Bloomberg School of Public Health
Members Present: Drs. Kristina Johnson, Robert Blum, Ron Brookmeyer, William Eaton, Stephen Gange, David Holtgrave, Michael Klag, Ellen MacKenzie, Roger McMacken, Jonathan Samet, James Yager, and Scott Zeger; and Ms. Robin Fox, staff.
Members Absent: Drs. William Brody, Robert Black, Laura Caulfield, Diane Griffin, John Groopman, Martha Hill, Thomas Louis, and Edward Miller.
Guests: Drs. Lawrence Cheskin, Raymond DePaulo, Janet DiPietro, Gary Goldstein, and Richard Johnson; Professor Stephen Teret; Mr. Paul Seifert; and Mss. Diane Glover and Alexandra McKeown.
Meeting convened: Provost Kristina Johnson convened the meeting at 3 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of the 926th Advisory Board meeting of December 20, 2007 were approved as submitted.
Remarks by the Provost
Provost Johnson reported that she has been getting to know the University since September 1 and is now reorganizing the Provost's office. Dr. Poehler has stepped down and Dr. Cranston will become Vice Dean at the Carey Business School. In the next week, Provost Johnson will name three new vice provosts: for research; for academic affairs; and for graduate and post-doctoral programs and special projects. Each will spend 2/3 time in the Provost's office and 1/3 time in their academic home, to continue enhancing the intellectual activities of the University. An advisory committee to the Provost's office will be convened and will meet monthly; nominations for non-administrative faculty members were solicited. Dr. Johnson then announced that the University will engage in a strategic planning process that will involve the new vice provosts and many others.
Remarks by the Dean
Dean Klag reported that he and Dr. Yager visited the Chinese Embassy recently to explore educational opportunities for the School in China, including the possibility of developing academic programs in partnership with one or more Chinese schools of public health to help train future public health leaders in China. There are now 40-50 schools of public health in China. One model being explored is to bring to the School the deans of the Chinese schools of public health for advanced leadership training. Dr. Samet indicated that the Institute for Global Tobacco Control initiative has a number of in-country collaborations in China.
Dean Klag then reported that an offer has been extended to a candidate for the position of chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. In addition, several candidates have been invited to interview for the position of chair of the Department Biostatistics. Dr. Klag also remarked that the proposal for the DrPH/MPH program in the United Arab Emirates is now under consideration in the UAE.
Report of the Faculty Senate
Dr. Gange reported that the January 10, 2008 meeting of the Faculty Senate included reviews of the School's Faculty Family Leave Policy and the Open CourseWare image library, and an update on HopkinsOne. Dr. Louis will serve on a new University-wide HopkinsOne Faculty Advisory Committee. Some of the longer-term faculty issues are being addressed in part by the School's strategic plan, and include continuing concerns about future resource limitations.
Recommendations from the Developmental Disabilities Task Force
Drs. Richard Johnson, Goldstein and DePaulo joined the Advisory Board meeting and were welcomed by Provost Johnson and Dean Klag. Dr. R. Johnson indicated that Dean Klag convened the Task Force, including members from the Bloomberg School of Public Health, the School of Medicine, and the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI). The Task Force was asked to assess the state of clinical and epidemiologic research related to autism across the three institutions and identify areas that might benefit from increased attention and/or coordination. Dr. Johnson reported that the Task Force hosted a number of external experts to learn more about the state of autism research and advocacy. It concluded that autism researchers at Hopkins and KKI are highly collegial and collaborative, diverse with respect to discipline, and are already doing world-class research in the area.
An informal group of faculty presently meet and bring in seminar speakers, but their activities tend to be of an ad hoc nature. A number of faculty expressed interest in assessing the prevalence and risk factors for autism in Baltimore City, which has a predominantly minority population, as well as internationally, where there are substantial questions about international differences in prevalence and diagnoses.
The Task Force's primary recommendation is that a dedicated coordinator be identified or recruited to facilitate coordination and improve communication of research on autism and related to developmental disabilities among the East Baltimore institutions.
Dr. Goldstein indicated that autism is a pressing topic as prevalence in the US is rising; currently approximately 1 percent of all boys are diagnosed with an autism-spectrum disorder and boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed than girls. It is not known if the increase in cases is related to improved diagnostic tools or to a true increased in the number of cases. The relative contribution of genetic and environmental factors remains unknown. Early diagnosis and intervention are critical; there is a pressing need to reach out across Baltimore City where lower socioeconomic status patients are diagnosed on average several years later than higher socioeconomic status patients. Dr. Goldstein indicated that the genetic markers for autism thus far account for only a few percent of cases. KKI efforts have been focused on diagnosis and treatment of patients and have not been public health or population-based. He reported that KKI and the organization Autism Speaks have established the Interactive Autism Network (IAN), a database of self-identified families interested in participating in autism research.
Dr. DePaulo then provided a short history of autism research at Johns Hopkins, including that autism was first described in his department by Dr. Leo Kanner. He noted that Dr. Susan Folstein, a Task Force member, did some of the initial landmark genetic studies. He noted that KKI and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences are collaborating on autism research and are jointly recruiting a new faculty member to work on autism.
After further discussion, Provost Johnson and Dean Klag thanked Drs. Johnson, Goldstein and DePaulo for presenting the report of the Task Force. Dean Klag indicated that he has identified a faculty member to oversee the recruitment and activities of a coordinator, whose first activity is likely to be cataloging the many autism and developmental disabilities-related research activities at Hopkins and KKI. Dr. Klag anticipates that improved coordination will lead to more sponsored activity. The different perspectives and disciplines represented on the Task Force are an enormous strength of the entire institution.
Revisions of Policy and Procedure Memorandum Faculty #9 Policy on Ownership and Use of Educational Materials
Dr. Cheskin and Ms. McKeown joined the Advisory Board. Dr. Cheskin indicated that the existing faculty policy on ownership and use of educational materials has been modestly revised and was reviewed by the General Counsel's office, the Committee of the Whole and the Faculty Senate. Ms. McKeown reported that the policy is in accord with US and international law and highlighted some of the most recent proposed changes. The changes include addressing how the faculty may pursue open-sourcing products and ownership and use of student items, staff materials and non-traditional educational products such as DVDs, videos, and software. The proposed changes are also intended to be consistent with the mission and procedures of the School-wide Committee on Technology Transfer as well as University policy.
During the discussion, a few questions and clarifications were raised. Provost Johnson thanked Dr. Cheskin and Ms. McKeown, who will make several changes for clarification purposes and return to the February Advisory Board meeting with the revised policy.
Part time Master of Health Science (MHS) offered by the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health
Dr. Blum indicated that the part-time MHS degree proposed by the Department has the same requirements as the existing one-year full-time program. The program requires that applicants have two years of full-time health related experience and may require a practicum, borrowing from the policy of the MPH program. A faculty member helps students identify practicum experiences for students, if needed. Dr. Blum noted that while the program is targeted to local health professionals, there is potential to grow the program by using alumni in other cities to oversee practica.
Dr. MacKenzie indicated that the full and part-time MHS programs described may be in direct competition with the MPH program, particularly one of the MPH concentration areas. The distinction between the one year professional MHS and the MPH programs are not clear; Dr. Blum indicated that student interest guides their choice of program. The one-year MHS program has been offered for several years.
After further discussion, the Advisory Board voted to approve the part-time MHS program offered by the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health. Provost Johnson indicated interest in learning more about the School's many academic programs.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:00 p.m.
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