of Public Health.
He then reported that the School completed the 2006-2007 fiscal year in better state than was initially projected. While the School is still in deficit, the planned deficit was not due to operational expenses but to capital improvements. Income from grants and contracts continues to rise, however the associated F&A income has not increased due to a different mix of sponsored activities.
The 2007 United Way campaign will begin shortly. Dr. Klag then remarked that the School awards approximately $26 million in tuition support for students annually. The substantial support provided to students is gratifying and demonstrates our continuing commitment to educating our students.
Report of the Faculty Senate
Dr. Caulfield welcomed Dr. Gange, president-elect of the Faculty Senate. She reported that at the first meeting of 2007-2008, Dr. DiPietro updated the Senate on the status of the School's IRB. The Senate greatly appreciated the opportunity to provide input and feedback to Dr. DiPietro regarding the current operation of the IRB.
The Senate is very concerned about the negative impact HopkinsOne is having on the faculty's ability to conduct research and track research expenses. This issue will be the focus of Senate meeting in October. Other future topics include the credentialing exam developed by the National Board of Public Health Examiners and the implications of F&A recovery issues for faculty. Dr. Klag commented on his recent communications with the HopkinsOne leadership. A number of serious concerns have been recently acknowledged and a plan to improve HopkinsOne is being developed. Dr. Klag would like to continue to receive feedback from department administrators. Dr. Johnson added that the present inability of HopkinsOne to successfully track research grants and contracts does not reflect well on the research-intensive nature of the University. Development and implementation costs associated with HopkinsOne and SAP need to be fully understood and benchmarked to other institutions.
Report of the Committee to Review the Department of International Health
Dr. Anderson, chair of the Committee to Review the Department of International Health, joined the Advisory Board meeting. Dr. Anderson remarked that the Department of International Health was most recently reviewed six years ago, when the focus was on the Department's structure. The Department had an excellent response to that review, leading to increased satisfaction of faculty and students. Dr. Anderson described the present review process, which involved meeting with many of the department's constituencies. The Review Committee was pleased to report the following about the Department: its faculty are among the best in the world; it enjoys fiscal stability and is well-managed; and an increasing number of well-qualified students are seeking admission. The external committee that reviewed the Department also commented on its substantial research strengths and on the quality of its faculty.
The Review Committee's recommendations include several for School-wide consideration. With the focus of the Department of International Health, as well as other departments, on low income and vulnerable populations, the Review Committee questioned how School can systematically address the health of lower middle, middle and high income populations. While much of the School is engaged in education and research based broadly on infectious diseases, the School's efforts in chronic diseases and aging are not as well-defined, despite the global impact of chronic diseases. There is also a substantial need to increase collaborative research across the School and to avoid competing research agendas. In particular, the Review Committee believes that our international research activities could be better coordinated.
Dr. Anderson went on to explain several specific recommendations of the Review Committee. The Health Systems program, one of organizational units/divisions of the Department, is sought after by many students, however it can be difficult to recruit and retain faculty in the area due to the competing private sector. This program requires leadership by health systems experts which it presently does not have. The Social and Behavioral Interventions program is strong at the master's level but has not attracted doctoral students in the past two years. The small number of faculty in this program is likely to hinder its long term success. The Review Committee suggested several solutions for this program that the Department will consider. With respect to the Nutrition division, the Review Committee asked about whether there is a home in University for faculty and students interested in domestic nutrition, in addition to the considerable international focus of the Nutrition program in the Department of International Health. Finally, the Review Committee suggested increased coordination among vaccine science research as presently some of it appears disparate.
Dr. Black responded to the report of the Review Committee by thanking Dr. Anderson and the members of the internal and external committees. He remarked that the Department's self-study, completed in advance of this review, called for a number of changes that are already underway or successfully completed. The Department will re-examine its mission statement as part of its own strategic plan with a goal of increasing inter- and intra-departmental collaboration. Dr. Black acknowledged that the Health Systems program should be expanded and refocused but concurred with Dr. Anderson on the difficulty associated with maintaining a critical mass of faculty. Several new faculty positions are being recruited over the next year or two, and the leadership of the division will be strengthened.
The Nutrition program's mission is broad and encompasses domestic and international work, and includes research on obesity and related chronic diseases. Continued collaboration with other faculty in the School and University would be beneficial but the infrastructure and resources needed for this are not optimal. Dr. Black believes the School should examine this, for example, as part of the current School-wide strategic planning process. The size of the Social and Behavioral Sciences division will be modestly increased as a result of searches, however this program must grow even more to maintain a critical mass.
Dr. Black reported that Dean Klag has provided some support to launch a more comprehensive vaccine science initiative in the School and at least one additional faculty member will be recruited. The major purpose of this initiative is to improve cohesiveness and coordination among the vaccine scientists in several departments in the School and at JHMI. The Center for Global Health is having a positive effect on the Department by helping to facilitate some international activities on the East Baltimore campus.
Dr. Black noted that one recommendation of the external committee was to improve coordination among the Department's and School's academic programs. The Management curriculum is one example of collaboration among several departments; these principles can be applied to other areas as well. Dr. Klag commented that common curricula in health economics and infectious diseases are being established. Social and behavioral sciences are other areas that may benefit from curriculum revision. In response to a question from Dr. Johnson, Dr. Black commented that the Department has limited ties to the School of Advanced Studies (SAIS) in the area of economics although the Department and SAIS have a dual master's degree program. The small number of full-time SAIS faculty is a limitation to increased collaboration.
After further discussion, Drs. Klag and Anderson remarked on the critical position of the Department of International Health within the School, and on the quality of its faculty and students.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:55 p.m.
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