Bloomberg School of Public Health
Members Present: Drs. Steven Knapp, Robert Black, Robert Blum, Ron Brookmeyer, Marie Diener-West, William Eaton, John Groopman, Robert Lawrence, Roger McMacken, Jonathan Samet, Alfred Sommer, E. William Spannhake, Donald Steinwachs, Jonathan Weiner, and Scott Zeger; and Ms. Robin Fox, staff.
Members Absent: Drs. William Brody, Diane Griffin, Martha Hill, Edward Miller, and James Yager.
Guests: Drs. Richard Davis, Sharon Krag, and David Peters; Professor Stephen Teret; and Ms. Diane Glover.
Meeting Convened: Provost Steven Knapp convened the meeting at 3 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of the 892nd meeting on January 20, 2005 were approved with one correction.
Remarks by the Provost
Provost Knapp reported that the School of Public Health Dean Search Committee is now holding informal discussions with possible candidates, with a goal of providing a small number of names to President Brody by the end of April 2005.
The search for a new dean of the School of Arts and Sciences will begin shortly. A search committee is being formed with a target of naming the next dean in early 2006.
Provost Knapp then commented on the recent tragic deaths of two undergraduate students. The murder of one student in an off-campus apartment has raised concerns about the safety of the Charles Village area, where many members of the Hopkins community live. While it is likely that the murder was by an acquaintance, a number of security measures will be initiated or improved throughout Charles village and nearby neighborhoods. More patrols, increased lighting, more wide-ranging shuttle bus service, and area cameras are among the improvements that are being undertaken. The murder, along with an undergraduate's recent suicide, has created substantial anxiety on the campus affecting the entire institution.
It is important to inform the leaders of the East Baltimore campus about security improvements in the Homewood area as many East Baltimore faculty, staff and students live in the Homewood area.
Provost Knapp then updated the Advisory Board on several initiatives at the State level, noting that several of the University's funding requests appear to be promising.
Remarks by the Dean
Dean Sommer announced the successful recruitment of Dr. David Holtgrave as the inaugural chair of the Department of Behavior and Health. He is expected to join the School during the summer and will be located in Hampton House. Dr. Sommer thanked Dr. Zeger and the members of the Behavior and Health Search Committee for developing a vision and role for this new Department. The search for the director of the Center for Clinical Trials is expected to conclude shortly and the search for the chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management is continuing.
Dean Sommer noted that Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, may visit the School. Chairs were asked to identify faculty to meet with her. He then requested input from the chairs to identify a few senior faculty to act as mentors for the Sommer Scholars. These faculty would have oversight of the enrichment activities, bring the Scholars together, and act as "leadership mentors." He noted that some enrichment activities will involve both the MPH and doctoral Sommer Scholars, while others activities will be separate. He then circulated an article about public health written for the World Economic Forum magazine.
Remarks by the Faculty Senate
Dr. Diener-West reported that the Faculty Senate recently revised the "Balance of Effort" recommendations for a final discussion at a Committee of the Whole meeting. She reported that Dr. Krag is working with the School-wide Technology Transfer Committee to develop a web-based template to facilitate faculty retention of copyright of their educational and publishable materials. The template will be shared across the University. The discussion has raised a number of questions about collaborative research and publications.
Report of the Committee to Review the Department of Health Policy and Management
Drs. Richard Davis and David Peters, members of the Committee to Review the Department of Health Policy and Management, joined Dr. Black, chair of the Committee. Dr. Black then reviewed the key findings and recommendations of the Report of the Review Committee. The Committee was formed soon after Dr. Steinwachs indicated his desire to step down as chair of the Department. Because the Department underwent an extensive review in 2001, a limited review was undertaken in 2004-05 to address the recommendations contained in the 2001 Review as well as the future of the Department without the Behavioral and Social Science faculty who will form the core of the new Department of Behavior and Health. The Department met with many members of the School community and with several external consultants.
In response to the recommendations in the 2001 Review, Dr. Black reported that the Department has addressed the issues raised about the quality and depth of its academic programs; they will need to be revisited again due to the impending departure of the Social and Behavioral Sciences faculty from the Department. Collaboration between the two Departments will be important to develop the most appropriate curricula for students in both departments. Concerns about the visibility of the Health Economics in the Department and School have recently been addressed by the creation of an interdepartmental program that has begun to work to strengthen the curriculum and to recruit new junior faculty.
Dr. Black reported that Dr. Steinwachs will leave the Department academically sound, with a transparent and equitable governance structure, several newly- recruited faculty, and a faculty who express a high degree of job satisfaction. Dr. Steinwachs' leadership was applauded by all segments of the Department. While the Review Committee did not explore the financial status of the Department in any detail, the Department presently is solvent although it may face future financial uncertainty.
A determination of the future thrust of the Department is important and will affect the direction of the search for the new chair. While the Department is large and has diverse areas of scholarship, the Review Committee concluded that one of two areas could be the principal focus of the Department: health services research, which presently is the Department's "center of gravity"; or policy and practice with an emphasis on program implementation and evaluation, an area in which the Department would need to grow. While the Department is now organized into three "faculties," with the departure of the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the new chair will need to determine not only the scholarly directions of the Department, but also how to best organize and possibly integrate the remaining two faculties.
The Review Committee made three formal recommendations; that the Department should remain intact, that Dr. Steinwachs' leadership and management style be recognized; and that the new chair of the Department should be sought. The new chair should have high stature and visibility, manage and support the interests of a diverse faculty, and, most critically, develop a strategic direction for the future of the Department. Dr. Peters added that gaps in policy and practice leadership have been identified nationally.
Dr. Steinwachs commented that the Department welcomes the Report of the Review Committee, noting that broad interests in "policy" are evident across the faculty. The Department expects to expand its practice activities, in particular with the part-time DrPH program and related practitioner faculty. He noted that the Department will need to rethink its organization, which presently is built around its three doctoral programs.
Dr. Black then updated the Advisory Board on the status of the Chair search. Advertisements have been place and a number of candidate visits are being scheduled, among them both internal and external candidates. The candidate list is very strong and Dr. Black hopes that the final selection will be expeditious.
The Advisory Board thanked Dr. Black and the members of the Committee for their careful assessment of the Department at this critical juncture.
Follow-up to the Department of Mental Health Review Report
Dr. Eaton, chair of the Department of Mental Health, reviewed the recommendations of the 2003 Report of the Committee to Review the Department of Mental Health. He noted that the size of the faculty has increased modestly, and that the Department's funding has grown and is increasingly diversified. Course offerings designed for broader audiences have been expanded, including a new internet-base course. Enrollment is approximately the same but the number of applicants has increased, enabling the Department to be more selective. The MHS program is being strengthened through the identification of a faculty coordinator, improved integration with certificate programs, and developing organized internships. The Department has tried to streamline a number of processes for students, including developing a common syllabus format for their courses. The Mental Health Summer Institute has had two years of experience and is still a "work in progress."
Dr. Eaton then described the research activities and populations of the Department. Among its goals are to develop more cohort-based populations in partnership with colleagues throughout Hopkins. The Department has identified several areas where it would like to expand, including primary mental health care outreach, and midlife interventions. The long-term vision of the Department is to take a population-based life-course approach to its research in epidemiology and public health interventions. This vision will guide improved curricular offerings; filing gaps in research; partnerships with the Department of Behavior and Health and other departments; and a gradual increase in faculty size through careful hiring.
In response to a question from Provost Knapp, Dr. Eaton remarked that the Department works with other groups within the University, particularly in School-based interventions, but that coordination could be improved. Drs. Knapp and Sommer thanked Dr. Eaton for his comprehensive assessment of the state of the Department.
Request from the Department of Population and Family Health Sciences for a tenure-track position
Dr. Blum reviewed his request for a junior tenure-track faculty position in the demography of aging. The position will be jointly recruited with and supported by the Center for Aging and Health.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:50 p.m.
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