Bloomberg School of Public Health
Members Present: Drs. Robert Black, Ron Brookmeyer, William Eaton, Bernard Guyer, Martha Hill, Jonathan Links, Roger McMacken, Noel Rose, Jonathan Samet, Alfred Sommer, Donald Steinwachs, Jonathan Weiner, James Yager and Scott Zeger; and Ms. Robin Fox, staff.
Members Absent: Drs. William Brody, Steven Knapp, Diane Griffin, John Groopman, Robert Lawrence, and Edward Miller.
Guests: Drs. Margaret Ensminger, Sharon Krag, Laura Morlock; and Ms. Diane Glover.
Meeting Convened: Dean Sommer convened the meeting at 3:00 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes: Revised minutes of the 865th meeting on October 31, 2002 were approved.
Remarks by the Dean
Dean Sommer commented that all space in the TR5 and TR6 additions has been allocated and that space needs in general will be discussed at Management meeting.
MPH/MBA Dual Degree Program
Dr. Morlock joined the Advisory Board. She gave a short chronology of the proposed MPH/MBA dual degree program, noting that she and Dr. Steinwachs have been involved throughout this process. Regarding a concern raised by some chairs that SPSBE was not an accredited business school, Dr. Morlock commented that impending changes in the accreditation criteria for schools of business may allow SPSBE to apply for accreditation. Dr. Morlock also commented that while it may seem that the dual degree program would compete with the MHS program in Health Finance and Management, the programs will most likely appeal to different groups. The MHS program is designed for entry-level students, while students with professional experience might be interested in the dual MPH/MBA program. Both programs may feed students in to the part- time DrPH program the Department of Health Policy and Management hopes to develop. Dr. Morlock noted that many of the same faculty teach in both programs.
Dr. Brookmeyer mentioned that each dual or joint degree program involving the MPH degree is overseen by a faculty steering committee, and that he foresees no conflict with the MPH concentration areas now under development. The "parent school" for students in the MPH/MBA dual degree program will be the School of Public Health, and the number of students who become involved is expected to be small. After further discussion, the Advisory Board voted to approve the MPH/MBA dual degree program.
Mental Hygiene Self Study and Request for new Tenure- track Faculty
Dr. Eaton presented the Self Study prepared by the Department of Mental Hygiene. He remarked that the department is problem-oriented and multidisciplinary. It conducts many long-term longitudinal studies and supports its doctoral students on a number of training grants. The department is small, with only 9 tenure-track or tenured faculty and has a unique focus on public mental health. Dr. Eaton then reviewed the major research initiatives of the department and indicated the areas where the department would like to improve, including better integration of and more resources for its students, better links to alumni, improved quality of space, enhancement of the MHS program, and enhanced information technology services. He highlighted several positive developments that have occurred during the completion of the Self Study, including increased student enrollment and recruitment of new faculty. Several new faculty are needed to reach a critical mass.
Dr. Eaton then described the department's proposal to change its name to "Mental Health" to better explain the focus of the department to prospective students and the public. The Advisory Board was supportive of the proposal and approved the name change. After further discussion, Dr. Sommer thanked Dr. Eaton and commented that a committee to review the Department of Mental Health will be formed. Discussion about the request for new tenure- track faculty in the department was postponed.
Report of the Committee on Behavioral and Social Sciences
Dr. Ensminger joined the Advisory Board. Another member of ad hoc Committee is Dr. Eaton. Dr. Zeger, chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Behavior and Health, reviewed the rationale, methods and key findings of the Committee. He noted the large number of School faculty engaged in behavioral and/or social science research in at least five departments, with both domestic and international foci. He and the Committee noted that social and behavioral sciences are critical areas for public health research and training, and funding opportunities are increasing nationally. While educational programs in behavioral and social sciences are offered by four departments, there are few advanced courses or course sequences, and very little in the way of core theory and methods. The faculty who teach in these departments were supportive uniformly of creating an academic locus to offer advanced training in the theory and methods of behavioral and social sciences.
The Committee therefore recommended creation of a new department focused on the study of health and behavior that will offer training in advanced theory and methods. The Committee believes the School offers a unique niche due to our strengths in multidisciplinary, multi-level research, both domestic and international orientations, behavioral intervention studies, and concomitant strengths in quantitative methods and medical sociology. Dr. Zeger noted that ours is the only school of public health that does not have a department directed at the study of health and behavior. A primary goal of a new department should be to improve doctoral education and strengthen the curriculum in these areas. Faculty recruitment in other departments would compliment the strengths in a new department, and the diverse research collaborations which now exist across departments and disciplines would continue. Dr. Hill commented that the School of Nursing would welcome collaboration with a new department focused on social and/or behavioral sciences.
Dr. Zeger commented that the faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the Department of Health Policy and Management would form the core of the new department and are excited about the prospect for increased visibility.
Dr. Black stated that the viability of a new department must be assured and a business plan should be developed prior to its creation. The Committee recommended that the first step should be recruitment of a new chair and that the new department build to a critical mass, starting with the ten tenure-track or tenured faculty now residing in Health Policy and Management. Dr. Sommer also asserted that the first step should be to recruit a chair who will in turn recruit several additional faculty and oversee the curricular design. The chair will provide much of the "vision" for the department.
Dr. Guyer then commented that a new department engaged in social and behavioral sciences may overlap with research and training activities of the Department of Population and Family Health Sciences due to the potential breadth of the new department. He further expressed concern that the search for a new chair in PFHS would be adversely affected. Dr. Zeger stressed that every faculty member interviewed by the Committee was supportive of creating a stronger entity to improve doctoral training in social and behavioral theory and methods, and that there is no expectation that faculty outside of the Social and Behavioral Sciences faculty in the Department of HPM would move into the new department, unless they choose to, which would require significant coordination and consensus. Dr. Guyer speculated that the potential scope of the new department was too broad.
The Advisory Board discussed possible names for the new department that might convey its orientation. One suggestion was "Health and Behavior," to focus on behavior rather than imply inclusion of all social sciences.
Dr. Steinwachs expressed support of the recommendations of the Committee as there is a pressing need to offer the appropriate training for students. Dr. Links noted that the School is by nature multidisciplinary and that no department "owns" an area or discipline. Instead, faculty collaboration is broad and diverse.
The Advisory Board engaged in an extensive discussion around the issues raised by Drs. Black and Guyer. Dr. Sommer stated that the report remains under consideration by the Advisory Board and that he will try to address the issues raised during the present discussion. He stressed that the focus of the new department is likely to be on "health and behavior" from theoretical and methodologic perspectives, and would not encompass every social science. He further requested written comments on the report, which will be revisited at the next Advisory Board meeting.
Request for New Professorial Positions in International Health
Due to the late hour, this topic will be rescheduled.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:55 p.m.
GO TO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY BOARD MEETING MINUTES
GO TO JHUNIVERSE
© 2003 The Johns Hopkins University.
Baltimore, Maryland. All rights reserved.