Bloomberg School of Public Health
Members Present: Drs. Robert Black, Ron Brookmeyer, Laura Caulfield, William Eaton, Stephen Gange, Diane Griffin, John Groopman, Michael Klag, David Holtgrave, Thomas Louis, Roger McMacken, Jonathan Samet, and Scott Zeger; and Ms. Robin Fox, staff.
Members Absent: Drs. William Brody, Kristina Johnson, Robert Blum, Martha Hill, Ellen MacKenzie, Edward Miller, and James Yager.
Guests: Drs. Janet DiPietro, M. Danielle Fallin, Kevin Frick, Laura Morlock, Lawrence Moulton, Debra Roter, Donna Strobino; Prof. Stephen Teret; and Messrs. Herbert Hansen, John Replogle, and Paul Seifert.
Meeting convened: Dean Michael J. Klag convened the meeting at 3 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of the 929th Advisory Board meeting of March 20, 2008 were approved as submitted.
Remarks by the Dean
Dean Klag reported to the Advisory Board that a group from the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi is visiting the Schools of Medicine and Public Health. Among the topics for discussion are the strong interest by the UAE is developing a School of Medicine in partnership with Johns Hopkins. Dr. Klag announced that several agreements between the School of Public Health and the Health Authority have been approved; they are principally to initiate research activities in Abu Dhabi in addition to the combined MPH/DrPH program now in the planning stages. He noted that a number of exciting opportunities will develop in Abu Dhabi as it becomes a "living laboratory" for population-based research and intervention.
Dean Klag then updated the Advisory Board about the searches in the Departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Biostatics. He is involved in recruiting in both departments.
Dean Klag reported that the Search Committee for the JHU President has been formed; Dr. Griffin is a member. Advisory Board members will be invited to meet with representatives of the Presidential Search Committee on May 6. The Search Committee is chaired by Ms. Pamela Flaherty, who also chairs the University Board of Trustees. Search Committee members are principally from the University Board of Trustees, along with a few faculty and student representatives. Drs. Klag and Griffin indicated that the open search is soliciting nominations from the University community. Nominations may be sent to email@example.com.
Report of the Faculty Senate
Dr. Caulfield reported that at the most recent Faculty Senate meeting, Dr. Kasper reviewed the recommendations of the Ad hoc Committee to Review the University's Vision 2020 report as it pertains to the School. The Senate remains concerned about the work-life balance for faculty and hopes the recommendations of the Ad hoc Committee will be acted on. The Senate also heard a report from Dr. Louis representing the HopkinsOne Faculty Advisory committee on which he serves, as well as a report from a small committee chaired by Dr. Louis to better organize information for senior faculty transitioning into retirement status.
The next meeting of the Senate will include a presentation by Dr. Daniel Ford on the Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA) and from Ms. Alex McKeown about the Office of Research Administration. Dr. Caulfield also stated that the Senate will return to previous discussions about addressing concerns over the amount of paper generated and used in the School as raised by a recent email from IT services, as well as a continued discussion of the financial situation and the issues of F&A to get faculty input/ideas for the July retreat. Dean Klag thanked Dr. Caulfield and note that the current financial situation is part of a long-term issue with which the School must grapple.
The Strategic Plan will be presented and discussed at the July retreat; it is undergoing revision based on recent discussion and comments. Dr. Klag added that some of the responsibilities in the Dean's Office will be reassigned and/or reconfigured with the appointment of an associate dean for professional practice and the pending departure of the associate dean for academic affairs. One of the associate deans will be charged with following up on the recommendations of Dr. Kasper's committee. Dr. Klag then introduced Mr. John Replogle, who has joined the Dean's office staff. His principal responsibilities include co-staffing the Appointments and Promotions Committee and staffing departmental review and search committees.
Report from the Committee to Review the Department of Biostatistics
Drs. Fallin, Frick, Moulton, and Strobino joined the Advisory Board. Dr. Klag thanked Dr. Black, chair, and the members of the Committee to Review the Department of Biostatistics for their careful work on the review. Dr. Black then introduced the Review Committee members who were able to join the meeting and noted the missing members. He remarked that the Department was last reviewed in 2004. When Dr. Zeger announced he was stepping down, a review was undertaken in preparation for the search for Dr. Zeger's successor. With the completion of the Review, the search is underway.
Dr. Black commented that the Review engendered much discussion within the Department and was focused on identifying the type of chair the Department needs. There were many meetings with faculty and students internal and external to the Department. The Review Committee also invited an external consultant for advice and to suggest candidates.
The major findings of the Review included the recognition that the Department is outstanding and enjoys an excellent reputation, making many contributions to the teaching and research programs of the School. There is also great appreciation of Dr. Zeger's efforts in building the Department while trying to preserve a balance between the methodology and application of biostatistical science. Dr. Black remarked that during the review process the senior faculty expressed concern about the changing balance between theory/methods and applications as a well as a lack of transparency in departmental decision-making.
Dr. Black then reported that the Department had made good progress in meeting the recommendations of the 2004 review. He indicated that the Department should revitalize its efforts to coordinate methodologic instruction with other departments; there are several models that can be further explored to accomplish this. The Review Committee recommends that the Department re-examine the MHS program in bioinformatics as it is does not have a strong leader and is not well-subscribed. In addition, the Department should explore development of a professional master's program.
Dr. Black indicated that the balance between theory/methods and application is not felt to be a serious structural problem of the Department; the Review Committee noted the tension it has caused but believes the Department can resolve this. The Review Committee also calls for the new chair to facilitate the development of collaborative relationships for junior faculty earlier in their tenure.
The Department is now grappling with and will continue to grapple with its role in the School and University. It has resisted significant expansion, so should investigate alternatives ways to build biostatistics expertise across the University. The Review Committee believes this is a critical issue that the new chair and the faculty will need to face, in particular with the CTSA; the Department has the opportunity to take leadership in this area. Finally, the Review Committee indicates that the chair needs to be more inclusive of the senior faculty in leadership roles in the Department, with a more transparent governance system.
Dr. Moulton then commented on the superb nature of the research undertaken by the Department. This was not specifically addressed in the report although it is widely acknowledged. Dr. Fallin indicated that the next chair and his or her faculty will be well situated to respond to the issues and concerns raised in the Report. Dr. Frick remarked that co-teaching models, whereby faculty from the Department pair up with faculty in other departments, is a good way to expand instructional capabilities in statistical applications.
Dr. Zeger thanked the Review Committee for their insightful work and indicated the report captured the Department well. While the Department has already provided some feedback to the Review Committee, a small committee of senior faculty was appointed to draft a more formal response, which was circulated at the meeting. Dr. Louis presented the response.
Dr. Louis indicated that Department is in agreement with the findings and recommendations of the Report, including the highest priorities for action. He noted that many departments of Biostatistics face similar issues with respect to their optimal size, including demands for instruction in multiple areas, collaborations, and opportunities to expand broadly in service areas. He noted that the current MHS in bioinformatics is not functioning optimally; the Department will seek University-wide partners to redefine the program. The tensions between theory, methodology, and application exist in parallel to concerns about equitable resource allocation as some areas require more infrastructure than others. The recommendation that the Department collaborate with other departments in methodologic rather than general biostatistical instruction will be clarified in the Report. After further discussion, Dean Klag thanked the Review Committee for its thoughtful assessment of the Department and remarked that the Report will form a solid basis from which to recruit the next chair.
New DrPH Degree Program to be offered by the Department of Health, Behavior and Society
Drs. Morlock and Roter joined the Advisory Board. Dr. Holtgrave introduced the proposed DrPH program to be offered by the Department of Health, Behavior and Society. The proposed program will be less theoretical and more practice-based compared the PhD curriculum. Although the program will eventually be offered on both a full- and part-time basis, initially only full-time students will be admitted. The program is not anticipated to be large. Dr. Morlock indicated the DrPH Executive Committee is supportive of the program, which will include both departmental and DrPH requirements.
Dr. Roter remarked that the DrPH offers a good option to train advanced health communication practitioners, including health educators and genetic counselors. Students with a Hopkins MPH, MHS, or ScM will be able to reduce the time spent in coursework as doctoral students. Dr. Brookmeyer indicated that many MPH students are interested in health communications; depending on their interest they could pursue a PhD or DrPH. The certificate program in health communications also offers a credential to our students.
After further discussion, the program was approved and will be appropriately forwarded to the Provost's office and to the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
Revisions to Policy and Procedure Memorandum Academic Programs #12, Registration and Acquisition of Course Credits
Dr. Brown, chair of the Committee on Academic Standards, joined the Advisory Board. He briefly reviewed the proposed changes in the PPM on registration and acquisition of course credits. The major change is to raise the GPA for all MHS programs from 2.25 to 2.50. This was done in consultation with the departments. He further noted that the School has experienced grade inflation; 95 percent of all regular letter grades given are either A or B.
The Advisory Board voted to approve the revisions in the PPM on Registration and Acquisition of Course Credits.
Request for three new professorial faculty in the Department of International Health
The Advisory Board discussed this request and was supportive. The positions are principally to replace several faculty members who departed over the past couple of years.
Demonstration of on-line distribution of Advisory Board materials
Mr. Replogle demonstrated how most of the Advisory Board materials could be distributed in a paperless and confidential manner. The members were highly supportive of this step; it will be put into place starting with the May 15, 2008 meeting.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:05 p.m.
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