School of Hygiene and Public Health Advisory Board
Members Present: Drs. Steven Knapp, James Anthony, Robert Black, John Breitner, Margaret Ensminger, Diane Griffin, John Groopman, Ellen MacKenzie, Roger McMacken, Alfred Sommer, Donald Steinwachs, and Scott Zeger; and Ms. Robin Fox, staff.
Members Absent: Drs. William Brody, Bernard Guyer, Robert Lawrence, Edward Miller, Jonathan Samet, and James Yager.
Guests: Drs. Lawrence Appel, Richard Johnson, Sharon Krag, Laura Morlock, Kenrad Nelson, Noel Rose, Keerti Shah and Alan Scott; and Ms Diane Glover.
Meeting Convened: Provost Knapp convened the meeting at 3:00 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of the 833rd meeting on February 29, 2000 were approved.
Remarks by the Provost
Provost Knapp updated the Advisory Board on the current status of efforts by members of the Campaign for a Living Wage and Student Labor Action Committee. While the primary focus is in East Baltimore, most activities have occurred at the Homewood campus, where those occupying Garland Hall were persuaded to leave. A committee will be formed to examine the broad context of poverty in Baltimore, including wages, and the possibility of an accelerated wage scale for part-time workers of Hopkins-related businesses will be explored.
The Maryland legislative session is now at its height, including continuing discussion about uses of the tobacco settlement funds, which has the potential to greatly impact the SHPH. Legislative activities will continue at a high rate until the deadline in early April.
Dr. Knapp reported that the topic of a short retreat of the Deans was recruitment and retention of women and under-represented minority faculty. He noted that the SHPH is actively focused on these important issues through the faculty salary and time-to-promotion analyses. More careful collection of data and development of an exit interview for departing faculty will assist the University in its efforts to attract and retain a diverse faculty, something the University will approach more deliberately.
Dr. Knapp reported on University-wide site visit by NIH to examine policies and procedures for the conduct of research, including human subjects (in particular gene transfer studies and reporting of adverse events), intellectual property, conflict of interest, and faculty education about the policies and procedures. The site visit went very well, and Dr. Knapp thanked Dr. Krag for her role representing the School during the site visit. Remarks by the Dean
Dean Sommer reminded the Advisory Board of the memorial service for Professor Sam Shapiro on March 22 at 5 p.m.
Dr. Sommer reported that a joint meeting of ASPH and APHA representatives will lead to subsequent discussions about developing a credentialing mechanism for the public health work force. A number of options and ways to earn the credential for current and future public health workers are being examined, with the possibility of eventually credentialing health departments. The goal is for public health to be a recognized profession with core knowledge and values. While this is a long term effort, both organizations are approaching the discussions in good faith.
Dr. Sommer reported that every major school of public health has been penalized by CEPH for at least 2 years for not providing adequate training in the five "core areas of public health". He and others are starting a dialog with CEPH as to what should be required as part of non-MPH public health training. Internally, students will for the time being need to meet CEPH requirements according to their best educational interests. The Committee on Academic Standards will be asked to have a role in overseeing that CEPH requirements are met.
Dr. Harrison Spencer, former Dean at the Tulane School of Public Health and at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has been recruited to provide a new level of senior leadership at ASPH, as a full-time spokesperson for academic public health.
Report of the Faculty Senate
Dr. Ensminger reported on the recent Faculty Senate meeting, where the progress of the Strategic Plan was reviewed and will come back to the faculty for comment in the Fall. Among the issues that have arisen during the strategic planning process are: the role of the Senate in the governance of the School; communication among faculty and between faculty and their department; and faculty mentoring. The Faculty Senate spent time trying to define and identify retired faculty in order to have their representation on the Faculty Senate. The Senate agreed that the intent of providing benefit for the faculty-at-large from the accumulated wisdom of those who have been in the SHPH for extended periods of time would be satisfied by the Senate's appointment of a retired faculty member.
Report of the Committee to Review the Department of International Health
Dr. Shah, chair of the Committee to Review the Department of International Health (IH), and members of the Committee (Drs. Appel, Johnson, Krag, Morlock, Nelson and Scott) joined the Advisory Board. Drs. Beyrer and Bollinger were unable to attend. Dr. Shah reported that the Review Committee met a total of 31 times, and with almost every full-time faculty member in IH. He reviewed the recommendations of the Review committee, which felt that the mission of the Department is appropriate and consonant with that of the School. Dr. Shah reported that the Department enjoys a preeminent international reputation with exceptional international impact, and has had in turn substantial success and growth in attracting external funding. As a group, the IH faculty have great confidence in Dr. Black's leadership, and the Advisory Board congratulated Dr. Black on having the support of his faculty.
The Review Committee commented that the configuration of the department can be confusing for both faculty and students, with three administratively autonomous divisions, five academic tracks, and a number of centers or institutes. In particular, the academic programs seem fragmented, without admissions goals, and little financial support is provided for students. Student advising appears inequitably distributed, with a few faculty advising the majority of students, as do departmental resources to support faculty teaching activities. The IH Review Committee recommends that the major locus of student oversight be shifted from the divisions and tracks to the Department, that the number of doctoral students be limited with concomitant increases in levels of student support, and that faculty be more appropriately compensated for teaching and advising.
Dr. Shah reported that because the Division of Human Nutrition is a highly cohesive group of faculty that functions like a department, the Review Committee recommends that the optimal placement and structure of the Division be reconsidered. The newly-renamed Division of Community Health and Health Systems, the oldest division in the Department, has few resources and faculty, but many students. While the Division is trying to recruit new faculty, the IH Review Committee recommends that faculty recruitment and academic programs be coordinated with other groups in the School who have similar interests (e.g., the Department of Health Policy and Management). The Division of Disease Control is a large division with faculty of varied interests, many of whom do vaccine-oriented work. The IH Review Committee recommends that vaccine efforts in the Division should be better integrated so that economies of scale can be realized and so that marketing a more coordinated research program could be accomplished which would be advantageous to the Division.
Dr. Shah noted that while IH probably does more professional practice than any other department in the School, the Review Committee felt that students would benefit from increased involvement in such activities through the DrPH and other academic programs, and by the faculty's own recognition of their activities.
The IH Review Committee commented that IH faculty would like to see increased openness or transparency with respect to the Department's financial situation, and recommends that the Department review it's governance structure with the possibility that the management of the department be more centralized, while responsibility for the academic programs might rest within the divisions. Dr. Morlock noted that the Division of Human Nutrition is interested in nutritional issues from both international and domestic perspectives and may seek to expand its domestic collaborations.
Dr. Black expressed great appreciation for the constructive efforts and recommendations of the IH Review Committee. He commented that a number of efforts are being undertaken to strengthen the academic programs of the Department, including seeking sources of training grant support, limiting the number of doctoral students and matching them to faculty interests, and trying to more equitably match faculty with masters students, although this effort will continue to pose challenges. Dr. Black commented that the Department is focused on both disciplinary-based and problem-based areas and, although broad in interest, has chosen certain problem areas in which to concentrate. Although the Department does not at this time require a core curriculum, each student has a disciplinary-based foundation. While the Department feels that all students do not need to fill the same academic requirements, it will examine the common needs of subsets of students. A group of IH faculty has been charged with examining and making recommendations about the structure of the Department's academic programs. Dr. Black acknowledged that the present organization of the Department can be confusing. He plans to set up a committee to make recommendations about the organization and possible centralization of its administrative functions. Dr. Black noted that IH academic programs form the basis for the Department and as such will be considered a key factor in any proposed change in organization.
A departmental finance committee will be convened that represents both junior and senior faculty, with a goal of communicating with the faculty about the financial issues facing the Department, as well as making more efficient the Department's operation and use of resources. Dr. Black felt that having contiguous space in the new building additions will help faculty cohesiveness, and he plans to provide better reimbursement for faculty engaged in teaching and advising activities. Like the School, the Department is struggling with the lack of balance between teaching and research support. Dr. Shah remarked that the IH faculty reported being very pleased with the multidisciplinary environment of the Department.
The Advisory Board discussed the need to better interface the efforts of faculty engaged in vaccine research in the Department, including internal organization of the faculty and the desire to engage in better external marketing of the substantial vaccine efforts within IH. Dr. Black remarked that consolidation of vaccine science efforts in the Department might require new financial and training resources.
Dr. Zeger asked how the Department balances areas with great research interest and less interest by students (e.g., vaccine sciences) with those areas of great interest by students but proportionately less sponsored activity (e.g., health systems). He suggested the entire Department be engaged in a discussion of these apparently competing demands. Dr. Black commented that the ability to recruit and promote faculty whose primary strength is professional practice will help to better balance the Department. Dr. Zeger also suggested that the growth of the Nutrition Division might derive from both internal growth as well as from increased collaboration with other segments of the School, in particular the laboratory sciences.
In response to a question, Dr. Black commented that the Department enjoys excellent collaborative relationships with many groups external to the Department, including CCP and JHPEIGO, but that such collaborations can and should be expanded. He noted that it can be more difficult to collaborate around educational programs. Dr. Zeger remarked that over time there is likely to be less distinction between the health problems of the U.S. and the less developed nations of the world such that the health issues being addressed by IH will overlap increasingly with those now addressed by other departments in the School.
After further discussion, Dr. Knapp thanked all members of the Committee to Review the Department of International Health. The Advisory Board subsequently made, seconded and passed unanimously a motion thanking the Committee for their diligent and thorough work. School Tobacco Funding Policy - for vote
Dean Sommer reviewed the present draft policy, noting that a faculty committee will be charged with developing a list of companies that are tobacco industry-based or industry-supported. Several faculty commented on the wording and intent of the policy, and a number of changes were proposed. After discussion, the Advisory Board voted to approve the policy with several modifications.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:15 p.m.
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